A Brave New World: 4th Trimester Family Care

We tend to know much more about pregnancy and birth than about what happens after our babies are born. Birth is a profound process, but it is also merely a doorway into a new world. What happens to our body in the weeks and months after birth? How do our relationships change? How can we and our partners/families be supported through these changes? When and who do we call for help?

Preparation and community support profoundly impacts the health + adjustment of parent and baby, and the entire family’s emotional well-being during these precious and challenging early months. Spend an afternoon with your partner or support people to explore simple but effective tools to help you know better what to expect, and create an effective support plan for the first 3 months after birth. 

PLEASE NOTE: This class focuses on family care, but does not cover newborn care or breastfeeding.

Explore a sample class meditation audio recording and more resources for the 4th trimester.


Teaching Hiatus

Thank you for visiting Open Circle and your interest in our center. We are currently on an extended teaching hiatus.

While away from teaching, we are preparing a self-paced version of our unique, experiential-based childbirth and parenting education courses.

For parent + baby services in the community, we invite you to visit our local resources page to explore supports from local providers with a range of specialties. For prenatal yoga, please visit Full Radiance Yoga. Additional educational supports can be found on our YouTube page and Series Resources page.

Over the past 20 years, we have been nourished and had our work deepened through sharing time with each of you. It has been an honor to witness new birth and community between families grow.

As we enter our own process of gestation, transformation and eventual re-birth, we would love to continue to support thriving connection. Let us know about your family’s adventures, share reflections on your experiences at the center, and reach out for contact information of other families you met while at Open Circle.* Let’s connect!

*shared only with express permission

newborn baby on mother's bare chest while father looks at the child

©Lisa Gendron | Agroterra Birth


Inverted Classroom:
2 hour Pre-Class Video: Physical + Emotional Changes After Birth

Postpartum Safety Awareness

  • When to Call the Doctor/Midwife or Ambulance

Normal Postpartum Bleeding + Cramping

  • Locia + Involution of the Uterus

Perineum + Pelvic Floor Care

  • Supporting Perineal Healing
  • Special Care if You Have Stitches
  • Exercises for Pelvic Health
  • When to See a Physical Therapist

Breast Health + Comfort

  • Strategies for Easing Common Challenges

Elimination After Birth

  • Blood, Sweat, Pee + Poop. . . All the Scoop

Hygiene + Bathing

  • Safe Bathing In the Hours + Days After Birth

Structural Health + Exercise

  • Start S_l_o_w_l_y
  • Build the Core, Then More
  • Resuming Pre-Pregnancy Exercise

Cesarean Recovery

  • Early Hours, Days + Weeks
  • Supporting Scar + Movement Health

Mental + Emotional Family Health

  • Healthy Matrescence + Patrescence
  • Normal Baby Blues
  • Treating Anxiety, Depression, OCD
  • Recognizing Postpartum Psychosis
  • Accessing Supports + Community Help


Health is For All of Us – Family as Ecosystem

Tending to Challenge/Trauma in Birth

The Big Transformation: A Right of Passage

Creating a 4th Trimester Plan

  • Changing Identities + Care for the Self
  • Changing Relationships / Care for Partnership
  • Changing Sexuality + Intimacy After Birth
  • Changing Roles at Home + Work
  • Managing Boundaries + Visitors

Key Principles of a Supported Family:

  • The Medicine of Deep Rest/Laying In
  • The Medicine of Food + Warmth
  • The Medicine of Community
  • The Medicine of Nature

Sleep for the Whole Family

  • Understanding Normal Newborn Sleep
  • Family Sleep Planning

Professional Support + Referrals

woman lying on couch with newborn baby on her chest and a plate of food being offered

©Susie Finnerty

We are soaking her up all we can. I wanted to thank you for the information you taught us in our course. I have had anxiety and depression my whole life and was terrified for the postpartum period. . . I’m very grateful for all that you taught my husband and I to make this as smooth of a transition as possible. I feel that your lessons helped my husband understand what birth and new motherhood is like and he has been incredibly helpful and supportive. Without the support from him and the midwives I do not think I would be feeling as great as I do.


Westerly, RI


I have worked as a physical therapist with a focus in prenatal/postpartum care and pelvic floor dysfunction for the past 20 years.  It is important to know that when you refer your patients to other practitioners, that they will receive knowledgeable, compassionate, and skilled care.  Kaeli Sutton has been the person that I turn to for the 17 years for supportive care for my patients.  She has dedicated her time and effort to being the best doula, prenatal yoga/postpartum yoga instructor, childbirth educator, and massage therapist.  Kaeli is committed to ongoing research in the field of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, parenting and infant development.  She is highly skilled as an educator and massage therapist, and this is apparent in my patients experiences and outcomes after her treatments.  The services that Kaeli provides through Open Circle are a necessary and essential part of supporting all people during prenatal, birth, and postpartum care.  – Kristina Fitzgerald, LATC, MSPT, DPT, PRPC, Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner