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  • B.Webster

The Fourth Trimester: Postpartum Reflections

You may be thinking, "there is no FOURTH trimester," but ask any mother where her energy was focused during pregnancy and afterwards, who the registry and gifts were for, what everyone was asking - inevitably the answer revolves around 'baby'. What if we allowed for a Fourth trimester, to heal and nourish mama?

What if instead of all the focus being on baby, we extended an invitation to the mother - to slow down, be generous with herself, thoughtful about what is allowed into her home and accepting of the many unique challenges to come...

A neatly arranged child's closet showing books, toys and clothing.

My Story:

As an expectant mother, I found that the focus of maternity seemed to be on preparing for childbirth and creating a beautiful nursery room for my baby. I could find books, guides, blogs and advice on morning sickness, birthing techniques, baby equipment and decorating - but those post-birth weeks when a mother is at her most vulnerable, when days are filled with feeding, changing, naps (and if you’re lucky you sneak in a shower) are shrouded in mystery. No one talks about the postpartum period!

Only a few select girlfriends imparted some honest words of wisdom having recently struggled through this time themselves. In the Western world, by and large, we’re encouraged to get back to routine, work, our ‘pre-baby’ body. These impossible standards, glorified in the media, on social, even by friends and family, are so far beyond reach, yet they are the models to which we hold ourselves accountable.

When you grow up surrounded by comments such as “You can’t even tell she had a baby!” “So, when are you heading back to work?” your perspective and self-worth become invested in these Western societal expectations that leave little room for honouring the process of becoming a mother.

A Field Guide to Postpartum

In reality, we should be preparing and celebrating mothers postpartum with as much care and enthusiasm as we place on welcoming a baby into the world. One of my favourite books, which I discovered late in my pregnancy, is the first forty days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou. While my partner concerned himself with putting together furniture, I stocked the pantry and freezer, prepared body oils and sugar scrubs and re-read Ou’s advice, determined to give myself time to properly recover post-baby.

It is through this lens, based on my own experiences both as a mother and working with fellow moms that I created “A Field Guide to Postpartum”. With a focus on nourishing moms, recognizing and allowing for changes in our bodies, carving out moments of self-care, and introducing sustainable living practices, this in-person workshop helps to set the stage for a smoother transition into postpartum – whether you are a first-time mom, a caregiver, or simply wanting to incorporate more sustainable practices and healthier habits into your everyday, the emphasis is on THRIVING rather than surviving.

Some areas of focus to ease the transition from pregnancy to postpartum:

1. Food as your postpartum medicine Thoughtful preparation of the pantry and fridge, focusing on warming and nourishing drinks and meals, and having a list of local options to call upon, including friends and family.

2. Slow movement, with intention Learn how to accommodate and support a changing body; introducing movement in a gentle way, including massages and scrubs, baths and swimming, yoga and meditation.

3. Time moves differently post-baby Letting go of old routines, giving permission to slow down, and knowing that this too will give way to a different pace as baby grows, are key to avoiding burnout.

4. Making space, instead of filling it

Preparing for a baby extends beyond the nursery. De-cluttering before allowing more stuff into the home, and waiting on decisions will save money, time and energy in the long run.

Request a customized workshop, exploring the needs of mothers and how to best support, nourish and thrive during this time.


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