Baby, Lifestyle

10 Things I’ve Learned in the 4th Trimester

As a first-time mom, I learned that a lot of people tell you how to prepare for pregnancy. BUT no one really talks about what happens after the baby comes. So I wanted to dedicate a post with all the things that I’ve learned thus far into the 4th trimester. (We are officially over a month in now!) I feel like I’m literally learning something new every day at this point, but these are the biggest lessons that I’ve taken away from life post-pregnancy.

See these maternity posts for more:

Hospital Tips and Birth Story

Hospital Bag Packing List

Third Trimester Advice for New Moms

Hormonal Breakouts During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Body Changes and Confidence

5 Pregnancy Health Tips

Pregnancy Myths and Truths

My Entire Amazon Baby Registry

Keep Reading 4th Trimester Realness

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester

Taking care of YOU is just as important as taking care of baby

I’ve never been an overly emotional person, but wow, let me tell you that postpartum hormones are REAL. Weeks one and two as a new mom were rough stuff y’all. Then add a bunch of hormones on top, and I was crying over really weird things and for no reason at all. I put this at number one because I think it’s most important to take time to care for your mental wellbeing after the baby comes. If something feels off, ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Ultimately, if you are not well, then you cannot care for your new little one.

Prepare for nursing AND every other option

I highly recommend learning as much as you can about breastfeeding AND the possibility of supplementing formula. I took the breastfeeding course available at my hospital and ordered all the necessary things to begin nursing. I ordered the pump, the nursing bras, the nursing pads and cream. What I did NOT plan for was what would happen if I wasn’t able to supply enough milk. Ask your care provider what lactation resources will be available after delivery and in the weeks following birth. I had to learn so much about formula options, the different bottles and the appliances for formula as soon as we got home!

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester
Sleep when baby is sleeping

I already haven’t taken my own advice on this one as much as I should. I get so easily distracted at home trying to catch up on emails, clean bottles, do baby laundry – the list is never finished. BUT try to sleep as much as you can no matter what time of day it might be!

Stock up on supplies for recovery

If there’s one thing I did prepare well for, it was prepping the house with recovery supplies for well, “down there”. I did a lot of reading on this and had the help from very close friends when getting things ready. I made little kits for all the bathrooms that included maxi pads of different absorbencies, overnight Depends, perineal ice packs, Cottonelle wipes, trash bags, Tucks pads, and Earth Mama perineal spray. (I mentioned a lot of these things in my hospital packing post.) Other items I stocked up on were sitz bath packets and extra mesh bottoms.

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester

Create a 4th Trimester capsule wardrobe

Postpartum is rough because you’ll need clothes that still accommodate the extra pregnancy weight. I decided early on that I was going to invest in good loungewear options during my pregnancy. I previously shared a ton of my Jockey favorites that fit the bump and even packed them up in my hospital bag. I’ve been living in loungewear ever since we got home. I’d recommend high waisted leggings, boyfriend tees, roomy pajama dresses and a comfy robe. Look for pieces like joggers and oversized pullovers for those days when you get out of the house for a quick errand.

Sign up for every grocery delivery service available

I have become a pro at getting anything and everything delivered to our house either online or via phone app. Amazon and Instacart are basically my two best friends, and I talk to them weekly. There’s literally no time in the day to grocery shop – and the thought of bringing Bennett to the grocery store is still super daunting to me. So I’ll either either use Instacart or use a pickup service like the one that Walmart offers. Anything I can’t get one of those ways is always a Prime click away!

We also use a local meal delivery service similar to UberEats for nights when neither of us feel like cooking or making a food decision.

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester
NEVER turn down help

This seems like a no brainer, right, but this definitely needs to be on the list. And when I say help , I mean accept whatever they might be offering – even if it’s just to bring you some Starbucks or pick up something from the store. Ps. When someone offers to watch the baby, you need to do one of two things – sleep or run any personal errands! I’ve also heard that postpartum doulas will come help you with errands and tasks too.

Choose your visitors wisely

Don’t be afraid to say NO to visitors. I have learned that TIME is precious and fleeting during these first weeks of being home. If someone asks to come see you and the baby, don’t feel obligated to take guests – especially if you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I promise they will understand if you ask them to take a rain check.

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester

Listen to your body

There was no piece of advice or reading material that could prepare me for how I’d feel in my postpartum body. I did not at all like the feeling of my baby-less bump. It felt foreign and empty and completely out of sorts. I had a rough time juggling crazy hormones, lack of sleep and a disappointing situation of low milk supply. For me, feeling “comfortable” in my own body felt almost impossible. One thing that did help me feel more normal was wearing a compression band or shorts for postpartum. The idea behind compression garments postpartum isn’t new – it’s centuries old and spans many cultures – and it’s not just for appearance.

