Our workshop schedule is streamed into four trimesters. This structure provides families with the information they need precisely when they need it. It also groups together parents who are on similar timelines and have related concerns.
The 4 Trimesters Conference has been scheduled in a unique way to offer you useful and inspiring information for exactly where you’re at on your reproductive journey, and have you connect over the day with the other attendees who are in the same place on the baby-growing road. The streams are arranged as follows:
If you’re trying to conceive or expecting a baby in May 2018 or later, you’re in the Trimester 1 stream.
If you’re pregnant and expecting a baby between February and April 2018, you’re in the Trimester 2 stream.
If you’re pregnant and expecting a baby between November 2017 and January 2018, you’re in the Trimester 3 stream.
If your baby’s birthday is (or will be) between May and October 2017, you’re in the Trimester 4 stream.
If you’re uncertain about which stream you fit into best, feel free to shoot us an email to check. If, for example, though you’ve been given two “due dates” and one is late April 2018 and the other is early May, feel free to select either stream 1 or 2, whichever has more workshops of interest you you.
Trimester 1 Stream
1A. Alignment for Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond with Janet Walker
Alignment matters! Your structure affects how your body functions. Having everything in the right place and moving freely promotes a healthy pregnancy and birth. It’s key to fetal position and the natural onset of labor. And essential for reducing the risk of retained diastasis recti and preventing pelvic floor problems!
In this workshop, we’ll look at how you can position yourself, and baby, for optimal health. You’ll learn a simple body scan to check your alignment and some easy everyday moves to keep your whole body moving well for pregnancy, birth and beyond!
1B. Herbs for the 4 Trimesters with Michelle Richea
We’ll walk through every stage of pregnancy, from pregnancy planning to the postpartum period to explore safe and effective herbal treatment options used to support the health of parent and baby. We’ll review common pregnancy concerns with a discussion of herbal remedies - both evidence-based and traditional herbal treatments will be explored providing guidance and know-how for their safe and appropriate use. The goal is to provide everyone with the knowledge to make safe and informed choices with herbs throughout the four trimesters.
1C. Foods to Fuel Baby-growing with Tehseen Meghji
Nutrition is one of the most confusing health topics right now. But pregnancy is not the time to get bogged down by some completely new health regimen. You can make healthful food choices that suit your tastes and what’s important to you without it being complex. In this session we’ll work to sidestep shame and rules, and discuss the nutritional considerations specific to pregnancy – from nausea, to blood sugar balancing, to reducing inflammation. Come with your questions and complaints and leave with some applicable approaches to nourishing yourself and your growing babe.
1D. Detox Your Home before Baby with Emma Rohmann
In this workshop, you will learn the latest science behind the chemicals in products around your home and how they affect our health. We will specifically discuss ways in which you can reduce your baby's exposure to toxics at home, and why this is important for their health and development. We will discuss baby products, cleaners, housekeeping strategies, and more. You will leave this session feeling confident to make decisions that feel right for you, without being overwhelmed or afraid.
Trimester 2 Stream
2A. Movement for Pregnancy with Kira Liss
From a yoga background, Kira will share ways to move your body safely during pregnancy to deal with common aches and pains and prepare for labour, birth and postpartum. This practical, hands-on workshop will provide opportunities to move, as well as explore the why behind familiar poses. You will leave this workshop with a deeper understanding of why moving during pregnancy is important and how to do so safely, in a group class or at home.
2B. Coping Strategies for Labour with Megan Tasker and Taylor LeBlanc
Inspired by the intelligence of the body and the integral role movement plays for coping during labour. Taylor and Megan will share three go-to positions to use during labour and delivery that will help baby get in an optimal fetal position while also helping you cope! They will also share how to adapt these positions if you have opted for medical supports and are no longer able to get up and move. You will leave this workshop with a better understanding of how the body works during labour and more confidence as you prepare for birth!
2C. Getting the Support you Need for your Birth with Kelly Maslen
Birth can be an intimidating prospect for most parents. The "when" and the "for how long" of it is something that can't be precisely predicted. With the health of the baby is the prime focus, expectant parent don't prepare to look after themselves for the experience of giving birth. But this is your birth too, and you can use your primal instincts to navigate this rite of passage. Trusting your body-mind connection is essential. Trust in your birth team is also key. Do they support your needs and wishes? Partners and family members can be a comforting familiar presence during childbirth, but they aren't always able to help manage your fears and discomfort, or provide balance if something doesn't go as planned. In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of empowering and skilled support, so you can experience the birth you desire.
