Simply put, a well-cared-for baby is a baby whose mother is taking good care of herself.
While that might seem obvious, for years the overwhelming emphasis in the weeks and months after birth has been on the baby only. The growing evidence that maternal self-care is critically important for the baby's well-being has led to the rise in popularity of the "fourth trimester" concept - among doctors and other helping professionals, in the media, and among new moms and dads.
Cynthia Gabriel, a doula and the author of the best-selling book Natural Hospital Birth, delivers all the information, guidance, and encouragement new mothers need to take care of their bodies, minds, and spirits after childbirth so that their babies have the best possible chance to thrive
Beyond mom's own self-care, Gabriel covers the ways moms can rebuild and strengthen their relationships with their spouses or other partners, as well as with the baby's siblings, grandparents, and other relatives - not only because these relationships are important to her own well-being but also because these are the other people who surround and care for the new baby.
Cynthia Gabriel is a medical anthropologist, mother of three, and a doula who has attended nearly 100 births. With a PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Post-Doctorate Fellowship from the University of Michigan, Gabriel's research focuses on stress during pregnancy among African American women. She served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Childbearing Year, and runs women's and parents' support groups. Gabriel is also the founder of Growing Together, a Life Learning Center that offers psychotherapy and life coaching services in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she resides.