#45 Postnatal Nutrition, "Baby Weight" & Replenishing Your Body

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast


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"In terms of postnatal nutrition, your entire focus should be on looking after your body and restoring the nutrients depleted during pregnancy. So, choose to see your 'baby weight' as a natural, wonderful way that your body protects and nourishes you and your baby. There's no reason to 'work it off' as soon as possible."

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In Episode 45 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and Kate Callaghan discuss postnatal nutrition for nursing moms and holistic postnatal nutrition guidelines they should follow.

  • Main nutritional goals post pregnancy
  • Do women still need to be eating “extra”, if so, how much?
  • Important nutrients and specific foods for post pregnancy
  • Food prep strategies for new mums
  • Meal frequency post pregnancy
  • Thoughts on low carb post pregnancy
  • Advice and experience on the pressure to “losing baby weight”
  • Kate’s experience with post natal depression
  • Supplements and essential oils post pregnancy 

Intro 0:00
Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast where you’ll find the inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you using whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement, and lifestyle hacks. Your host, Natalie Bourke and Kate Callaghan, a degree-qualified Dietitians and Nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.

Natalie K. Douglas 0:39
Hey, guys, welcome back to the podcast. Kate, what’s happening this morning?

Kate Callaghan
I’m really freaking cold with a nice blanket.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. That’s cute, I like a good blanket. I actually prefer blankets to heaters. I feel like it’s more comforting.

Kate Callaghan
Oh, I like both.

Natalie K. Douglas
I get really like, I’m that person that has the heater on but like has all the doors open because I’m like, oh, no, I need fresh air, I’m going to die.

Kate Callaghan
That’s very energy inefficient.

Natalie K. Douglas
I know. I get in trouble a lot. So I just don’t put the heater on and I just demand extra snuggles and blankets are bought to me.

Kate Callaghan 1:18
You give it that with a fire. It’s good with the fire and you can have windows and stuff open.

Natalie K. Douglas 1:23
That’s true. That’s true. Maybe I should just get an indoor fire then.

Kate Callaghan 1:29
Well, that’s that’s what we have here. Not not as common in Sydney?

Natalie K. Douglas
No, it’s not.

Kate Callaghan
New Zealand, it’s kind of needed.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes, yes, that’s true, maybe it’s true.

Kate Callaghan
But how much, just working this morning what’s happening with you?

Natalie K. Douglas 1:40
Not a lot. I’m just going through my rebranding process still and I’m insisting that I keep bringing it up on the podcast so that when my name changes on social media and my website to Natalie K. Douglas, everyone’s not like, who the hell is this chick? So everybody announcement I am rebranding to from Health by Whole Foods Natalie Bourke to Natalie K. Douglas, thyroid healer soon. I’m just trying to do all of the little annoying jobs to make that happen. So please don’t unfollow me if you see someone random pop up it’s just me.

Kate Callaghan 2:17
Everyone will know.

Natalie K. Douglas 2:18
Yes, I hope so. I will try and like be more diligent about letting people know on social media, but I just figured the podcast is an easy place to make people aware of stuff because apparently people listen to this.

Kate Callaghan
They do.

Natalie K. Douglas
I was like, damn, people listen. I thought it was just my mom and then she stopped listening. And I was like, damn, we have no listeners and then bam there’s quite a few of you. So thanks.

Kate Callaghan 2:40
Yeah, yeah, I’m always hearing from people that I kind of really love your podcast. You listen?

Natalie K. Douglas 2:45
Yeah, I know. Everyone’s always like you’re really funny and authentic. And I’m like do they like our information or they’re just listening to us because we banter?

Kate Callaghan 2:53
Are we actually funny or we think we’re funny?

Natalie K. Douglas 2:57
I don’t know. I think we’re funny but you know it’s all right. Anyway, today, we’re not actually going to banter for the whole time. I thought it was really fun when Kate interviewed me last time. So now today, I am going to interview Kate. And what we’re going to be chatting about is post-pregnancy nutrition because we have done a podcast on kind of pre-pregnancy nutrition. We did a little bit of like during pregnancy nutrition during pregnancy, pregnancy nutrition.