Belly binding can be helpful for many different reasons in your postpartum days. It can promote the shrinking of the uterus (involution) that is supposed to happen after the birth. It also helps support your back and your abdominal muscles (they are weaker after carrying the baby and giving birth) and can aid with diastasis recti, a condition where the abdominals remain separated following pregnancy. It helps reduce swelling and lower back pain. more info via

But more than any of these things, it helped me just feel more “held together.” I 100% recommend the specific Belly Bandit that I used if you are interested in using a belly band. Also, everyone’s postpartum body journey is different – this is just what worked for me! There is no right or wrong answer as long as MOM is comfortable and happy.

What I've Learned in the 4th Trimester

I’ve been wearing my Bamboo Belly Band for four weeks now, above is my week-to-week progress. My band would not close immediately after labor, so I wasn’t able to start using it until around day 4 or 5 postpartum. I wear it over leggings for the majority of the day every single day and have also worn it a few times to sleep.

Give yourself grace

Your body just went through one of the most crazy endurance tests of all time. It’s going to need some serious TLC. Give yourself permission to take time for yourself as you recover. Days and even weeks are going to go by where you don’t put on makeup or you don’t feel like yourself. I have to remind myself that it’s all temporary, and that everything will feel more normal with a little bit of time.

Thanks to Jockey for sponsoring today’s post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Photos by Lainey Reed

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  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Wise words and lovely photos!! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    April 30, 2019 at 2:04 am
  • Reply Arielle

    What size did you get in the belly bandit

    April 30, 2019 at 8:47 pm
  • Reply Lindsay

    Thanks for sharing!! Which belly bandit do you use? The bamboo one or the BFF?

    May 1, 2019 at 10:50 pm
  • Reply Kathleen @ Carrie Bradshaw Lied

    I love this last picture of Bennett! So precious. And great tips Krystal! xo

    May 2, 2019 at 11:06 am
  • Reply Cristy

    Hi Krystal 🤗 Oh my goodness, everything you’ve said is true!! I’m on my 3rd week postpartum and I am learning as I go. As you said, I can’t wait to feel myself again, but doing my best not to miss these sweet moments with my precious little Pierre. Thanks for the post, and the pictures are all beautiful! Congratulations on your baby boy! 💙

    May 5, 2019 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply Casey

    So true all of these.

    I’m 6 almost 7 weeks postpartum with my first baby and I could remember around week two I thought I was never going to make it. I was dealing with a Jaundice baby and some heart issues and I didn’t think it would ever end or that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

    There was, we are here in the middle of week six and doing amazing. We love snuggles and all that good stuff.

    May 6, 2019 at 1:49 pm
    • Reply [email protected]

      Casey! We had a jaundice issue as well – we had to stay extra days in the hospital to get his bilirubin count down and had to do blue light therapy. It was so hard to watch him be uncomfortable those few days – I hope your little one is all good now! 🙂

      July 6, 2019 at 8:02 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I LOVED this post! We are wanting to start trying for a baby next year, and it was so helpful. Thank you! Writing down the name of the belly band for the future. Such a good idea!

    May 7, 2019 at 8:25 pm
  • Reply A

    As a labor and delivery nurse, this does nothing for your uterus. In 2 weeks postpartum your uterus is within your pelvis. Belly bands are modern day girdles and really ridiculous. Give yourself love, let your belly hang out, wear the loose dresses or sweats and just snuggle with your baby, rest and EAT. Then hit the gym at 6 weeks when cleared by a doctor if you don’t feel like your “self” yet. You grew life, gave birth to life, and now during these first weeks is the time to simply enjoy and savor life.

    June 5, 2019 at 11:26 am
    • Reply HLL

      A- couldn’t agree more with your comment!! I’m 3 weeks postpartum with baby #5 and savoring every moment! There’s plenty of time in the future to worry about getting back in shape and having a flat belly again but these first weeks of your baby’s life you will never get back!

      July 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm
      • Reply [email protected]

        Thank you for your message HLL. Everyone’s approach to recovery and how to feel comfortable in their own body is different. Some people are able to embrace their postpartum body and others have a more difficult time with that – this is what worked for me. In no way did I miss the “first weeks of baby’s life” by wearing a belly band, but I appreciate your feedback.

        July 6, 2019 at 9:03 pm
    • Reply [email protected]

      Thank you A for your thoughtful comment. But since you are a nurse, I’m sure you also understand that everyone’s road to recovery is different. For me, that meant finding some way to feel comfortable again in a very unfamiliar body while struggling with low supply and sleepless nights. There is no RIGHT and perfect way to navigate postpartum as everyone’s experience is different journey. Thus why I’m sharing my individual experience and what worked for me.

