4 Trimesters is an annual perinatal conference that aims to support and educate budding families in Toronto. Aimed at parents who are trying to conceive, are expecting a child, or caring for a newborn, the conference’s uniquely streamed content is designed to connect parents with the information and resources they need, right when they need them.
Founded and programmed by trained midwife, infant mental health specialist, holistic nutritionist and cookbook author Jae Steele, the conference offers a holistic view of pregnancy and baby care. In 4 Trimesters' first year, she reached out to more than a dozen of her most respected colleagues in the perinatal support community to create four different workshop streams -- each one designed for a different stage of the baby-making journey. For this second conference, word has gotten around, so new practitioners applied to facilitate, and an additional stream of workshops has been added to support partners.
Pregnancy, in clinical terms, has three trimesters. The first trimester is approximately the first three months of a nine-month pregnancy. The second trimester is the second three-months, and the third trimester is the last three months. Each of these trimesters has its own flavour, because of the physical changes of pregnancy and fetal developments. For example, during the second trimester, a pregnant person might have less nausea and more energy than they did in the first. They will also start to feel fetal movement during this trimester.
In recent years, the idea of a “fourth trimester” has become a popular way to describe the first few months of a newborn’s life. Baby is still small and vulnerable and needs to be kept close, in conditions that mimic the womb. As well, gestational parents need extra nurturing and support during this sensitive time.
4 Trimesters aims to foster relationships – both professional and social – for people in each of the four trimesters. For example, during the first trimester, parents may be thinking about detoxing their homes. In the second trimester, families may be making a plan for birth. In the third trimester, caregivers often have questions about sleeping arrangements and baby carrying. In the fourth trimester, families are adapting to the new normal.
The presenters at the 4 Trimesters Conference are local practitioners with a variety of specialties, but they are brought together by common goals.
Families have never just occurred in one uncomplicated nuclear unit. We’re grateful to be living in a time and society where there is more openness about (and support for) families of all descriptions. In that spirit of openness, and from an intersectional feminist framework, 4 Trimesters wishes to state clearly that the intention of this conference is to be inclusive of the diverse paths and shapes of Toronto families.
No matter if you are a biological or an adoptive parent
No matter if your pregnancy was planned in detail or came as a complete surprise
No matter if you’re on this path with a partner, more than one partner, or solo
No matter what kind of birth you (have) planned or had
No matter the gender, sex, ethnicity, religion, or abilities of you, your close family members, or baby/baby-to-be
We want you to feel welcome as you are, no matter who you are.
Should you, at any time, feel that your needs for inclusion are not being met, please reach out by sending us an email. We want to learn more about how we can accommodate you.