I was introduced to the concept of the fourth trimester when I was pregnant with Ella. It really rang true for me and was a practice I wanted to adopt in my parenting.
Here’s a beautiful article that talks about the fourth trimester, empathy with our newborns, and how to simulate the womb environment.
I’ve read that babies need to be born at 40 weeks because the size of their potential brain. If they were allowed to be born when their brains reach their full growth, we would have a gestation period of 18 to 21 months. Wow! As a result, babies are born at 40 weeks with an underdeveloped brain (less than 25-30% of an adult brain size) so they can fit through the narrow passageway. Then the rest of the growing occurs outside the womb with the brain doubling in size the first year. The idea here is that we need to treat 3 months postpartum as an extension of the womb.
My favorite way to simulate the womb experience is with baby wearing, swaddling, and skin-to-skin contact.
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net