Kate Callaghan 3:28
So, it makes sense.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:31
Yeah, thanks. And so now we’re going to be talking about post-pregnancy because I think that a good chunk of our listeners would also fall fall into that category. And it’s just something really good to be aware of because there are still certain things you need to be mindful of in that period of time. And Kate, having had two pregnancies, I believe that you have quite a lot of experience in this arena.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan 3:54
I would think and that’s I am I’m at my capacity, they will not be any further.

Natalie K. Douglas
There will no be, there will no be, there will be no further, well.

Kate Callaghan
No further we’re done.

Natalie K. Douglas 4:03
That’s right, you can support me when I end up going down that path.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
I’m not I’m not looking forward to it just yet. Just because everyone that I’m friends with has toddlers at the moment and they look really tired.

Kate Callaghan 4:16
Do I look tired?

Natalie K. Douglas 4:18
You actually look tired today, but sometimes a lot. She’s tired. Besides, I also know that your sleep gets disturbed sometimes. Oh my God, my sleep. I’m such a grumpy little shit when I don’t sleep.

Kate Callaghan 4:37
It’s not the toddler that’s making me tired. She exasperates me sometimes, but now the tiredness would come from Ed waking through the night. But we are on operation nightwing now.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, awesome.

Kate Callaghan
So, I am no longer feeding him through the night. So, Aaron’s taking over to resettle him and it’s horrific so far, but it’s going to get better. For two reasons. One, because I love sleep, I need more sleep for just to be a nice human but also I need to get my period back.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
Not for babies but for my bone health.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, awesome.

Kate Callaghan
Heart health and all the other things that you need your period for. I went to the doctor the other day, and I said something about not having my period back but I want to get it back. And she said something like, oh, do you want to have more babies? I said no. And she says, well, why do you want a period back? It’s kind of convenient not having it, isn’t it? Well, no, no.

Natalie K. Douglas
Well, yeah, no. No, it’s not.

Kate Callaghan
I’d actually like to not have osteoporosis.

Natalie K. Douglas
Just a thought though.

Kate Callaghan
Just saying, I’d like to not have cardiovascular disease. And I’d like, you know, to have a libido.

Natalie K. Douglas 5:47
Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Kate Callaghan 5:49
I’m a weird person.

Natalie K. Douglas 5:53
Absolutely, that’s funny. All right. Well, funny in a in a really sad way.

Kate Callaghan
Funny and concerning.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, it really is but that’s when you go and get a second opinion. For as second opinions are worth it sometimes. Anyway, on to some of our questions. So we actually get to help some people with with this topic. The thing I wanted to start off with is, what are the main nutritional goals post-pregnancy, in your opinion?

Kate Callaghan 6:20
Okay, so this is probably twofold. First and foremost, you obviously need to look after your body and in terms of restoring the nutrients depleted during pregnancy, because babies will draw a lot from you. Suck the life out of you too, because you creating a human in you, which, if you sit down and think about it, it’s pretty frickin amazing that you can create all of those little bones and skin and eyes and heart and brain from your body but that’s a big demand on your body. So you need to kind of replenish yourself with that. And you also need to focus on healing as well. Especially if you have had a C section, then you really need to focus on extra healing. And so you need to be really to up the nutritional density, if you’ve had a C section or if you’ve had any significant tearing, or hemorrhaging, especially if you’ve had any hemorrhaging in that labor period. And then obviously, you want to get as much nutrition in as possible, above and beyond to help with your energy levels and your moods, to deal with those sleepless nights. So whether you’re breastfeeding or not, it can it’s energy demanding those first few months, especially as your baby’s going to be waking regularly through the night. Now, if you are breastfeeding, obviously, you’ve got extra demands on you because you’re still nourishing that baby with your body. So you need to think about getting extra extra nutrition to support breastfeeding.

