Workshop schedule

Do you like a good tasting menu? Yeah me, too.

This day was created to offer you a little bit of a number of things. In the future, we plan to be able to offer more in-depth workshops as well, but for our annual conferences, you’ll have an hour with each workshop facilitator who will give you some of their best stuff on the topic of the workshop, and suggest where you can get more if you want to go deeper.

Please remember to bring a notebook and pen to sessions. In the interest of keeping our paper consumption to a minimum, everyone will receive an e-book with the handouts for all 20 workshops in early November.

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the format

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:

  • Trimester 1 stream: you’re planning/trying to conceive or expecting a baby in May 2019 or later.

  • Trimester 2 stream: you’re pregnant and expecting a baby between February and April 2019

  • Trimester 3 stream: you’re pregnant and expecting a baby between November 2018 and January 2019

  • Trimester 4 stream: your baby’s birthday is (or will be) between October 2017 and October 2018

  • The Swing Stream is for anyone in any trimester, with many workshops of particular interest to partners.

If you’re uncertain about which stream you fit into best, or which workshops would be best for partners/non-birth parents, 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 to you.

Workshop descriptions

Trimester 1 stream

1A. Wholesome Food Prep for Busy People with Jae Steele and Alex James

Most of us could probably eat better. And we all know a healthy diet supports the growth of a healthy baby. But along with all our other daily responsibilities, it’s not always easy to actually make good food happen at home. Join nutritionists Jae and Alex to offer simple ideas for integrating more whole foods into your meals and snacks. Jae is a two-time award-winning cookbook author, and Alex does in-home meal preparation for families in the early postpartum, so you can rest assured you’re in good culinary hands.

1B. Naturopathic Approaches to Prenatal Wellness with Rachel Schwartzman

Being pregnant with your growing baby is such an exciting time. It is also a time filled with many questions. We'll discussing what supplements can be taken in pregnancy, what herbs are safe, and her top food picks to include in your diet. Bring your questions and get ready for a fun-filled interactive talk on optimizing your pregnant self with naturopathic medicine.

1C. Creating a Healthy Home for a Healthy Baby with Emma Rohmann

Studies are increasingly raising concern about toxic chemicals hidden throughout our homes and their impact on our health - especially for babies and young children. The problem is, information about these chemicals is confusing, and tips to reduce your exposure are often not practical. This workshop that will leave you with the tools and knowledge to not only confidently shop for non-toxic products for you and your baby, but also implement easy and cost effective habits to reduce toxics in each room of your home.

Drawing on Emma’s extensive science-based research and experience coaching dozens of families on detoxing their home, she will help you by cutting through greenwashing, prioritizing what really matters, and working within your budget and lifestyle.

1D. Alignment for all 4 Trimesters 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!

Trimester 2 stream

2A. Passing Through the Gate: Birth as Your Rite of Passage with Rhondda Smiley

While our culture often treats birth as a medical event, childbearing can be a profound opportunity for our personal transformation and growth. Explore how meaningful ritual, ceremony and storytelling can honour and enrich your unique journey.  

2B. Coping Strategies for Labour with Corina Tudor

There are as many ways to give birth as there are people. Keeping this in mind, Corina will share several coping methods for labour based on movement, touch, breath, and mindfulness. In this highly interactive workshop, Corina will share how to adapt these coping methods to both medicated and unmediated contexts as well as how to figure out what works best for you! You will leave this workshop with more knowledge about coping methods, regardless of the setting, and confidence to focus on which methods you like best! 

2C. Birth and your Pelvic Floor: Preparation for a healthy pregnancy, delivery and recovery with Melanie Stevens Sutherland

The pelvic floor, like many systems of the body, goes through tremendous change during pregnancy and through delivery. Unlike other traditional discussions around pregnancy however, the pelvic floor is often less acknowledged or considered when planning for a healthy pregnancy and recovery.  In this workshop we will explore the role of a healthy pelvic floor through pregnancy and how you can be an active participant in preparing your pelvic floor for labour and a successful recovery. We will discuss the physical, mental and habitual factors that play a role in supporting pelvic health as well as practical applications to improve and strengthen pelvic tone.

2D. Labour Support & Birth Preferences with Jae Steele and Corina Tudor

The path your labour takes isn’t something you can predict. You can’t “to do list” your way through this event, so writing “birth plan” can lead to disappointment. It is, however, helpful to begin to get in touch with what actions and support you might 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. Creating a Postpartum Mood Support Plan with Emily Claire Blackmoon

Bringing a new child into the world can be a draining, rewarding, painful and exciting experience for any parent. Managing your mood, expectations and needs is critical for both the well-being of yourself, and for your newborn. This workshop is designed to give you thoughtful and practical ideas on how to listen to your mind, heart, body and soul after birth, to intentionally create your own vision for what you need as the parent of a new child.

