My name is Sophie Messager and I am on a mission to revolutionise the postpartum.
Everywhere around the world, there used to be a period of about a month after birth during which the new mother was taken care of completely. Family members, or members of the community, used to take charge of the household (chores, older kids etc), make sure the mother rested, provided specific nourishing foods, and well as give or organise some bodywork, such as postpartum binding or massage. It was a ubiquitous practice in every continent (and still is in many parts of the world today). In the Western world, we used to have this too in living memory.
I do not know why we forgot, but I know that what we have isn’t adequate, and that our lack of understanding of this fundamental need puts new mothers under intense stress. As a doula I have been witnessing new mothers struggle alone, trying to meet their own needs and the intense needs of their newborn babies. Not only this, but there is also intense pressure for new mothers to “go back to normal” as fast as possible, which contributes to feelings of inadequacy and suffering. Because we have lost sight of the needs of new mothers, mothers often blame themselves for their suffering, wondering what is wrong with them, instead of seeing that their struggle is caused by a culture that fails to understand and support them.
Having witnessed this struggle over 10 years, I have wanted to do something to change it.
In 2020 I published a book called Why postnatal recovery matters, which is a call to action for a change towards a more nurturing postpartum. I wrote it because I wanted to provide knowledge and practical ideas for both new families and the people who support them.
I decided to create an online course based on the principles highlighted in the book. The course provides more of a held experience, as it is divided into bite sized modules and lessons, and because in each module there is a video where I introduce the topic. I have also expanded on the knowledge I gathered over many years as a doula and perinatal educator, and expanded to write the book and which I have carried on acquiring since. As well as all the videos and text to read, one of the entirely new aspects that the course provides are questionnaires in each of the modules, which you can download and print. These questionnaires encourage you to explore your beliefs and your hopes and fears on each particular topic. You can then revisit the questionnaire after each module, to see if anything has changed. This provides a deep enquiry process which can be transformative.
After completing this course you will have:
- Learnt about traditional postpartum wisdom, and why we need it back
- Gained a solid understanding of why preparing for the postpartum is essential
- Learnt about your own beliefs and needs for the postpartum.
- Learnt about the 4 pillars of the postpartum: Social support, rest, food and bodywork, and how to make them work for you
- Learnt why hiring help, in particular a doula, can be a game changer
- Learnt how to write a postnatal recovery plan
- Learnt about preparing for every eventuality, including the unexpected
By the end of this course, you will feel confident and armed with the tools your need to have a supportive the postpartum recovery, one that places the new mother firmly at the centre.
This course is for you if you are an expectant or new parent, or if you are someone who supports expectant and new parents.
What makes this course, and my approach, unique?
- I have a unique blend of scientific, theoretical and practical experience. I was a biology research scientist for 20 year prior to reconverting to being a doula. What I bring is my unique signature mix of scientific, traditional, and practical knowledge.
- The course is full of scientific references, with clickable links you can follow, and also full of traditional wisdom.
- I have extracted the fundamental principles of what constitues a good postpartum recovery, looking at what is common between cultures rather than specific in each individual culture, and divided them into 4 simple principles which are easy to apply. This means that you can make it work for you and your unique family and circumstances.
- The course is full of stories from my clients and from mothers and birth professionals, which help illustrate the topic with real life examples, as well as give you ideas that you may want to try.
- As well as being a scientist, I have gained practical experience in many traditional techniques, such as wrapping the hips and belly, which I share with you in the course.
- Having gained a DiPhe in antenatal education, as well as facilitating hundred of courses and workshops for expectant parents and birth professionals over 10 years, I know how present information in a way that allows students to learn easily and enjoyably.
- The course has also been co-developed with a group of 85 birth professionals, so you know that the content have been tried and tested by experts in the field.
What’s in the course?
- The course is divided in 11 bite size Modules
- What we are missing
- Social support
- Hiring help
- Postnatal recovery plan
- Special circumstances
- Each module is presented with an introduction video, and a mix of text, pictures, videos, and questionnaires for optimal learning, and to investigate your own beliefs and revisit them as your go through the course.
- The course includes access to a private Facebook group for sharing knowledge and ongoing support.
How long do I have to do the course?
As long as you need. You get to do the course in your own time.
In which order do I do the modules?
As you prefer. You can go through the course in a linear fashion, or go straight to a particular module you are interested in.
How much does it cost?
How do I access the course?