Our (extended) family : The Fourth Trimester

 We are so excited to share - this is the second in our new blog series we are working on called Our (extended) Family!  We have decided to rid our website of our lackluster "referral" and "resource" lists for something much more thoughtful, interactive, and useful! We will be featuring our favorite local businesses, services, organizations, and people. Our (extended) family that we are constantly referring our families to. We want you to know who they are, what they stand for, and how they can actually help you!

If you know anyone who is featured here- please feel free to leave a comment telling everyone what your experience has been in working with them! We love building this big beautiful community with y'all! 

I had the honor to walk along side these ladies during their last pregnancies and attend Emily's home birth of her sweet boy Marlin. It is so special to see mamas get together and start something awesome! Even though I am a CLC myself- it can be difficult to provide the one on one lactation support a new mama can need when I am busy taking care of the midwifery side of things. These ladies have stepped up to the plate when our clients needed some extra support and we are so happy to share their talents with y'all! 

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" The Fourth Trimester provides in-home lactation support for the Tampa Bay Area, and have seen moms from as far north as Land O Lakes to as far south as Gulfport, from the Gulf beaches to Tampa. Some of our mamas are struggling to get breastfeeding established at all and others are already breastfeeding but feel that things could be better. 

New parents love that we come to them, instead of them having to go to another appointment, and we love it too. When there are feeding concerns it is not easy to leave the house, and we understand that. Also, there is something so marvelously sacred in working with babies and women around the time that they give birth and it feels most respectful to work with them on their turf.

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Our postpartum support session is a block of time where we work with a mama and baby in their home to establish or improve breastfeeding in general, and to ensure that she has all of the information and support needed to meet her breastfeeding goals. Hospital policies immediately after birth are especially chaotic and often overwhelming. We encourage her to slow down and connect with her baby. We focus on her needs, her story, and provide her with a safe space to discuss her fears. And we teach her how to breastfeed her baby, the most practical of skills. When we leave an in-home lactation support session, mama and baby are more often than not tucked into bed or cozied up on the couch together nursing- and they have a plan for what to do after we are gone. We stay in touch by phone and email as needed, too.

Other Fourth Trimester service offerings include prenatal breastfeeding education, like our original class Preparing for the Fourth Trimester, and back-to-work counseling for mamas who will be pumping and storing milk. Our website has a lot of detailed information about all of these service offerings.

One way that The Fourth Trimester is so unique is that we work in a team dynamic and are able to bring a wide range of professional and personal experience to client consults. We also have a real knack for listening and communicating. We spend time connecting with our mamas, guiding them towards breastfeeding success. Having long unhurried appointments is one of the reason our clients love us so much. 

Something else that we are really proud of is the public advocacy work we do in addition to private lactation support, for example, the Breastfeeding Welcome Here campaign. It is a departure from the typical business model, but we feel that it is an important project- it is one of our little "babies". Oh, and while we are on the subject of what makes us unique- we're also able to accept Spanish speaking clients, whom we feel are a largely under-served audience in the natural birth and baby world.

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We bonded over a mutual passion for assisting mamas with breastfeeding related concerns and our vision for building a business of our own that would provide the consistent evidence-based support that is so desperately needed in our community. While we were aware of support groups, hospital classes, and outpatient breastfeeding help, it felt like there was a real need for what we had to offer. The timing was perfect, so we jumped in together.

Our mission is to be a supportive, knowledgeable, trustworthy safety net that helps women to meet their own breastfeeding goals. Being a "safety net", to us, means helping to catch mamas who are struggling with some aspect of feeding their baby and to land them safely on their own two feet. We take that objective with us into each client visit!

What is a typical day like for The Fourth Trimester Team?

It depends on the day! Many workdays are spent with our babies playing beside us, while we do client follow ups and schedule home visits. Other days, we are out driving to appointments, either together or separately.

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What does "The Fourth Trimester" mean?

"The Fourth Trimester" is a phrase coined by the author Susan Brink referring to the first few months of babyhood as "a crucial bridge from the comfortable world of the uterus to life in the world we all know" and "a period of intense development in which infants have more in common with the fetuses they were than with the human babies they are becoming." 

We wholeheartedly agree with this and find that it is a common stumbling block for new parents who expect that the baby will be born and will do certain things right away. What a great reminder that we, as a culture, need to encourage new parents to take it slow in the early months as they get acclimated. 

How can parents reach you to schedule an in home visit or prenatal breastfeeding class?

They can email us at fourthtri@gmail.com, or call 727-657-7370 or 727-452-4809. "

 
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