 3B. Breastfeeding Preparation 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 nourishing your new tiny human. This 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!).

 3C. The Art & 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.

 3D. Keeping Baby Close: Babywearing Basics with Jennifer Lee and Rhondda Smiley

You will soon be responsible for a tiny human being who's the greatest comfort is your embrace. A baby carrier is a useful parenting tool that can help free your hands while meeting the attachment and contact needs of your baby, such as prompt response to baby’s communication and frequent feedings. In this workshop, we will cover the main benefits of babywearing related to infant development and responsive parenting, carrier types and how to wear your baby safely. We also hope to simplify babywearing to help you smoothly transition into parenthood because it is such a life-changing and practical skill. 

Trimester 4 stream

4A. Rest and Replenishment: A traditional Chinese medicine perspective with Naomi Frank
The postpartum stage is considered a vitally important time to take care of yourself. This time of transformation provides a wonderful opportunity to profoundly nurture your own health; which in turn impacts your baby's health.  Naomi will share some key concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that help us to understand common postpartum challenges. You will leave with some easy home care suggestions including acupressure points and food suggestions. And you will understand why your grandmother tells you to stay out of cold drafts.

4B. Play with your Baby! Stimulating your infant’s motor and cognitive development with Dima Alsakka

Baby’s development in the first year of life lays the groundwork for a lifetime of well-being. Infant play is essential for proper cognitive, gross motor and fine motor development, and can also help prevent issues such as “flat head” and torticollis (tight neck). This workshop will help you learn age-appropriate motor and sensory play techniques to use with your infant in the first year. You will learn how to use different forms play to stimulate your baby’s communication skills, strengthen their motor skills and increase caregiver-infant attachment.

4C. Diastasis and the Postpartum Body with Janette Yee

Every body that has grown a human will experience diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA), or commonly referred to as “split abs”. During pregnancy, your abdominals stretch to accommodate a growing baby, causing weakness and malalignment in your core muscles. It is therefore imperative to re-strengthen, re-train, and re-align the body. This is even more important if you’ve had a C-section. In this practical hands-on workshop, you will learn simple and effective home exercises to address your DRA. You will leave with a deeper understanding of the changes in your body during and after pregnancy, as well as the link between DRA recovery and injury prevention.

4D. Pleasure after Kids 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!

Swing Stream

5A. Panel discussion: Supporting the Pregnant/Postpartum Person You Love

We don’t want the baby-growing person in our lives to feel like they are moving through the 4 Trimesters alone, but it can be challenging to know how to best support them as their partner when things are changing for us, too. Join a panel of experienced parents as they candidly share their experiences of supporting their pregnant or postpartum partner. They will let you in on what they did that was meaningful for the baby-growing person in their life, and even ways that they messed up, to save you from doing the same! 

5B. Superfood Babies with Esther Epp

Introducing solids to your baby’s diet is such a significant part of their first year. This foundational stage is full of questions for parents: When is baby is ready? How do solids fit in to the breastmilk/formula-feeding routine? What they should be offered and when for optimal nutrition? Do you give purées, do Baby-Led Weaning, or a bit of both! As a paediatric nutrition expert, Esther is prepared to answer your questions and share the latest research for growing a healthy child.  She will identify the three most commonly missed but critical nutrients in your little’s diet, and give meal preparation tips to make it easy and enjoyable for you both.

5C. What is Attachment? Fostering Connection with your Baby with Jae Steele

Attachment Parenting is a term Dr. William Sears came up with in the early 1980s, and is more popular than ever as an approach to caring for children. But the research on Attachment Theory has been around since the 1950s, and it is actually defined by one thing all parents can do, even if you don’t breastfeed or bedshare.

With a foundation in infant mental health research, this session will give you the chance to identify your own values as a parent, clarify outdated ideas most of us have about babies’ brains, and learn how to build a relationship with your child through gentle and responsive parenting.

5D. Parenthood Awakening: The unexpected lost and found story of a husband, father and doctor with Yashar Khosroshahi

 As a first-time expectant parent, Yashar couldn’t wait for all the joy his new baby would bring. What he wasn’t prepared for was that the joy didn’t come instantly, and how much that would rock his world. It was the most life changing period of his life yet, but not in any of the cliché or superficial ways he had read about and felt prepared for. Join Yashar as he shares the latest in mind-body medicine with his open-hearted personal experience of becoming a new parent.


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