I honestly wish I could go back and give these tips to my first time postpartum self, but that is just not how it works and I will say that I have given myself more and more grace with each subsequent pregnancy so I urge you new and veteran mothers to do the same! Here are some postpartum or fourth-trimester surprises I found that can be less surprising if you know about them ahead of time and have a plan to manage them!


I have four winter babies, two born in January and two born in early March, but I honestly pack gowns, robes, and short sets in my hospital bag because ladies let me tell you, you will be HOT after having a baby! I’m sure it is nature’s way of keeping Mother and Baby warm, but just keep this in mind because you will not want to be all bundled up in any flannel pajamas! Having breathable, comfy clothes is key for when you wake up at night for feedings and you are sweating! Also having baby close is so important after birth and they can make you so very hot too!

CL has some amazing robes for you to wear and you can easily layer a gown underneath to pop off if you get hot.


Knowing that your supply will likely overproduce before it regulates is very helpful! I clearly remember my breasts being so engorged after having my first and being completely caught off guard by this. Now I know it is important to have some cabbage leaves on hand as a natural way to reduce engorgement and also soothe sore nipples. I also love that the Haakaa pump can both relieve engorgement and act as a treatment when filled with warm water and salt to prevent or help treat blocked milk ducks.

Support from Others!

Be prepared that support from others will come after baby and have a plan to thank your family and friends for this help, but more importantly to organize it in a way that truly works for you and your family! For example, maybe you truly just want it to be your immediate family welcoming baby for a few days after you’re home from the hospital, but you have extended family who are begging to meet baby the moment you get home. Share your wishes and ask that they support you with a meal dropped off until you are ready to welcome them into your home again. This can be done politely and respectfully.

Pregnancy Brain!

Just know that after baby you can be easily distracted and overwhelmed just meeting baby’s needs so that you may feel a bit foggy when it comes to other tasks. This is completely okay and I suggest taking it day by day and adding your daily routines back in slowly. For example, you may typically take the kids to school, workout, and then make dinner. Rather than doing all those things the first month after baby try adding one thing back onto your plate at a time and prepare by having family or your spouse fill in where they can.

Thirst while Breastfeeding!

You will need so much WATER! Honestly keeping my water refilled for me is one very helpful job my husband does in the fourth trimester! My go to is this classic Yeti cup that keeps my water cold, cold for late night feeding.

Emotional Rollercoaster!

There is a range of emotions from happiness one minute to sadness or anxiety the next. It’s important to know that having a range of emotions is normal, but it is also important to plan and protect your mental health during the fourth trimester. For me it helped to get out whether to see family or grab coffee with friends. When my emotions were heightened one way or another I loved to get a breath of fresh air with my baby in the Ergo or stroller. For others, it might be time away from baby to help them feel a bit more like themselves. Be patient with your emotions and know that your hormones are all adjusting. Finally if any of your emotions seem too overwhelming then it may be best to check in with your healthcare provider to determine if more support is needed.

I hope a few of these will help a new or even fourth time Mom feel less surprised during the fourth trimester! Just remember just like the children themselves every experience after birth can be different so there is never truly a way to fill completely prepared. My third daughter was born on March 3rd, 2020 right before the Pandemic and while I felt I knew what to prepare for in terms of coping with post delivery and a new baby I found myself coping with a whole new realm of surprises like having all my kids home!

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