What Life Looks Like in the 7th Trimester Postpartum: Month 11


The milestones are flying by, and you can hardly believe how big your baby has gotten! Although you’ve still got a ton of challenges and changes to manage, I hope you can take some time to appreciate how far you and your little one have come. Think back to where you were just 2 or 3 months ago; what’s new now? What has gotten easier? What’s your favorite thing about motherhood right now?

Month 11 of your 7th trimester: A.K.A. Where’d my baby go?

As you near that first birthday, you might be feeling nostalgic, sad, and thankful all at once. Your baby is so different, but somehow just as dependent on you. The changes seem to creep along and surprise you at the same time. You’re starting to master the push-pull of life with a child, and that is a HUGE accomplishment. 


Here’s how to prepare for the end of year 1:


Your Mind

You don’t get to decide when or where your lessons in mindfulness or grit come while you’re raising kids. Parenthood is an exploration in self-development. It’s hard, it’s beautiful, and it can be deeply enriching and meaningful if you allow it to be. 


As you reflect on this last year, write down what you feel most proud of, what you wish you had known, or what you want to change in the future. The last question isn’t mean to cause shame or make you feel like you need to do “better.” When we don’t ask ourselves what we’d like to do differently—when we don’t stop to consider where we flopped—we miss out on a growth opportunity. We may even get stuck.. Failure isn’t a bad thing. It’s a sign you’re experimenting, learning, and growing. Own it, mama! But learn from it, too.


Your Body


Hear me loud and clear: it may have taken 9 months to grow a baby, but it takes far more time to heal. If you’re not where you want to be physically, give yourself more time and make space for your well-being. 


Go back to the basics: 

  • Deep breathing is a fantastic core workout
  • Kegel-ing is pelvic floor therapy
  • If you only have 30 minutes to yourself, take it. You might feel depleted or feel like an empty well that will never be full again, but it’s amazing what a few minutes of physical activity can do to clear your head.


Your Home and Work


If you feel like you’re not getting enough support from the men in your life, but aren’t totally sure what’s fair, here’s what to look for:


  • At home, is your spouse actively working on the family to-do list? 
    • If your partner isn’t initiating or asking how to specifically support the family, consider having a “talk.” 
      • Discuss the specific things that need to be done around the house or with the kids, and set boundaries! This is a partnership, which means work that benefits you both is shared. But be open to your partner’s way of doing things, even if they are different than yours. Done is done.
    • Is your superior at work male? As a leader, he should be welcoming innovative ideas on how to support men and women as they figure out work-life integration while raising a family. He should set the stage for openness and honesty by initiating conversations around workplace flexibility without compromising the goals of the business. 
      • With your positive intent, thoughtful planning, and regular self-assessments, there’s nothing holding you back! Tell your employer about Gravida if you want to build a positive workplace culture from the inside out. 


Your Baby


Babies grow rapidly during the first 2 years of life, both physically and cognitively. Every day they learn about their environment and create new connections between nerve cells within their brains, and between their brains and bodies. Although physical growth and change is easily observed and measured in inches and pounds, cognitive change and development is harder to track. It’s kind of like breastfeeding; you never know how much they’re getting or if you’re doing it right. Nurturing your baby’s cognitive growth can feel similarly confusing, but it’s worth learning how to help in small ways. Here are a few practical tips to add to your toolbag:

  • When your soon-to-be toddler attempts a new skill—for example, climbing on the couch—instead of responding with fear or concern, talk your child through safe ways to get up and down from the couch. Provide them with some assistance, but let them problem-solve .If you notice your baby is getting frustrated, provide the help she needs to master the challenge (mostly!) on her own.
  • Help your baby avoid the fear of failure! You can harness a more positive mindset by praising your baby’s process and attempts to complete a new task. (Even if the results aren’t what you or she wanted!) Honoring effort and having patience with learning processes gives your baby a safe space to practice without pressure. You’re helping her focus on persistence rather than perfection.


What to do if:


You’re Pregnant:

  • Practice mindfulness. Check out Expectful for a few exercises!
  • Try a meditation yoga class to calm your mind and center your breathing (great prep work for labor!)


You’re Postpartum:

  • Take time for yourself. Schedule a solo outing or a long brunch with friends. Plan a date night with your partner, even if it’s at home in your pajamas watching reruns. 
  • If you’re at all nostalgic (and haven’t done so already), consider starting a scrapbook of baby’s first year. Now is a great time to collect those first memories and preserve them.


The biggest hurdle?

Feeling burned-out and tired of all the “lessons” your child is teaching you. If you find that you’re losing perspective, patience, and energy, it’s time to figure out if you need space to recoup or if you’re being stretched in ways that are uncomfortable but important. You may want to consider working with a mental health therapist, talking with your partner, or confiding in a trusted friend to get the support and renewal in focus you need.