Supporting parents in the 4th trimester

This is me with my second, around 3 weeks postpartum. You may be able to tell from the tired eyes and distant stare, I was a total wreck. That sweet little face sleeping on my shoulder was only peaceful when sleeping, and only when being held or propped up. Once he was awake, he cried. All. The. Time. And, what you can’t see in the photo is my sweet, patient, caring 2 year old at my feet, who just wanted to hold her baby brother, and to cuddle with her mommy, but who couldn’t do either because he wouldn’t settle long enough for either to happen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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I was so lucky to have an incredibly patient and supportive paediatrician, who reminded me regularly that if I felt something was wrong with my baby, I should keep coming back until we could figure out what was causing the round-the-clock crying. We did eventually sort out that he had reflux, a cow’s milk protein allergy, and laryngomalacia, but knowing what I know now, I am confident there was more to the story that we never sorted out (and are still working on today). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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The fourth trimester is 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝. Any parent who has been there can tell you this. But for all those who are pregnant and following along, I wanted to share this:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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❗It is normal for a baby to crave proximity; It is not normal to have a baby who must be held 24/7; you should ask for help (and I can help you get to the bottom of this)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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❗It is normal to feel stressed and tired; it is not normal to feel that you have nothing to smile for, that you are a failure, or that your baby would be better without you (ask for help! And check the link in bio for a PP mental health screener)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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❗It is normal for your baby to not be on a schedule; it is not normal for your baby to only sleep 45 minutes at a time, day or night (reach out and I can help with this too)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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❗Find time for you – a flight attendant mom said it best: “put on your oxygen mask before helping others”

Cayla

Cayla

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