Natalie K. Douglas 7:58
So when you say extra nutrition, does that also in the context of breastfeeding. Does that also, I guess, correlate with extra food or extra calories overall? And if so, how much extra should women who are breastfeeding be eating because I think there’s sometimes a tendency, as soon as someone you know, gives birth all that pressure to, okay, let’s start losing the baby weight and start dropping calories again, so they can get back to their pre-baby body in quotation marks. But obviously, we know breastfeeding is a highly energy-demanding process but can you put some numbers or even just some visual of what of what they actually need in terms of extra food?

Kate Callaghan 8:45
Yeah, and that really shits me the pressure to get your body back after a baby. I don’t think you should be thinking about that as hard as it is to not think about it for at least the first year, especially if you want to breastfeed because the moment you start cutting calories, your breast milk is going to drop. So think about what you want to do, think about your priorities. It’s not for forever. So try and shut out that that social media or that external pressure as much as possible. And I know it’s not easy, but try and do that as much as possible. And just remember, remind yourself that you’re nourishing a little human and you’re nourishing yourself and there’s more to it than getting your baby body pre-baby body back whatever that means not the or ever get it back. You’re body’s changed forever. You’ve grown human.

Natalie K. Douglas 9:35

Kate Callaghan 9:36
But what does it look like? So the research says about 500 extra calories per day. So that’s pretty much a whole extra meal. Myself, I in the early days, I was having six meals a day, and then I’m probably still reach for the jar of peanut butter in the middle of the night. I was eating all the time, I never could have sat down and okay, let’s count out these calories. I just really listened to my body. And just ate ate ate all the time.

Natalie K. Douglas 10:04
Yep. And was there or is there any particular nutrients that you advise women to be particularly mindful of getting if they are breastfeeding? So like, any particular focus on a certain food or a certain nutrient that comes through food?

Kate Callaghan 10:23
So carbs are really important. Do you think there’s any podcast that we haven’t banter on?

Natalie K. Douglas
I don’t know, I love carbs.

Kate Callaghan
But they are they are really important. So a large part of your breast milk is made up of lactose. So that’s a sugar. And so when you have those carbohydrates, that’s going to help with the production of your breast milk. But we also want to think about getting adequate fats in as well because it’s going to make a really nutrient-dense, nourishing, fulfilling, satiating breast milk for your baby. And then in terms of healing and getting everything back on track, healing your body, proteins are obviously important. So all things really.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
If you have had low iron during pregnancy and or you lost a lot of blood during labor, then obviously you want to get some high iron foods in, so liver. I’m not offering any other suggestions, I’m just going to eat liver.

Natalie K. Douglas
That is it everybody, liver. Yeah, cool.

Kate Callaghan
No, other suggestions obviously are red meat, clams, spirulina if you want to go more plant-based, but if your irons are quite low then liver.

Natalie K. Douglas 11:35
Yeah. Awesome. And when you say liver would a few times a week be adequate or you’re saying every day?

Kate Callaghan 11:42
It depends how low your iron is, if it’s not horribly, horribly low then a few times a week. If it’s quite deficient. If you’re anemic, then I’d go daily for for a short period of time, you’d be surprised at how quickly and effectively liver helps restore your iron levels and your B12 levels and remember, we spoke about this before that just 50 grams of liver per day is going to give you 50% of all of your vitamin and mineral requirements for that day. Which is pretty amazing.

Natalie K. Douglas 12:09
Yeah, and you can like there’s, there’s kind of tips and tricks and hacks to getting around the fact that it tastes like ass. No, I’m sorry.

Kate Callaghan
I love it.

Natalie K. Douglas
I’m not, I’m definitely not.

Kate Callaghan
It’s nice with pate.

Natalie K. Douglas
I’ve tried pate and I’m like.

Kate Callaghan 12:27
Well, you didn’t make it right, you need to make it with bacon and brandy and butter the three B’s.