      In no way did wearing a belly band take away from me spending time/savoring moments with my baby as you suggested. I’m also interested in why you capitalized the word EAT, but I’m sure you only have good intentions with your message.

      July 6, 2019 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    Days or weeks? More like months! For some of us. Thanks for the tips! Trying to figure out how to plan better for baby #2. I didn’t know about the compression band until months late, and I had a c-section.

    July 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm
    • Reply [email protected]

      HA def not days! I’m in month three now and still can’t manage to workout more than twice a week. (Def not back in my pre-baby jeans/shorts yet.) But these things definitely helped me feel a little more comfortable in those first crazy weeks.

      July 6, 2019 at 8:28 pm
  • Reply Shelly

    I think those are great suggestions! My daughter has three weeks to go! We are sooo excited to be getting a grandson! I wish they had belly bands when my three kids were born! Lol!

    July 8, 2019 at 10:35 pm
  • Reply Samantha

    I used a belly band right after my second pregnancy and it made a HUGE difference compared to my first postpartum journey! You look amazing and being a mommy fits you well. Everything gets better after week two and also with the more kids you have! My second is 6 months old and we found out that we are pregnant with our 3rd when she was 4 months. Nothing goes as planned, but isn’t that the beauty of it! Congratulations and good luck!

    September 11, 2019 at 1:46 am
  • Reply Sri

    A lot of people are saying that belly bands are “useless” and that women “shouldn’t care about how their bodies look right after giving birth”, but that is not really what belly bands are for! I know for myself I felt like my stomach was going to fall out my butt right after giving birth everytime I would stand up lol ,disgusting but true, and a belly bad was the only thing that made everything feel like it was going to stay inside! And also helped with pain after a c section! Getting back into shape was the last thing I was thinking about, so I suggest just getting one for comfort! And not any other reason!

    November 27, 2019 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Lynds

    I noticed that you mentioned low milk supply and that you had sitz bath sachets. In the past midwives gave mums sitz bath salts to dry up milk supply after an unsuccessful birth – might be something to be weary of! Annoying when they help healing so much!!

    December 31, 2019 at 4:46 am
  • Reply Melissa

    My tip to add is to stop worrying about being an early planner as a first time mom. I was so self conscious hearing everyone joke about how first time moms go over the top with nesting and planning way too early. So I hardly did much for a while. My pregnancy took a turn and I ended up not getting to prepare at all and the nursery ended up half complete (we had the crib and dresser but no decor). The first 8 weeks for me were so so tough, I feel like I really missed out on that precious snuggle time. (I had a c-section and recovery was not a breeze! Plus I was dealing with *probably* Postpartum Depression) Breastfeeding was honestly the most stressful thing I’ve done in my life. Any prep work you mentioned above would have made my life much simpler and enjoyable with my baby and husband,

    May 8, 2020 at 11:13 pm
  • Reply Tabitha Ellul

    Thank you so much. I had a similar experience! I was so prepared to breastfeed and for a vaginal birth. Spent so much money on all the things for both. One C-section and a missing milk supply later…….
    I am a very happy person and I worked through the hardest depression of my life. I have a happy, healthy two month old now but that was easily the toughest month of my life. I loved reading that I was not alone. Thank you again for sharing and wishing you and your little all the love, health and blessings.

    January 21, 2021 at 8:41 am
  • Reply Amy

    I had a c-section 3 weeks ago and the hospital put me in a belly band right after I got to my hospital room…no questions asked. My first shower was scary taking it off because it hurt and the band made me feel more secure just to walk, had nothing to do with my body image. I still wear the band because my doctor recommended to keep wearing it throughout the healing process at least 6 weeks to support my back and help my ab muscles recover from pregnancy. I also had some crazy hormones the first week I kept crying because I loved my baby’s father so much… he was so helpful and looking at him made me cry! I felt useless in the bed hurting and that was something I was not comfortable with, I’m not usually a crier so it was unexpected and I was almost embarrassed when the nurses came in and I’m crying for no reason at all! It went away after the first week mostly but I still get teary eyed thinking about it.

    March 15, 2021 at 4:23 pm
  • Reply Madison

    Hey love,

    Wanted to let you know that your links for jockey aren’t active since they don’t have the products. ❤️

    March 16, 2021 at 11:53 am
  • Reply Sundee

    Hi I’m a soon to be mommy of my first baby, and this was one of the only posts that I have found to have a positive outlook on the 4th trimester. This helped me to feel a little better about giving birth soon and doesn’t make me so scared that I want to cry, haha so thank you for sharing, I really appreciated it! Definitely saving for the future!

    May 4, 2021 at 9:30 pm
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