2D. Identifying your Birth Preferences and communicating them to your Care Team with Jae Steele
It can be empowering to know your options when it comes to your labour and birth. The path your labour takes isn’t something you can predict, you can’t “to do list” your way through this event, so a “birth plan” can lead to disappointment. It is, however, helpful to begin to get in touch with what you would want in various situations. There are choices for you as the parent to make when it comes to positions and movement, pain management, use of medication and cord blood, and considerations should interventions be recommended or baby needs special care upon arrival. You will leave this session with a deeper sense of what you value for your birth, and some creative ideas for how to effectively communicate this to anyone present at your birth, both in emotionally and clinically supportive roles.
Trimester 3 Stream
3A. Acupuncture for Labour Prep and Induction - what's the difference and why does it matter? with Michelle Kapler
It is widely known and researched that acupuncture can be used to induce labour. But there are times when it may not be appropriate or successful. Learn about the difference between labour induction and labour prep, and which method may be the best option for your pregnancy.
3B. Keeping Baby Close: Infant feeding and Babywearing with Jae Steele
Many of us are so excited about the birth and arrival of our baby that we forget to consider some of the initial logistics we need to be aware of once baby is here, namely feeding and comforting your new tiny human. With a focus on what all newborns want most (to be held close), his information-packed session will provide you with the basics of infant feeding so you don’t have to learn the skills from scratch in the immediate postpartum (recovering from the birth and usually quite sleep-deprived!). We will also review the impressive benefits of skin-to-skin time, and take a look at the most common styles of newborn carriers, addressing miss the safety considerations and benefits of each.
3C. Creating a Postpartum Mood Support Plan with Olivia Scobie
Life with a newborn is a pretty intense experience. Parents often describe it as a time of extremes: extreme love, extreme joy, extreme overwhelm, or extreme exhaustion. While we can’t control everything that happens as we adjust to life with a baby, there are things we can do to foster a sense of postpartum resiliency. Join Olivia Scobie as she walks you through the six core concepts that support health parental mood during the adjustment to life with a baby. Every participant will also receive a Postpartum Mood Support Planning Template.
3D. The Art and Science of Infant Sleep with Ruth Ruttan
All parents deserve, first and foremost, to be presented with the facts – information based in science about their baby’s rhythms and sleep needs. On the other hand, there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and that is where the art of sleep comes in! In this workshop we will we will unravel some common myths around infant sleep, and become familiar with “normal infant sleep biology”. Together we’ll address parental expectations, and educate on the realities of infant sleep. Together Participants will begin to develop the tools needed to create balance and foster healthy and safe sleep habits for the entire family.
Trimester 4 Stream
4A. Expectations, Frustrations & Success: staying sane and happy as a parent with Rhondda Smiley
We all long to be parenting rock stars, sailing confidently through challenges while seeing our children thrive. But in reality we're plagued by a dialogue of guilt, doubt and failure - "I blew it!", "I'm going to scar my child", and the classic "I'm just not doing enough" - while battling with our kids. Using the tools of mindfulness, explore a shift in perception that can turn the negative narrative into your parenting success story - for your kids, for yourself. Discover more patience, acceptance, compassion and joy on the path of parenting.
4B. Building Blood - The Foundation of Rebuilding Menstrual Health Postpartum with Michelle Kapler
Chinese Medicine is significantly focused on the health of the blood when it comes to the practice of gynaecology, especially postpartum. Learn the significance of optimizing the quality and quantity of your blood after having a baby, in order to restore menstrual health - through herbs, foods and self-care practices.
4C. Your Birth Story: The joy, trauma and everything in between with Vania Sukola
In this interactive workshop, we will discuss ways that you can hold space for your birth story. The re-telling of this important event can be very healing but also carries potential pain as well. We will learn about safe and nurturing ways to capture our stories. We will have time in the workshop to practice some key expressive arts based tools that can be used. When we are able to unpack the birth story for ourselves, we can find ways to be more resilient and present as new parents. You are the author of your story. Our stories are powerful: There is no right or wrong way to process our birth stories. Please join us.
4D. Pleasure after Kids: Sex and intimacy postpartum with Tynan Rhea
Pleasure is important to our health and well-being. Having children, whether you’re co-parenting with others or going solo, can have a huge impact on sexual health and relationships. In this workshop, we will discuss common obstacles in postpartum sexuality, identify different ways to experience pleasure with partners, and map a sexy space!
KEYNOTE (all Streams)
We're in this Together: Creating a community of support from Teresa Pitman
You've heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but those helpful villages are proving hard to find these days. How can you build the community you need? This session will talk about the supports parents need and practical, real-life ways to create the community that will enrich your life now and for the future.