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S MUM DIARY

The Fourth

TRIMESTER

Exploring why new mums need continued support Words: Amy Ransom

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ince having my three children, aged seven, four and two, I’ve frequently felt we don’t support new mums well enough in our society. You get the most care and attention when you have your first baby, but even this is minimal. Beyond the first baby, you’re very much left to your own devices. We laugh now about our mothers staying in hospital for 10 days when they had us but, actually, was it so ridiculous? I wonder whether we’ve since gone to the other extreme, where it’s almost a competition to see how quickly you can birth a baby and be back on your feet. My first hospital stay was a mere 12 hours long. My second was like some sort of drive-through. My baby was born at 4PM and I was home by 8PM having a curry. I thought it was empowering back then – ‘a new baby won’t stop me’ – but now, looking back, I think it was odd. It certainly did nothing to help me make that transition to being a new mum. Are we sending out the wrong message, when what we should be doing is encouraging new mums to rest and slow down? My third baby was a home birth and my experience couldn’t have been more different. Because I didn’t have to be discharged from anywhere, I spent the first 48 hours in bed. Resting. Feeding. And eating. I didn’t leave the house until day five and that trip only lasted 30 minutes. With my first baby, on the other hand, I went for a stupidly long walk on day three and was barely able to make the journey home, my stitches were pulling so much. It was with my third that I discovered the glorious fourth trimester and learned about the first three months of a new mum and baby’s life together, which suggests we nurture our babies as we did in the womb, rather

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16/12/2016 11:22

Absolutely Mama Jan/Feb 2017  

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