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Supporting women through the fourth trimester

Nurture the Mother offers postpartum doula care and baby massage to help mothers and babies thrive during the postpartum period

My Story

Motherhood will change you for the better, that’s what they said. What they didn’t say is that it would be one of the hardest and loneliest journey’s you’d ever go on. From the moment I fell pregnant with my son, to holding him in my arms I knew something in me was changing. I was no longer just a daughter, a friend and a wife but I was now a mother and never in my life had I felt so unprepared for something so huge. Antenatal classes had all been about birthing the baby, nothing was said about the birth of the mother. As I held my newborn in my arms I realised I had never felt so vulnerable, I was responsible for this little person and I had no idea what I was doing, all I knew was that I needed to learn fast.

Nothing could have prepared me for what lay ahead in those early weeks of motherhood. I had never heard of the Fourth Trimester but I experienced it on every level. I thought those early weeks would be about the cute nursery, co-ordinated outfits for the baby and lots of lovely lunch dates with other new mums. Instead, I was met with overcoming the trauma of the birth, health scares and hospital tests for our little baby, breast feeding issues, jaundice that wouldn’t clear, tongue ties, lip ties, sleep in 2 hour shifts and a fixation on nappies and weight that I never knew could exist. As I started to look for help I felt the overwhelm rise, so much advice, who to trust, who to turn to, was I doing the right thing and why had no-one ever told me that becoming a mother would be this hard?

After a few weeks my husband returned to work which saw him travelling abroad for 2-3 nights on a regular basis. My family weren’t close by so my support was limited and once the global pandemic struck any option of getting additional help was gone. Navigating life as a new mum was so hard, I felt so alone and overwhelmed yet so much joy and love at the same time? Was this possible, was it just me? It was no surprise that after six months I was diagnosed with post-partum anxiety.

Twenty-two months later I gave birth to our second son. I thought it would be different, thought we would know better what we were doing but how wrong I was. We now had a newborn and a toddler to care for and I’d never felt so exhausted and pulled in so many directions in all my life. Our second child had colic and reflux, something we had never experienced with our first, so it felt like starting all over again. The days were long, and the nights felt longer, especially when my husband was away. As the months progressed, I knew I wasn’t myself, I was beyond happy with my beautiful boys and so very grateful for them and my family, but I constantly felt exhausted and overwhelmed and was eventually diagnosed with postnatal depression.

When my second child was born I knew that the corporate world was no longer for me, it wasn’t conducive with the family life I wanted and I’d forever dreamed of running my own business. Nurture the Mother was born from my passion of helping new mums. After my own early motherhood experiences I want to make sure that others have the support I so badly needed but didn’t get. For any mums navigating the beautiful chaos that is the fourth trimester I want to help you redefine your motherhood journey and foster a community where those early struggles transform to triumphs. Let’s embark on this empowering journey together because motherhood really does change you for the better.

Carly Fitzgerald Nurture the Mother
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Nurturing Notes is an email series designed to support you in the postpartum period. You will receive helpful tips on baby care, self-care, emotional wellbeing and resources to navigate the beautiful yet challenging journey of postpartum.

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