There's no one-size fits all approach to the perinatal journey: a note on the language we choose.
As a woman and mother-founded/led company in the perinatal space, we are deeply aware that becoming a mother is a physiological, psychological, and emotional transformation that begins long before a baby is born or enters your life. We also acknowledge that along with joy and hope, there can be much fear, disappointment, sadness, anxiety, loss, and isolation. The journey to parenthood is anything but linear, and we aim to recognize this always, in all that we do. We’ve experienced this ourselves, and we’ve heard from many of you.
Because everyone’s journey to parenthood is different, we face a challenge in choosing the words we use when we communicate with you. Nutrition isn’t one size fits all, and neither is communication. While one person may consume our content just after a positive pregnancy test when they are feeling excited yet nervous for the road ahead, another may find us after taking their hundredth negative pregnancy test, or a failed IVF cycle, or a pregnancy loss, when they are feeling hopeless and sad.
There is a place for everyone at Needed, and we always want you to feel embraced and honored for exactly where you are physically, psychologically, and emotionally on your journey.
With that in mind, we want to shed light on some of the terms that we use frequently to describe the perinatal journey.
We use the word “trimester” to describe the stages of the perinatal journey. From our perspective, there are 4 trimesters: from thinking/trying (zero trimester), to pregnancy (first, second, third trimester), to postpartum (4th trimester), and pregnancy loss (a mix of the zero and fourth trimesters, for those hoping to conceive again).
Importantly, a trimester is not 3 months long for everyone (in fact, most zero and fourth trimesters will be far longer than 3 months), and trimesters do not always progress in order from zero to four. We always bear this in mind when referring to trimesters as a whole, or when referencing a particular trimester.
Nutritional support is so important throughout every stage of the perinatal journey, and our Complete Plan and Trimester Bundles are designed to be taken at every stage of the journey (one exception being our Stress Support, which is specifically designed for the zero and fourth trimesters).
We use the term conception to describe the process of your baby being created. We recognize that there are a number of ways this can happen. Intercourse, IVF, IUI, sperm or egg donation, freezing eggs, transferring a frozen embryo, adoption, or gestational carriers are all ways in which families are created. No matter how you conceive or come to meet your baby, we believe your journey is beautiful and we’re here to support you through it.
Mama or Mama-to-Be
We use the term mama or mama-to-be to describe anyone who identifies as such, including those who have not yet met their babies and those who have experienced pregnancy loss. A mama or mama-to-be may provide the egg and carry the baby, or they may not. We recognize and honor that you become a mother long before you meet your baby, and our use of the term “mama” and “mama-to-be” seeks to include all of us on this journey together.
Dad or Dad-to-Be
We use the term dad or dad-to-be dad to describe anyone who identifies as such, including those who have not yet met their babies and those who have experienced pregnancy loss. A dad or dad-to-be may contribute the sperm or not, and we honor and recognize you in all the ways of becoming a father.
We are with you on your journey to parenthood, through the ups and downs, the joys and the setbacks.
We share this letter to open a conversation. We invite you to reach out, share your thoughts and suggestions. We strive to keep learning and improving as we communicate, educate, and empower a beautifully diverse range of experiences along the journey to parenthood. Your input is invaluable.
The Needed Team
trusted education is needed.