A few months back I met Stephanie at a local birth worker event and loved her passion, vision, and active participation in supporting postpartum families. In fact, she has even crafted a course for expecting families to be equipped for "postpartum-land!" (More information below!)
If you are a current client, you've likely seen her business card and resources floating around your binder because I am 100% all about connecting YOU with the folks who are doing the gritty, glorious work of reclaiming the birth and postpartum seasons.
If you're a visitor, welcome! Let's grow together.
I've asked Stephanie to answer several questions about her work with pregnancy and postpartum families.
First, here's a bit who Stephanie is and what her work looks like.
Stephanie Hurst is a Perinatal Marriage and Family Therapist. She works with individuals and couples to help prevent and treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Working from a holistic approach, she takes into consideration the complex nature of the postpartum experience including areas of nutritional psychiatry and depletion, hormones, relational changes, and the overall mental and emotional transition to parenthood. Stephanie is passionate about reinstating the value of motherhood within individuals, families and the community.
Stephanie is a mother herself to two daughters (age 2 years and 3 months) and is actively involved in leading in her local MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers). She enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with my family.
1. How did you transition to working with pregnancy and postpartum families?
A passion for pregnancy and postpartum has been brewing for a while. I even became a trained doula before I got my masters. It wasn't until I got pregnant that I realized how little support there is for women during postpartum. I began working with postpartum mothers after my first maternity leave in 2020 and I have just expanded my knowledge more and more. In addition to working individually with treatment of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, I wanted to provide mothers a way to prepare for postpartum to do some things to prevent a really difficult transition.
2. Can you share more about your Postpartum Wellness course starting in October? What should a family expect from this course?
I am so excited for this class! The Postpartum Wellness Course starting in October is for mothers (and their partners if they want to join) to be more prepared for the complexities of postpartum and the changes that take place internally and externally. We will be talking about postpartum changes, depletion and nutrition, hormones and mental health, relationship changes, what are expected difficult days and what are signs that you need additional support. We will also have the opportunity to make an individualized postpartum plan. This course will be the additional education that parents need to thrive after birth.
3. What is one piece of advice (professional and/or personal) you'd like to share for the postpartum period?
Postpartum is just as important as the pregnancy and birth. Postpartum is filled with complexities within our bodies, minds and our environments. To not have education around it or prepare for it is doing women a huge disservice. My advice would be to educate about postpartum and make a postpartum plan for you and your partner to implement when the difficult days come or unexpected challenges pop up. Being proactive with postpartum care really can change your experience of becoming a mother.
4. What are 3 favorite resources (books, podcasts, items, etc) that you think every expecting person should know about?
I encourage moms to read about postpartum during pregnancy. The First Forty Days by Heng Ou and The Fourth Trimester Companion by Cynthia Gabriel. The first few months after giving birth, I encourage moms to read The Birth of a Mother by Daniel Stern or Mama, Bare by Kristen Gail. These books are great because they account for the mental changes that mothers go through and can help validate the changes moms are feeling. The Happy as a Mother Podcast is great and many topics are discussed