Natalie K. Douglas 12:33
Look, if it was just like just tasted like butter I could deal with it but I just I can’t, I can’t deal. But I actually can’t have a lot of it because I have a tendency to accumulate iron so.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
I have so I’m not homozygous for it. But I am heterozygous for a few of them. So I have to just be mindful that I don’t have too much red meat and too much liver. I still eat it, no, I don’t eat liver to be honest. But I still eat red meat. But I have to just be mindful and I also donate blood semi-regularly.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, good. So for those of you don’t know, hemochromatosis is a condition where you absorb too much iron or store too much iron. I have I’m also heterozygous, actually, but it doesn’t seem to build up too much thankfully, because I’m not good with donating blood. I wish I was but I’d be that bloody snowflake who falls at the path without donating.

Natalie K. Douglas 13:32
I actually, I always did the first time that I did it and like I had to you have to like pump your hand to make the blood, like come just but pumping my hand wasn’t enough. So I was like basically cycling in the chair like it was pumping my hand. I was like bicycling my legs, and everyone else is sitting there like laid back just chilling and here I am like running a marathon trying to donate blood. I’m like surely, surely this is not right. Um, so anyway, the next time was a bit better because I went in the afternoon I went in the morning the first time and I had genetically kind of lower blood pressure, like a tendency towards that and so going in the afternoon was much better for me. I had more time to have more food, more water, and my blood pressure was much higher in the afternoon and it was much easier. I didn’t have to run a marathon to donate the blood that time which was awesome anyway.

Kate Callaghan 14:28
Do you know, do you know my blood pressure got down to I think 80/47 in pregnancy?

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, gosh.

Kate Callaghan
My friend who’s a doctor, she was like, that’s when would be pressing the button. That’s like a code blue or something. I don’t know if it’s actually a Code Blue. One of the codes. I only learn these things on Grey’s Anatomy.

Natalie K. Douglas 14:48
Oh, same. I love Grey’s Anatomy.

Kate Callaghan 14:50
I forgot to mention there are actually some specific micronutrients and in fact that are in high demand post-pregnancy. One thing to think about is iodine so that’s really important to keep getting sufficient levels of iodine while you’re breastfeeding to pass that through to your baby for thyroid health, and growth and development. You can get this from things like kelp, nori, dulse, wakame, seaweed, or and if you’re not having that regularly, then obviously taking an iodine supplement, which will provide at least 150 micrograms of iodine per day. The other thing that you want to include in your diet to get through your breast milk is oily fish so, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring to get that good quality omega-3 essential fatty acids for again brain development and eye development for bulbs but also to help your brain health and prevent baby brain.

Natalie K. Douglas 15:51
Yeah, and also a really good prevention of postnatal depression. I find getting people on really every if they’re not eating enough fatty fish as in if someone’s not eating fatty fish at least three to four times a week, I will put them on a particularly DHA omega-3 supplement post-pregnancy, or even throughout pregnancy because sometimes it just the fish intake just doesn’t happen. It’s obviously ideal for it to be happening from food but if not, then a supplement can help fill that gap because it is it is really important and your DHA which is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid will get depleted or sent to the baby before it goes to you. So it’s really important that those levels are really topped up pre-pregnancy during pregnancy and post-pregnancy as well. So good mention.

Kate Callaghan 16:48
Indeed. I actually like the Nordic Naturals DHA.

Natalie K. Douglas 16:52
Yes, I do like that one too. There’s a few good ones out there. It’s just really important that buying that you look for quality. So that it’s you know certified. It’s got a few certifications on in terms of how clean it is and the purity is because you don’t want to be buying cheap fish oils. I also totally agree with the iodine thing. I think that it’s something that in terms of pre-pregnancy, it’s something that you really want to make sure is optimized before you go into pregnancy because you know, your iodine intake is where the baby is going to get all its iodine intake and there’s actually been an increase in babies coming and being born with hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency so and it remains really important throughout pregnancy and also during lactation as well so as Kate said, make sure you are getting in enough iodine even if there’s even iodized sea salt now like they used to just be crappy sea salt. Sorry, crappy.

