Sarah Bilger shares with us about her journey to healing postpartum and why she became so passionate about helping others do the same.
Sarah spent much of her postpartum googling how to heal herself and feel better but all the answers and information fell short.
She had been on a nutritional journey, starting before getting pregnant and having her first child but just felt like something was lacking in the postpartum space.
She eventually found me and committed to taking the Postpartum Nutrition Coach Certification Program, where she was able to learn not only how to heal herself during postpartum but also how to eat correctly during postpartum to encourage and promote healing, by healing herself and gaining this knowledge, it gave her the ability to help others in their healing process during postpartum as well.
Sarah now has a podcast, website, and Facebook group where she supports women who are or have just become mothers themselves.
Come listen to her inspiring story & see how doing this work changed her life and will also help change the lives of so many others too.
In this episode, we share:
- Introduction of Sarah
- Nutrition Journey
- Healing before and during pregnancy
- A huge lack of AND conflicting information on postpartum
- No focus on the healing and improving health
- Learning to eat warm and nutritious foods
- Becoming certified through Maranda’s program as a Postpartum Nutrition Coach
- Sarah’s podcast
- Sarah’s top myths
- No one talks about how to heal mom
- All attention on baby in postpartum
- Postpartum – The silent endeavor
- Use food to nourish your mind, body and soul
- Mom Guilt
- Being a martyr, why it serves no-one
- Making yourself a priority in postpartum
Come join us at The Postpartum Circle group on Facebook!
We all get it postpartum, and the years after having a baby is no walk in the park. But you know what? It isn’t just about depression or anxiety either. Hey, my friend, I’m Maranda Bower, homesteading mama with four wild kids whose life passion and education is all about supporting mothers and providers and understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. What we know as common sense in the postpartum years has many women feeling just plain awful. It’s time to bring back the truth. Get you the tools you need to heal and thrive in motherhood and beyond.
Hello, welcome everyone to the postpartum circle podcast. I’m Maranda Bower, your host, and today I have an amazing guest with us, Sarah Bilger. She is a mother and an engineer, she runs the podcast Entering Motherhood, and if you haven’t taken a listen, you absolutely want to do that. We are going to leave the link for you at the end of the show notes here, but Sarah is here because she is incredibly passionate about all things motherhood, particularly postpartum nutrition. And she’s going to share a little bit about her journey through this and all of the conflicting information that’s out there right now, and kind of her journey in sorting and sifting through that so that she could heal herself. So, Sarah, welcome.
Sarah Bilger: Hi, yes, thank you for having me here. This is so exciting. Yes, like you said, I mean, I’m an engineer, I do mechanical engineering, and I am a mom of one with one on the way. I’m about 20 weeks right now with baby number two.
Maranda Bower: So, that is exciting.
Sarah: Thank you. I have really been on this journey of nutrition for quite some time, and I was looking for a way to kind of, you know, heal my own body and prep before I got pregnant with my daughter. And I really wanted to make sure that I was doing all that I could in order to get that going on the right track and that I was preparing myself, so it wasn’t a huge transition into pregnancy. So I think, you know, that’s what really got me more serious into all my health journey and understanding what was going into my body and how much nutrition really plays into how we’re feeling.
And I ended up successfully getting pregnant with my daughter. She just turned two, and I was doing well, you know, like throughout my pregnancy, and I was able to find a lot of information on nutrition for pregnancy. But then after I had my daughter, it was kind of like a whole new world. And there wasn’t as much I felt as far as postpartum nutrition. And it was a huge shift and a huge change. And there are different things that we have to consider when healing our body during that time, you know. So I really just started to dig into what was all out there and what people were saying. And I was finding a lot of the times other moms sort of saying like, oh yeah, that’s just what happens when you become a mom, you know, like the fatigue and the hair loss and oh yeah, like you’ll feel anxious and all the depression and things like that. Like, oh, it just happens. And I was kind of like, this doesn’t seem right. Like that shouldn’t be how we’re introducing moms to the postpartum period and just telling them this is what goes on and this is how it happens.
And so I was very kind of adamant on digging into that side of things and understanding, you know, what is really going on with our bodies and how can we make sure that we are doing all that we can. And it came back to nutrition, and I really feel like how we fuel our body is how we feel better.
Maranda: Absolutely. And I love this so much because you really kind of went through the same journey as I did in trying to sift and sort through all of the, you know, almost obnoxious amount of information that’s available. That is so conflicting to what we know to be true and how the body shifts and changes and at this physiological level and how it really needs support and nutrition. And I share often, I think I shared in a couple of episodes back about how like I still to this day cannot go on Pinterest and look for postpartum meals because I cry. I like I literally cry because I’m so passionate about this kind of ridiculous, but the amount of information that’s out there is so harmful. And so maybe you can share a little bit about some of this conflicting information, like what is it that you are finding that is not okay, that’s not true.
Sarah: Yeah, I mean, I think ultimately what I was finding was everybody was trying to just like get mom to bounce back and like have that pre-pregnancy weight and not really focus on healing the body. It was more so like how to lose the baby weight.
