A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality

By Kimberly Ann Johnson

This holistic guide offers practical advice to support women through postpartum healing on the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual levels—and provides women with a roadmap to this very important transition that can last from a few months to a few years. 

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Kimberly Ann Johnson draws from her vast professional experience as a doula, postpartum consultant, yoga teacher, body worker, and women’s health care advocate, and from the healing traditions of Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and herbalism—as well as her own personal experience—to cover:

•   how you can prepare your body for birth

•   how you can organize yourself and your household for the best possible transition to motherhood

•   simple practices and home remedies to facilitate healing and restore energy

•   how to strengthen relationships and aid the return to sex

•   learning to exercise safely postpartum

•   carrying your baby with comfort

•   exploring the complex and often conflicting emotions that arise postpartum and much more


Praise for the fourth trimester


“In all my years as an ob/gyn, I never once met a woman who was able to get by the initiation of labor and birth and focus on the critical postpartum time frame—a time which is largely ignored in our culture. After all, most “maternity leaves” end at mere 6 weeks—nowhere near enough time to truly honor and carry out the true work of the fourth trimester. No—we tend to focus only on the birth—and if mom and baby make it through in a reasonably healthy way, we figure we’re done. Not even close.  In this eye opening and vital book, all those who care about women, children, and families will find a treasure trove of information and practices that are vital for the health of society. I highly recommend this book.”

Christiane Northrup, M.D., ob/gyn physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers: Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Wellbeing, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, and The Wisdom of Menopause


“Birth is our inbuilt experience of initiation to self, but we are in desperate need of sage guidance throughout this otherwise overwhelming and scary transformation. Kimberly Ann Johnson lights the path to our truest, most actualized and empowered feminine selves...because it begins in the Fourth Trimester. Every mother to be and mother lover needs these pages to learn how to truly honor this mystical transition.”

Kelly Brogan MD, author of The New York Times Bestseller, A Mind of Your Own


"There are several excellent books about the first nine months in utero and the process of birth. What has been less addressed is 'The Fourth Trimester.' In this remarkable book on the postpartum period, Kimberly Johnson provides specific tools to help the new mother rebuild her core strength, contact and restore her vital energy and reclaim her capacity for intimacy and deep sexuality. A book for all mothers in preparation for the unfolding mystery of gestation, birth and restoration."

Peter A Levine PhD, author of Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma and Trauma Proofing for Kids


"While there are many books about pregnancy and birth, there has been a scarcity of quality books, information and education about postpartum health. Kimberly Ann Johnson remedies this with equal parts empathy, education and elegant prose. Her personal experience lends a power to her observations, and her years of experience with new mothers in different countries and cultures lends her recommendations a universality and accessibility.  I would recommend this book to all new mothers.

Dr. Claudia Welch, DOM, author of Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science


“We must be grateful to Kimberly Ann Johnson for popularizing the concept of “fourth trimester”. The timing is perfect. To understand the current crisis in the history of mankind, we must refer to the previous spectacular crisis, when our ancestors started to dominate nature, particularly through the domestication of animals and plants, and also through the socialisation of childbirth. Before that time, women used to isolate themselves to give birth and, soon after, they were living with their baby among an extended family. Today it is exactly the opposite: women don’t have privacy when giving birth and, in the age of nuclear and one-parent families, they often experience a high degree of isolation during the ‘fourth stage.’ 

We must keep in mind that the multiple effects of the socialisation of childbirth may be related to factors other than the number of people present in the birthing place. A great importance must be given to the powerful indirect effects of our conditioning, according to which a woman has not the power to give birth without some kinds of cultural interferences. There are also negative factors that are suddenly becoming more common, such as giving birth among people who do not share your mother tongue.

It is becoming urgent to phrase new questions regarding unprecedented situations. This is what Kimberly has successfully done when studying a crucial phase of what we have called the ‘primal period.’”

Michel Odent, MD, author of Primal Health and the Scientification of Love


"The Fourth Trimester is like having your own wise and loving post-partum midwife. Kimberly Johnson curates this guide through the intense postpartum time so that your transition into motherhood is the sacred experience it is meant to be.”

Tami Lynn Kent, PT, author of Wild Feminine, Wild Creative, & Mothering from Your Center


“How we tend to the primal continuum of life -preconception through the postpartum period-  is directly reflected in the general health and wellness of our human communities.  Kimberly Johnson's book is an essential contribution to our collective re-membrance of how to properly caretake Life upon Earth.”

Rachelle Garcia Seliga, Certified Professional Midwife, Creator of INNATE Postpartum Care-Certification and Advanced Trainings


“Twenty-seven years after the very traumatic, emergency caesarean section of my daughter, Kimberly Ann Johnson has worked her wisdom and magic on me. The Fourth Trimester is so comprehensive, so accessible and so consummately useful, that all these years later Kimberly has helped me to create my own coherent, and healing, narrative. This is nothing short of miraculous.”

Sil Reynolds, co-author of Mothering & Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years


"I've long wished for a book like this-- one that helps fill what I call The Black Hole in women's health. Thank you, Kimberly, for embarking on your Heroine's Journey and transforming your pain into a path of hope and awareness for other women. The Fourth Trimester holds a beautiful blend of personal stories; practical checklists, reflection questions, recipes, and movement practices; and a compilation of postpartum healing arts from cultures around the world. I know every woman on the journey to motherhood (and, in turn, her entire family) will experience greater sovereignty, peace of mind, and vibrant health as a result of this book."

Sara Avant Stover, founder & author of The Way of the Happy Woman and The Book of SHE: Your Heroine's  Journey into the Heart of Feminine Power


“Reading The Fourth Trimester from the cocoon of my own fourth trimester with my second son, I feel mothered in the deepest sense. Both gentle and firm, poetic and precise, this book is gifting me the understanding necessary to be fully reverent to the miracle I am living. Feasting on both the practical tools and expansive perspectives that come from one who has lived this path earnestly herself, I move through these precious days with my new baby in kindness and awe. I truly wish every mom-to-be can be blessed with the wisdom contained in this book!”

Brooke McNamara, author of Feed Your Vow


"This book saves the mothers-to-be that don't even know they need saving yet. When my friends give birth I'm on-the-one-hand overjoyed for them, but on the other, I'm so apologetic—because rarely are they ready for what will come over their first month of motherhood. Seldom have I seen them receive the help they will need. 

With the release of the Fourth Trimester, I feel a relief for expecting moms because author Kimberly Johnson has finally penned a book that we all should have had before giving birth.  Johnson left no stone unturned, covering everything from what postpartum moms should be eating, to how they can heal their pelvic floors. 

Following Johnson's postpartum guide, which pulls from a rich multicultural world heritage, can be the difference from a woman never recovering fully from childbirth, or being completely renewed within a matter of weeks. Johnson has created a timeless piece of work that has the power to change the lives of the next generation—by caring for their mothers."

Keli Garza, The Steamy Chick Founder & Creator