Kate Callaghan
Crappy, salt, tables salt.

Natalie K. Douglas
Table salt that was yeah, that was just fortified with iodine but had all the shit in it. I do have sworn a lot this podcast. Sorry.

Kate Callaghan 18:11
Right. I started off with the fuck.

Natalie K. Douglas 18:16
Yeah, you did, explicit. Anyway, so making sure that like you use that you can use like seaweed like nori wraps to, you know, in your lunches, you can add dulse flakes to your food. And, you know, obviously, seafood being another another good source as well or making sure it’s in your supplement, as well. Kate, just a question on thyroid post-pregnancy. Did you have any issues with your thyroid after giving birth?

Kate Callaghan 18:44
I did not but it is quite common to have thyroid issues in post-pregnancy. So I’d always recommend retesting.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
I actually have, I just went to the doctor last week to get a script to get some more blood test to get my antibodies and thyroid levels checked.

Natalie K. Douglas 18:58
Awesome. I love it.

Kate Callaghan 19:00
But I had I had to monitor my thyroid every six weeks through pregnancy because I had that history of thyroid issues.

Natalie K. Douglas 19:07
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is really important. Awesome.

Kate Callaghan 19:10
As a side note, did you see that research that said that intelligent people tend to be messy, and swear more?

Natalie K. Douglas 19:17
Oh, my God. No, but it makes total sense. I feel really happy about myself now.

Kate Callaghan
We’re the smartest person. Anyway.

Natalie K. Douglas
That’s really positive. Thanks for sharing that insight. So for all you messy people out there.

Kate Callaghan 19:38
I send it to my husband.

Natalie K. Douglas 19:43
I like it. Is he very clean, is he like neat and tidy?

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, yeah. He sent me a very funny article. One meal Kate.

Natalie K. Douglas 19:55
Oh, that’s good.

Kate Callaghan
Moving on.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes, moving on. So the other thing I wanted to ask you. So obviously, we’ve talked about how important it is to eat adequate food during sorry, post-pregnancy. But post-pregnancy is a really busy time. And you often, I can imagine that you often feel quite overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to do this whole mom-life thing having to keep a little human alive for sometimes the first time? And what kind of strategies can moms use to actually continue eating well, in the middle of all of that, or what strategies did you use to help particularly with your first baby when it was all new and you know, I can imagine it was quite overwhelming.

Kate Callaghan 20:42
Do you know what? I think I actually did better first time around because I had a bit more time than this time. So this time, I actually found that it was more challenging to get enough food in because you’re trying to manage two children but yeah, to start with, so food prep is really, really important. And for the first few weeks, especially, it’s quite, quite overwhelming getting to be a parent, getting to know how to be a parent. So making some food and freezing it before you have a baby is going to be really helpful. I also have to give a massive shout out to my husband because for the first eight months of Olivia’s life he cooked all the dinners.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
And he did all the laundry. He’s still doing the laundry, I have a pretty good husband.

Natalie K. Douglas
I think so.

Kate Callaghan
I’m kind of lucky but so if you can get like support as well don’t be afraid to ask for it. So people also are coming around to bring you things. Gifts, useless gifts maybe say can you just cook me a meal instead rather than bringing some useless gifts.

Natalie K. Douglas
A useless gift.

Kate Callaghan
No, but like some things are really useless.

Natalie K. Douglas
Maybe work on the word and give that. What a useless gift.

Kate Callaghan
Yes, and so maybe don’t say that to them. If you’d like to bring me something I would really appreciate a meal. Don’t bring me your crap, just give me a food.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh my God, I’m so glad I didn’t try and bring you anything during pregnancy or post-pregnancy.

Kate Callaghan
This is sucks.

Natalie K. Douglas
Let’s be honest, I probably would have given you food. I always give people food just because I love it so much. I’m like, oh, this person definitely wants food for their birthday.

