MOMS HELPING MOMS
Elizabeth Wood and Caitlin Green Cheney are reshaping how women think about early motherhood
BY LYNETTE CARRINGTON / PHOTO BY MARK MORGAN
Being a new mom may look like sunshine and roses, but maternal recovery and health is something that has taken a back seat in our society. Matrescence is an innovative company that focuses on the fourth trimester – the three months following the birth of a child. Behind Matrescence is a time-honored notion that when a new mama is healthy and happy, so is the new baby, and community support is key. Elizabeth Wood and Caitlin Green Cheney are co-founders and educators of Matrescence. When they began attending a mother/baby fitness class, they noticed new moms were stressed out and run-down. “Collectively, we saw moms at fitness class and they looked tired, worn-out, depleted and exhausted,” Wood says. “You accept that for yourself, and you think that’s what happens when you have kids, or at least culturally that’s what we’ve been told.” The passionate duo saw the pattern and lack of support and set out to change that. Matrescence 4th Trimester Planning + Support takes place as a fourpart workshop, meeting every other week where an adaptable and realistic plan for post-birth is laid out. “We tell our moms that they are setting the stage for their daughters and granddaughters and this is will be the new normal in their family and community,” Green Cheney says. “It may not be easy, but it is necessary for the well-being of women to come.” Four focus areas for the program include prolonged period of rest, nourishing foods, warmth and body work. “Pregnant moms are who we work with directly,” Wood explains. “We leave them with homework, so they can have conversations with their husbands or moms, or whoever will be supporting them.” A key component of Matrescence is to have a support system to help in the recovery process. During off-workshop weeks, Matrescence co-founders mentor moms-to-be in their homes or as a play date as they get ready for their babies. “The outpouring of gratitude has been amazing,” Wood says. “Every day I get a mom calling and saying, ‘I am so glad I met you and Caitlin.’ They are saying their lives are forever changed.” For more information, visit www.4thtrimesterplan.com.
Uptown August '18