credit: Alexandria Smith
Name: Megan Faletra
Mama to: Two girls, 20 months and 1 month
Follow along: @thewellco.co
This month we’re focusing on “Nourishment” as our theme for August. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of “nourishment”?
As a mom and dietitian, nourishment means a few different things to me. I love to think of nourishment as the way in which we nourish our lives and those around us. It’s the food we bring into our homes to fuel our bodies, but also the food culture we create that gives our food more meaning and memories. It’s the energy and inspiration we gain from nature and the way it fills us up so that we can give to our families, and the world. To be well nourished to me means feeling full—of energy, creativity, and love.
What do you do to nourish your mind?
I think that the mental load that comes with being a mom really is one of the hardest parts—that and the sleepless nights all can take a toll on our mental health. Right now I am full-time at home with my daughters, while running my maternal-child health nutrition business during naptime and at night, and I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t prioritize nourishing my mind then I just start to feel burned out and not really like myself. What I have found works best for me is to aim to get some gentle movement in daily, which always helps to clear my mind, and set aside time to be inspired creatively. Trying to set aside time for myself is definitely hard with two kids under two, but it’s also really important for helping spark creativity (which is important to me), and helping me feel mentally like the best version of myself—both of which help make me a better mom. I also don’t look at my phone anymore at night when nursing my daughter, which has helped immensely with the quality of my sleep.
How do you nourish your body?
Moms often will put a lot of focus into how they nourish their bodies during pregnancy, or how they nourish their families, but often forget to focus on themselves, which is especially important during that postpartum period after having a baby. Right now I am in those early postpartum days again breastfeeding a newborn, which means that I am hungry all the time and still replenishing my body from pregnancy. To help nourish my body for breastfeeding, and postpartum healing I take a high-quality prenatal supplement daily, as well as an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, and a herbal tincture specifically formulated for the postpartum period.
I also find that I feel best when I have nourishing snacks prepped that are easy for breastfeeding and some protein and fat rich dinners prepared and stored in the freezer for simple weeknight meals. My favorite go-to’s currently are salmon burgers, homemade baked falafel and beet hummus, and energy bites that I created specifically for breastfeeding mamas.
Also starting at around one-month postpartum, I personally feel ready for gentle movement, which these days pretty much just looks like long walks with my daughters. It helps me feel better in my body, and reduces any stress I may be carrying.
What nourishes your soul?
During this phase of my life I really find a lot of fulfillment in caring for my daughters each day. While motherhood is the most exhausting work I have ever done, it also has transformed me in a way I never thought possible, and has helped me to be much more present. I also find so much nourishment for my soul in helping other mothers during the different phases of motherhood. Now more than ever I think that moms really need support, and nourishment which is something I feel very lucky to be able to give through my work at The Well Co.
If you could share one piece of advice for new mamas about nourishment after baby, whether for their mind, body or soul, what would it be?
I have so much love in my heart for new mamas, the transformation into motherhood is beautiful and messy, but most of all it’s something that we just were never meant to do alone. Now as a mom of two, my best advice for new moms about nourishing their bodies after baby is to seek out support and to focus on rest and nourishment during those early postpartum days. Your body and mind go through such a significant transformation, which is why making sure that you are repleting the nutrients drained during pregnancy is so essential.
Also trust your instincts as a mother, you know your baby best, and listening to your own intuition more than scrolling google for answers at 2 am will do wonders for nourishing your mind. While it may not feel this way at first, those newborn and infant days go by so fast, so be unapologetic about doing what you need for yourself to soak them up and enjoy them—and there is no such thing as too many baby cuddles, they are the best thing for your soul.