Most of us know the typical “three trimester” model of pregnancy; however, did you know that most OB professionals will tell you there are in fact four trimesters? The fourth trimester is the three-month period of time after your baby is delivered. The importance of this unpublicized trimester cannot be overstated, as this is the time when healthy breastfeeding habits and parent-child bonds are established. So what exactly should you know about the fourth trimester? 


Having an organized fourth trimester is crucial for your healing, as well as your baby’s health. During this time, you will begin to establish a day-to-day routine and adapt to post-pregnancy life. If possible, 12 weeks of time off from work is by far the most optimal of scenarios, but of course this is contingent on many factors. To make the most of maternity leave no matter how long the duration, be sure to surround yourself with a wonderful support system. Do not be afraid to approach your OB family doctor with any concerns during this time; it is important that you take all the postpartum visits you feel necessary to ensure an emotional, mental, and physical recovery. Postnatal care should be focused on you, the mother, and should include a great deal of information and coaching on transitioning into motherhood. 


Mothers with high-risk pregnancies or existing health conditions should seek  postnatal care that addresses those conditions. Conditions like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia should be carefully monitored and coached on the effects their condition may have on the postpartum period. Mothers with health conditions should also be made aware of any implications the pregnancy may have on their future health. 


Dr Stillson is especially skilled to handle all  elements of the 4th trimester due to his skill in managing a host of medical conditions, maternal care, and neonatal care. Dr Stillson’s patients and families love this “all in one” care that is delivered in one location and by one physician. Contact Dr Stillson at www.stillsonwitt.com to make your OB appointment today.


For more details on the fourth trimester and what this time of postpartum recovery consists of, please check out this great resource: