Postpartum Recovery: Healing, Being a New Mom, and Nutritional Health — Episode #059 With Lily Nichols
Healing, being a new mom, and nutritional health
We place a lot of emphasis on planning for the perfect birth and making sure that our bodies are healthy during pregnancy. But what do we need to recover after the baby arrives? What are the nutritional demands on us as new moms? How can we best prepare for the postpartum experience?
Despite being more prepared than the average woman, Registered Dietician and Nutritionist Lily Nichols was still blindsided by how long it took to recover postpartum. And she had a lot of questions about whether what she was experiencing was normal.
Today, Lily joins me to share her postpartum journey, discussing her extreme caution around physical exertion and the value in consulting a pelvic floor physical therapist for guidance. I ask her about the nutrients new moms need to heal damaged tissue and meet the energy demands of breastfeeding, and Lily offers her advice on postpartum prep by way of frozen dinners, meal delivery, or family members who like to cook. Listen in for insight on engaging a support system of other new moms and contacting the right professionals for reassurance as necessary.
The Startup Parent Podcast — Episode #167
Quotes from the episode
- I’m glad more women are sharing openly about their postpartum experience so other moms can plan ahead for being overwhelmed and physically and mentally not themselves for a while. And that’s normal and okay and to be expected—and something you should actually embrace and plan for.
- I was more prepared than the average woman, but I was still blindsided by how long I could actually expect the recovery time to be.
- There’s no such thing as your body bouncing back. For all intents and purposes, from the outside I looked great, but my body didn’t feel that way … I still needed to take it easy, and I still needed to take a lot of time to feel normal again.
- Your body is so not your own and … so in service of this other human for so long, it’s crazy.
- For breastfeeding mothers … calorie needs are 200 calories higher than when you’re pregnant or 500 calories higher than you were pre-pregnancy.
- Postpartum, I was a bottomless pit.
- There’s not much time for you and your partner to spend in the kitchen. You need other people to step up, and that’s something that’s tricky in our culture that’s so separated and compartmentalized.
- You really do, as a parent, block out some of the most challenging parts of parenthood.
- Yes, the peer support is huge, and also, if you need professional support, have those people. Know who to call—and call them right away.
Episode Sponsor: Splendid Spoon
CURRENT SPONSOR — EPISODE #167: Splendid Spoon
This episode is sponsored by Splendid Spoon, a meal delivery service that creates whole, healthy, plant-based soups and smoothies that can be a great fit for busy parents and new moms. Get $50 off your first order with the link splendid.to/startuppregnant.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY
The other day, I was reading an article on Time Magazine that I couldn’t stop reading. Dr. Kyl Myers, an author, had written a long-form piece about gender, sex and parenting. Dr. Kyl Myers holds a PhD in sociology and studies and speaks about gender. Kyl is an award-winning educator and a globally recognized advocate for gender creative parenting. Since 2016, Kyl has been speaking and writing about gender creative parenting and using their own parenting story to help the world learn about and embrace a new type of childhood. Kyl Myers goes by “she” and “her” pronouns, as well as “they” and “them.” Dr. Myers is the author of Raising Them: Our Adventure In Gender Creative Parenting. This is a fascinating conversation about parenting, gender, and what we can do as parents to help reduce gender violence, oppression against women and men, and create a more playful world.
In America, the word “mother” is nearly always describing white motherhood. That’s what Nefertiti, a single African American woman and the author of “Motherhood So White,” discovered when she decided she wanted to adopt a Black baby boy out of the foster care system. Eager to finally join the motherhood ranks, Nefertiti was shocked by the assumptions people had about what adoption, motherhood, and Black motherhood should look like. She realized that American society saw motherhood through a white lens, and that there would be no easy understanding or acceptance of the kind of family she hoped to build.
My friend has an almost-two-year old and she asked me “So when do I need to think about potty training?” Yeah, as though you needed anything else to consider in the pandemic. Well, I took a few minutes to brain dump everything I remembered about potty training in a quick dash Voxer message to her, all while doing dishes and cleaning up the boys’ room in our house. We both thought that these might be useful memos for you, especially if you happen to be in a similar situation. Consider this an unofficial, scrappy overview of Potty Training that will help you do a good enough job … for now.
Begin writing a post that says “Working parents are not okay.”‘ Delete sentences because no one is okay. There isn’t really a comparison game to be played here. Call your friend and realize that you’re having trouble stringing words together. Hang up the telephone because both of your children and pushing buttons on the phone and you can’t actually have a real conversation while children and buttons are in close proximity. What was it that they said? “Opening my computer is like a pavlovian response for my child.” Yeah, that.
Sarah K Peck
Founder, Startup Parent
Sarah Peck is a writer, startup advisor, and yoga teacher based in New York City. She’s the founder and executive director of Startup Parent, a media company documenting the stories of women’s leadership across work and family. She hosts the weekly Startup Parent Podcast and Let's Talk, her second podcast. Previously, she worked at Y Combinator backed One Month, Inc, a company that teaches people to code in 30 days, and before that she was a writing and communications consultant.
She’s a 20-time All-American swimmer who successfully swam the Escape from Alcatraz nine separate times, once wearing only a swim cap and goggles to raise $33k for charity: water. She’s written for more than 75 different web publications and and has delivered speeches and workshops at Penn, UVA, Berkeley, Harvard, Craft & Commerce, WDS, and more.