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 four-part 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.
By Lynette Carrington / Photo by Claudia Johnstone
Arcadia native Nancy Silver is an engaged business owner as the co-founder of The Paper Place, located in Old Town Scottsdale, which she opened with her mother more than four decades ago. She’s seen a lot of changes since then and has found an additional calling in her devoted passion to animals, one that is due in part to her beloved dogs, Miss Lacie and Mr. P.
When Miss Lacie became ill and had to go to the vet, Silver was devastated as she saw fellow pet owners leaving without getting their sick pets treated because they lacked the funds. That sadness evolved into action. In 2017, in honor of her own two fur babies, she founded Two Pups Wellness Fund which provides health care funding for sick rescue and shelter dogs through the Arizona Community Foundation.
“I talked about it for a really long time and I knew I had to do something,” Silver explains. “It was a learning experience in the beginning.”
It is the overarching goal to get those dogs well, so they can be adopted.
Silver initially started by working directly with individual veterinarian offices but found that it was not working. She approached the Arizona Community Foundation and found the perfect ally. Arizona Community Foundation now assists in expert management and Two Pups fund disbursement to nonprofits that need money to treat sick dogs.
“They are amazing people and we call them ‘our parents,’” Silver says with a sweet-natured laugh. “It was the most perfect situation for us and they love animals.”
In the most recent development, Two Pups has launched the Grown Pups for Grown Ups endeavor.
“Grown pups in shelters are always overlooked,” Silver explains. “There is a place for grown pups because you don’t have to train them. All they want is to be loved.”
Wellness and DNA tests are run on older dogs and if there is sickness, the dog’s care under a doctor will be paid for 90 days. Again, the goal is to get dogs adopted and into loving homes.
“People haven’t really heard much about us yet,” Silver finishes. “Hopefully that’s about to change.”
To learn more, visit www.twopups.org.