And that was hard for me to hear because I was like, okay yeah sure, like that can happen, that’s great, like I think everybody wants to feel, you know, quote-unquote like their selves again. But we have changed, we have shifted, you have transformed into a mother and you’re supposed to be different now, you’re supposed to be in a whole new, you know, way of being. And I think when we revert back to, you know, limiting what we’re eating, especially when you’re breastfeeding, that’s not fair, like that’s not good, you need to be like getting in those calories, you need to be fueling your body and, you know, just speaking with you and learning everything that I’ve learned in the course that, you know, making sure everything should be warm and nourishing and not the smoothies and salads and such that are really kind of like tossed out there and given to moms, I felt like when I was following that way of eating, I felt so much better and felt like my healing process was able like I saw the changes in myself. And I think that’s when it really clicked for me when I was like, you know, getting more of the soups rather than the smoothies. When I was, you know, making sure that I was upping, you know, like healthy fats and such. It was kind of like, that’s when I took a turn and was like, yes, like, this isn’t what I need more of.
Maranda: Quick note for you, my friend, my postpartum nutrition certification program is opening. And if you feel called to support women at this deep, fundamental level and truly address the root of postpartum depression, anxiety, and postpartum autoimmune disease, then join this group of thought leaders and community builders in this upcoming cohort. You can learn more at www.marandaBower.com/certification.
Maranda: And I appreciate like, I’m just now realizing that we did not tell the audience that you are absolutely certified through my program, the Postpartum Nutrition Certification Program. If you are a certified postpartum nutrition coach, you know exactly what you’re talking about here. You’ve experienced for yourself because when we’re talking about healing others, like when I lead people through the certification, right? Like, we are our first client. We have to go through the journey of healing ourselves, no matter how many years postpartum we are. So many of us enter into the field of being a professional, supporting others through postpartum or even pregnancy because of our own journeys. And so many of us are still in the journey of healing. So, you know, we talk a lot about that in the certification program, but you speak obviously to that and you know exactly what you’re talking about when it comes to nutrition. But I also want to say, like, I 1000% agree with you. It’s like this whole idea of get your body back and lose the weight. And the other thing that I see is how do you eat for breastfeeding? How do you eat for your baby? And, you know, that is so counterintuitive, right? Of course, we want to eat for our baby, but by eating for ourselves, we simultaneously meet the needs of our baby. So, you know, it begs the question, like, how did we get so far off here? How did we get into this place? And I think that opens up a whole another can of worms. But what we really want to talk about here is, you know, how you are really supporting women and this knowledge now, because you are so passionate about this subject that you started your podcast and you talk about all of these conflicting things that mothers are told that are simply not true, these myths that are not true. Tell us a little bit more about that. What are some top myths that you feel that we as mothers truly need to understand?
Sarah: Yeah, I think exactly like you were saying too, you know, we’re told how to fuel our body to feed our baby. We’re told, you know, what we need to do in order to help our baby. And I think somewhere along the lines, we have forgotten that we also need to heal. No matter how you gave birth, something has drastically changed in your whole body. And you need to also remember to focus on that. I think I was finding so much postpartum about how to do whatever with your baby, like how to, you know, even just as simple as like change a diaper, things like that. But like, you’re not exposed to how to heal yourself, how to care for yourself, what kind of support you need.
And I think that was just lacking so much. I mean, I have people that were there supporting me, things like that, but it was like, let me hold the baby or let me do this for the baby or this is how to do this for the baby. And nobody was really explaining what needed to be done for me. And I was kind of like lost and confused at like why I was now, you know, during your pregnancy, I think everybody’s catering to the mom and, oh, put your feet up. And this is how, you know, to like care for you because baby’s inside of you. And somehow, after the birth of your child, and when your baby’s detached from you, and now it’s all attention on the baby. And I think mothers are really lacking that support that we need and I think, you know, we need to feel supported and cared for so that we can properly be doing all that we can for our babies and we want to be doing those things we want to be feeling good we don’t want to be tired. We don’t want to, you know, feel anxious and depressed and things like that. Like, that’s not helping anybody and I think, you know, that is the number one thing that I was seeing it was kind of like, all attention on baby and everything erased from the mother’s sense of support.
Maranda: Yes, absolutely hands down agree. And it’s, it’s so interesting like postpartum is this silent space that we enter right nobody knows it nobody witnesses it because we’re so busy focused on mom that we never see what actually happens in postpartum right our our children our girls our boys they grow up and not knowing what postpartum really is and so when we enter into this space we’re like oh my gosh there’s bleeding right like oh my gosh how long is this going to last right what is this feeling what is this healing like because our focus is so on the baby that we don’t even witness the postpartum experience for what it is. And what has happened is that we have essentially generations before us that have forgotten how to care for a postpartum mother we we don’t witness it. It’s something that happens behind closed doors. It’s such a silent endeavor. We don’t speak about it. We don’t witness it. We don’t see it. And so we have family and friends who come over who support the baby, you know, and not ourselves. We have baby showers. We teach women about all of the things to get to the babies, you know, the best car seat and the best rollers and, you know, all of these components, but nobody’s speaking about how to help the mothers, even us as mothers who go through the experience and have friends who do it, right? It’s become a cultural norm to focus on the baby and be very, very silent and dismissive of postpartum.
