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 Pregnant Podcast Episode #059

Some 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.”


Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietician and Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator with a passion for evidence-based nutrition. Her work draws from the current scientific literature as well as the wisdom of traditional cultures, and her expertise in prenatal nutrition makes her a well-respected consultant and speaker in the field. Lily’s latest book, Real Food for Pregnancy, is #1 in the Pregnancy and Childbirth category on Amazon.



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