What Covid-19 has taught us about the fourth trimester

Photography:Opal Imagery

By Sara Laharnar

You can understand why women are anxious about being pregnant in the middle of a global pandemic.  

Aside from the fear of your baby contracting the virus itself, the pregnant and postnatal landscape is very different to pre-COVID; the customary birthing classes have been cancelled, hospitals feel like a war zone and women across the globe have had to face the prospect of giving birth alone, without their partner or any support person.

On top of all of that, firm visitor restrictions within hospitals and the non essential travel bans have meant new mums and bubs have not had the usual influx of visitors.

Whilst seemingly devastating to not have your nearest and dearest admiring your adorable little human, the COVID climate has shown us there are some real benefits to this:  

1. CHILD DEVELOPMENT  

Current data is showing that newborns are regaining their birth weight quicker than they were pre-COVID. How? 

Less visitors = less interruptions and less distractions, ultimately allowing more time for feeding and mother/child bonding. 

This is important as rapid weight gain during the neonatal period has a direct cognitive benefit for the child and can result in a higher IQ later in life.  

2. BUILDING SECURE ATTACHMENT 

In order to build secure attachment, your baby needs to feel safe, calm and understood by you. They need to feel secure knowing you will meet their every need.  

While you watch, listen and learn your babys cues – they are picking up on yours.  

Having more one-on-one time with your baby allows you to develop this bond and understand each other sooner.  

Secure attachment promotes optimal neurodevelopment for your child, high self esteem and the ability to regulate one’s emotions. Secure attachment gives children the building blocks to develop healthy relationships with themselves and others, and are less likely to suffer from disorders such as depression and anxiety. 

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