Caring for New Mothers

4th Trimester Mission empowers women during a vulnerable time

Alexrichardson076When Wilmington native ALEX RICHARDSON gave birth to her first child in 2019, she resigned from teaching full-time to be a full-time mom. She loved her role as a new mom but found herself in the midst of the loneliest time in her life.

“I felt so trapped in the house because I couldn’t leave without my baby screaming,” she says. “My body was torn apart from giving birth, and so many women feel this way.”

After birth, most moms are afforded one doctor’s appointment, which includes a mental health screening. For Richardson, she recalls her visit lacking resources she felt she needed, including information about pelvic floor therapy.

In 2021, Richardson welcomed her second child, and again didn’t receive the postpartum care she craved.

“I had my son and it was kinda the same deal,” she says. “You have a tough birth and then you get that one visit postpartum.”

Feeling there was inadequate postpartum care for women, Richardson thought about it and felt like the solution was starting her own nonprofit for perinatal moms.

“I knew I wanted my services to be free and I have been pretty decent at fundraising my whole life,” she says of the decision.

So, she obtained legal counsel, got an accountant lined up, formed a board, and launched Mom Club Inc. in January 2022. Her vision was to help women navigate postpartum life through home visits, creating a community to empower women, and providing material resources, including pelvic floor physical therapy.

In November 2022, the organization was renamed 4th Trimester Mission so the title would speak more to the stage of life served.

4th Trimester Mission’s home visits focus on caring for and supporting women navigating the complex challenges of new motherhood. “We bring a meal sponsored by Clean Eatz and a gift bag for mom, and we sit for 30 minutes and just check in with mom,” she says. “How’s feeding going? How’s sleeping going? How’s your healing going from birth? How is feeding baby going?”

During the visit from 4th Trimester Mission, Richardson aims to connect women to personalized recommendations for postpartum care by asking new moms if there are any services they might be looking for that her their provider didn’t mention.

Another element to 4th Trimester Mission is its monthly meetup, titled New Mother Meet Up. This is for women currently pregnant through six months postpartum. It’s in a private space, just for women, and gives soon-to-be moms and new moms a safe space to “just get together and have community.”

These meetups can alleviate the loneliness that Richardson recalls feeling in those early days. “It really gives women a safe place to come to try and get out of the house with baby for the first time and not feel so isolated, and just know that there’s other women going through the same thing as they are,” she says. “They can show up looking exhausted with spit up all over them in their sweatpants.”

The result, Richardson says, is reduced rates of postpartum anxiety and depression among women who participate in the group’s programming. “It’s been really wonderful,” she says.

To view more of photographer Daria Amato’s work, go to

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Categories: Health