Understanding the 4th trimester is a new free 4 week course facilitated by Hannah Ashford.

What is the 4th trimester?

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each lasting approximately three months. The 4th trimester refers to the first three months of your new baby’s life. This article from the NCT talks about what to expect during this time.

Who is the course for?

Our course is suitable for new and expectant parents/couples. You can start the course at any point from 32 weeks of pregnancy to when your baby is 8 weeks of age. This is a free course open only to parents/caregivers who live within the districts of North Devon & Torridge.

What are the benefits of attending this course?

You will have the opportunity to chat to others about life with a newborn baby and cover a range of topics from feeding to safe sleep. In addition to the four Zoom sessions there will also be a WhatsApp group limited to those attending the course. You will learn about where you can get further support and have an opportunity to ask any burning questions.

What will the course cover?

The main topics this course will cover are:

  • Meeting your baby
  • Adjusting to life as a new parent/family
  • Feeding your baby (breastfeeding & responsive bottle/combi feeding)
  • Safe sleep and coping with less sleep
  • Unsettled babies & crying
  • Looking after your mental & physical health
  • Further support

However, there will be opportunity to ask questions throughout the course.

Is this the same a virtual family focus?

No, this is complementary to the Health Visiting Service support offered through virtual family focus. You midwife and health visitor are health professionals that can give advice on your personal situation. There may be areas where support in the 4th trimester overlaps.

Why did you decide to start this course?

As a company we learned a lot during 2020 about how tricky new parents have found adjusting to life with a new baby. Within the Facebook group Early Nourishment Online we have seen a lot of discussion amongst the community. A common theme which reoccurs is not knowing whether baby’s bahviour or how a person feels is normal or something to worry about. We noticed that many of the questions and posts requesting support mirror the conversations which normally take place at our drop-ins or baby groups. The two primary aims of this course are to help parents understand typical baby behavour (including where to access further support) and also to meet others locally with similar aged babies. Hopefully, this means when restrictions are eased, course participants will know other local parents.

How will the course be structured?

There will be weekly topics to learn about. During the session you will be placed into smaller groups (breakout rooms) by Hannah to discuss things and complete activities. The course will be interactive and there will be plenty of time to get to know other members of the group.

What can the course facilitator support with?

Hannah is the project manager of Nourished Feeding project for Early Nourishment and sits on our board of directors. Hannah has a Bsc honours degree in Breastfeeding Counselling, Approaches to Mental Health and Young Lives, Parenting & families. She has been supporting local families for over a decade with her person-centered & non-judgmental approach. We can support with infant feeding, emotional issues surrounding parenthood and helping you to feel less isolated and alone. As a company we are aware of the value of being complimentary to statuatory services not to replace them. We do not offer medical advice or information on complex issues, we will always encourage you to seek further support from your midwife or health visitor in those instances.

Will the course move to in-person if restrictions ease?

We will keep each course online if it started online but may run face-to-face courses in the future when resitrctions allow and if as a company we feel this can be done safely.

How can I book?

Have a look at the events section on our website for details of the next upcoming course.