Years ago, I realized that I was spending nearly one-quarter to one-third of my time in prenatals discussing postpartum plans. I had families–in plural–tell me of the pressure they felt after their firstborn to “bounce back” and “have it all together” within a week of giving birth. I would say things like “if the body had a ‘richter scale,’ giving birth would be a 10,” and “birthing a new human is a major life transition and deserves lots of time to adjust.” I had new mothers calling me weeks after birth, asking “is it supposed to still hurt this much?” only to find that their own activity level had been preventing healing.
Our society just does not do postpartum well. And I got tired of helping support a family through the end of pregnancy, through their birth, and then metaphorically dropping them off a cliff with a happy wave and a cheerful “Good job! Enjoy your baby!” right as things got exhausting and confusing. The term of the “fourth trimester” came about because families are still going through an intense time of growth and vulnerability after they have their baby, and there are specific needs that simply require support. Birth is not the end point, after which life gets “normal” quickly; birth is the pivot point at which the REAL time of transition begins.
As an initial step to help support this precious and massive season a bit better, I created handouts specific for postpartum norms and healthy expectations. I started meeting families at their houses when they got home from their birthing place, and helped them settle in that first night with their baby. I got certified as a teacher/mentor with The Better Baby Class, so I could offer some information ahead of time. And I started saving up.
This summer, I had the funds to cover my tuition for Bastyr University, so that I could go back and take the course to really be educated in how to support families postpartum. It was amazing and intense–I took a nap every day for a week after I was done. I learned so much and understand even more now how important the first few weeks are after birthing. Support and care are VITAL for families with new babies.
So now, I’m ready. I’ve read so many books, and I’m still going strong on a pretty tall stack. I’ve taken my course, I’ve plotted out my paperwork, but mostly, I’m ready to come with all my love and help to take care of you and your family as you adjust to your new little one.
Worried if your baby is getting enough milk? I know the signs of a well-fed baby and can reassure you when they’re there. Is that latch just not comfortable yet? If my tips and adjustments aren’t enough, I know some great lactation consultants. Do you feel like you are always needing something when you sit down to nurse? I’m here to create a couple of “nests” for you that have everything within reach. Are you so exhausted that you can’t see straight, but you feel like you can’t “shut off” in case your baby squeaks? I’ll hold their precious little selves and care for them lovingly while you get in a much-deserved deep nap. And there’s no hungry like a breastfeeding hungry. I can prepare a light meal for you while your hands are busy, so you can stay nourished. Does an older sibling need some time? I”m happy to read a few stories or play a game with them OR hold your newborn while you get in some quality time. Is that sweet baby fussy? Let’s try a new swaddle method, or a few other ways that typically help soothe a little one.
We are currently seeing a wonderful shift in society as there is a general realization of the beauty, importance, and needs inherent to the Fourth Trimester. While families had more organic community support a hundred years ago, we are now realizing how necessary that kind of care is. And I’m ready. Let’s make the Fourth Trimester a time of joyful nurturing and bonding for both your baby AND you, and make sure your whole family gets the care and support that they need.
To start getting this important support ASAP, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, text me at 425 359 9661, or check my availability and message me through DoulaMatch.