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The 4th Trimester...why Americans suck at it.

I have given birth nine different times, and I never understood the importance of the time known as the "4th Trimester". The 4th trimester is the time from birth to around 12 weeks. This period is when your baby is learning about the world, and you are learning how to survive the hours of no sleep and cannot drink enough cups of coffee. There are traditions to protect the precious early weeks in the postpartum time in many other countries and cultures.

In China, they have a tradition known as zuo yuezi or "the Gateway." The gateway is the place between one way of being (life before baby) and a completely new existence (life with your baby). Much care is taken to protect the mother from anything that would cause her chi to from being disrupted.

In Latin America, women are placed in a la cuarentena, translated quarantine. Mothers stay home for 40 days to ward off chances of becoming overly exhausted or ill. They are wrapped in a faja, which is a long piece of fabric to keep their belly warm.