Services support and nurture new mothers during “Fourth Trimester.”
The days and weeks following the birth of a child can be full of magical moments—feeling the warmth of a baby lying on your chest, watching a child slumbering peacefully in the bassinet, inhaling the indescribably sweet smell of a newborn’s skin—but they can also be wrought with pain, anxiety and a host of physical and mental issues that are difficult for a mother to prepare for, much less deal with while trying to care for a new babe.
It’s an issue that Megan Hadley of Minneapolis sought support for during her first pregnancy. “I was seeking energetic and mental health support,” says Hadley, who turned to Maria Bossert, founder of Happy and Healthy Therapy in White Bear Lake, to help manage her anxiety and stress.
“I appreciated this support so much that I signed up for a postpartum package with Maria, ensuring both baby and I received some gentle support in the immediate days and weeks after birth,” Hadley says.
It’s Bossert’s life’s work to support women through all stages of motherhood—a service she feels should be considered essential. “Moms deserve more than we’re offering,” Bossert says. “We’ve created a black hole where a lot of women don’t feel support.”
Bossert’s personal experiences led her to found Happy and Healthy Therapy in 2020, where she offers support for clients throughout pregnancy, postpartum and matrescence (the process of becoming a mother). “I had a variety of experiences with pregnancy and birth, including miscarriage and birth trauma, that pushed me in this direction,” Bossert says.
Bossert, an occupational therapist by trade, also felt something was missing from her own care after her children were born. Now she fills that gap for local families by providing holistic and functional services that support both mother and child. Her packages are designed to tackle the physical, psychological and emotional toll of childbearing—from relieving discomfort through light touch to helping moms adjust to routine and lifestyle changes.
During the 12-week period after a child is born (what Bossert calls “The Fourth Trimester”), a mother’s health and wellness should be top of mind, Bossert says.
“Healthy mothers raise healthy families. We should put our resources towards mothers,” she says.
When Hadley hired Bossert again following the birth of her child, it turned out to be much needed care. “My body had gone through a major trauma and transformation in the birth process,” Hadley says. “I was in pain, uncomfortable and needing some relief physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Both Hadley and her baby received cranial sacral therapy, a form of light touch intended to relieve tension in the central nervous system. “After sessions with Maria, I noticed my symptoms of anxiety had lessened. I was able to get some rest,” Hadley says.
Bossert treated the duo in the same room throughout Hadley’s in-home post-partum care. “It helps mother and child bond,” Bossert explains. “I felt such gratitude for the connection my kiddo and I had with Maria,” Hadley says.
Bossert hopes to see services like hers become the norm. “Women should be given permission to rest, to seek body work, to have nourishing foods, to heal and, ultimately, to come into motherhood in a mindful way,” she says. “I want mothers to understand that they deserve it.”