The "Fourth Trimester":

The Postpartum Period After Birth


You have given birth! Your healthy baby will be placed on your chest so that you can begin to bond with your baby. Bonding involves touching, caressing, making eye contact, and talking to your new baby. This is good for both you and your baby and is an important way to start your relationship. But remember, if for any reason you are unable to bond with your baby immediately following birth, this is only the first of a lifetime full of opportunities. It's never too late to begin.

The Postpartum Period

The period following birth is known as the postpartum period. This is a time when you and your partner begin your new roles as parents, and your new life as a family. The postpartum period can be both exhilarating and exhausting. As you and your baby get to know each other, remember that all babies have unique personalities with their own likes and dislikes. But no matter what their moods are, babies need to be hugged, held, stroked, and cuddled. So indulge yourself. And indulge your baby. New babies cannot be spoiled by a lot of attention.

Like any new experience, parenting takes some getting used to. Don't expect to be an instant success. Remember, like parents over the entire world, you will learn the ins and outs of parenting through your mistakes and achievements.

Continue to "Your Body: What's Happening" journey to parenthood

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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010