Sarah: Yeah, it’s almost like you’re afraid to be that selfish in a way, like, you know, I think a lot of the time it’s like, oh, like being a mother is the most, most like selfless thing you can do and you have to cater to your baby and things like that. And that’s great. I mean, yes, care for your baby. You need to be there for your baby, but you can’t fully be there for your baby if you are not first healing yourself and there for yourself and learning what’s going on with yourself. And I think, you know, what’s kind of been unique for me, I lost my mom when I was very young and so I don’t have that direct maternal connection to kind of be like, well, what was postpartum like for you? You know, I have aunts and a mother-in-law and family and such like that, friends, but I didn’t have that direct correlation and there was so much too like, oh, the way that your mother labored, that’s how you’ll labor or the, you know, the way that your mother might have like gone through postpartum that might be similar to you. And I had nowhere to really reference and no direct connection to that. So that was sort of lacking and definitely brought on a whole new aspect of postpartum that I was not ready for as well because now here I was with this baby and I was able to kind of like feel those moments that you know my mother may have felt when I was first born and I think just going through all of that like really led into a whirlwind of emotions too and you know just going back to nutrition I was able to heal with that. I was able to really you know feel that nourishing support through the food that I was eating and being able to express to people you know like my husband and such like what needed to be going on for me and express like really just expressing that and telling people you know what you need as a mother in order to help.
Maranda: Absolutely postpartum nutrition is not just about nourishing ourselves physically and repleting our bodies, right? It’s something that like using food to nourish our mind, body, and soul, that’s exactly what it is. So 1000%, absolutely. And I think just going back to like this understanding of how significant it is to ask for help, to allow people to witness your journey, to, you know, be like yeah my baby needs support, but guess what I’m here too and not to feel guilty for that, right? And I know that’s easier said than done. We talk about mom guilt and like you can google search mom guilt and you’re going to get millions and millions of hits, everybody talks about mom guilt, everybody knows about mom guilt, and we have to ask the question like why is this a thing? Why has this become a societal norm to have mom guilt? And if we don’t have mom guilt then we should absolutely feel guilty because we don’t have mom guilt, right? Like it’s such a difficult thing that we need to truly dive into, and I will tell you that our babies, our children, do not want us to be martyrs. They do not want us to be selfless beings who give away our entire lives for the sake of their own, right? And I mean, just think about yourself as an adult. How would you like that for your mother? If you knew that your mother did that, it would be heartbreaking, right? My mother did that. It was heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking. I see her struggles today. And it is very, very difficult. And it was because of the way she allowed herself to live in motherhood without the support systems, without speaking up. Because the way we experience these early years postpartum, truly shape our motherhood experience and later our menopause. It’s not something that’s just eventually going to go away. It’s not something that’s going to eventually get better. If you’re struggling, the struggle will continue. It will transform. It will become a bigger monster under the bed that we have to face. And we see that. We see that in our mothers. We see it in our grandmothers. And we are in a prime position to step back and say, this is no longer acceptable. And I’m not going to teach my daughters this. And I’m not going to teach my sons this. And we’re going to raise another generation who understands what it means to care for our children while caring for ourselves without guilt.
Sarah: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think that needs to happen. And I think after the birth of my daughter, that really hit hard. And it was like, I’m telling her all these amazing things. And I’m saying, you can be anything and you need to take care of yourself. And you’re going to be wonderful and great. And then it’s like, well, you have to tell yourself those things too. And it’s not too late for you.
Maranda: Beautiful. Beautiful. Thank you so much for this episode. I feel like we could go on and on about newer topics here. but I want to make sure that my audience knows where can they find you where can they find your podcast in particular because I know that’s where you tend to show up most but let us know where can we reach out and learn more about what you are teaching in the world.
Sarah: Yeah sure so the podcast is called Entering Motherhood you should be able to find it wherever you are listening to this podcast and the website is www .enteringmotherhood .com I’m also on Instagram at entering motherhood and we have a Facebook group you should just be able to search Entering Motherhood there too.
Maranda: Gorgeous thank you so much I will be sure to include all of those links in the show notes so if you’re listening you can go easy click on those and take a look at Sarah and all of the beautiful work that she’s doing thank you Sarah.
Sarah: Thank you!
Maranda: Thanks for tuning in and taking the time to learn about how to support your body in deep healing we don’t do this work just for us or for you your healing impacts your children your relationships and your community we do this work because the health and vibrancy of our world begins with its mothers I hope you have taken some valuable information today and applied it to your own life if you aren’t sure where to begin reach out about working together one-on-one or at minimum learning about my postpartum nutrition plan which is where I start every single one of my clients and you can do that by going to MarandaBower.com hope you enjoyed this episode let us know by leaving a review and we will see you next time.
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