Kate Callaghan
Food is always welcome here. But yeah, so other things that you can do is not not like the perfect getting the way of the good. So if a smoothie is all you can manage just chuck everything in. Smoothies are actually really good during breastfeeding and that postpartum period because you can have them with one hand. It doesn’t take long to whip them up and you can put so much into it so many fats and proteins. You can put in spinach, all sorts of goody-goodies, spirulina.

Natalie K. Douglas 23:02
A quick question on that. Are protein powder safe during pregnancy? I mean, sorry, during breastfeeding, and if so which do you recommend a certain type of protein powder or what would you kind of what were your go-to’s during that period?

Kate Callaghan 23:21
Most are some of the jazzed up ones these days might not be so just check on the pack and see if they are suitable. So you know some things have things like milk thistle in them to support extra detoxification, that wouldn’t be appropriate during breastfeeding because you don’t want to upregulate any detoxification during breastfeeding as the toxins get mobilized into the breast milk and then go into baby and you don’t want that but if you can tolerate dairy then a good quality whey protein would be good. If you’re staying off dairy for bulbs digestive system because it can be challenging for baby’s digestive system, then maybe going for a plant-based one so a good quality pea protein or a hemp protein if you tolerate it. Hemp’s actually really amazing. One thing to note with the hemp, if you’re prone to cold sores, hemp protein can flare those up or you can just simply go for a straight-up collagen.

Natalie K. Douglas 24:17
Yeah, awesome. And just a note on the whole safety in like the protein powders being safe and blah, blah, blah. So in Australia, you will notice that on the back of any protein powder, it will say that it’s not suitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding although it might still be suitable. So just to explain that further. They have to put that on there because you can’t be seen to be promoting weight loss during pregnancy or breastfeeding and because most kind of protein powders for ethical reasons aren’t trialed on people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, I would consider the protein powder safe as long as it didn’t have any herbs that were pushing detox pathways, or really any herbs generally is probably going to help you stay clear of one that isn’t safe. But if you are ever unsure, always just check with your health practitioner first. But generally speaking, if they’re just if all the ingredients are is whey protein or a pea protein or rice protein or hemp protein or collagen, and maybe some like a flavor like cacao and stevia, it’s fine. But if they’ve got a whole bunch of other ingredients, which some of them or a lot of them do these days, then it’s best to just double-check with someone before doing that because like Kate said, you don’t want to be pushing detox pathways during pregnancy or breastfeeding because toxins will be kind of coming out of your system and those will they need to exit the body and they will do that through breast milk. They’ll do that you know that it’s not the best time to try and detox basically. So just keep that in mind.

Kate Callaghan 26:01
Totally. And if some other options for for really quick food. If you can only manage to do a piece of toast, put some pate on it and you’re winning.

Natalie K. Douglas 26:11
A battle of pate.

Kate Callaghan 26:14
Or avocado, avocado is good. It’s not as nutritious as pate, obviously. Boiled eggs, spoil a few days worth of eggs in the fridge. They’ll kick for three days. So you know two to three a day so you can just again have them one hand chuck some salt on and good to go.

Natalie K. Douglas 26:28
Chuck almond butter. Have you tried that?

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
I know. I know. Trust me.

Kate Callaghan
You know what?

Natalie K. Douglas
Put almond butter or any nuts inside the egg it tastes so good.

Kate Callaghan
No, what?

Natalie K. Douglas
It’s so good. Don’t what me. Try it before before you judge. Remember I told you to do this on another podcast with peanut butter and you’re very skeptical, but I feel like you should maybe try it. You know what I used to do? This is even weirder. I used to take out the yolks and eat the yolks but then just ate the yolks. Just relax. Then I would put a couple of blueberries in the like egg white and a teaspoon of almond butter. It was the weirdest delicious combination. Anyway. I’m queen of weird foods.

Kate Callaghan 27:19
That’s very weird.

Natalie K. Douglas 27:22
Thanks. Moving on. So okay, so there are some good tips. So get people to donate their food. Try not to be a bitch when you asked for that instead of useless gifts.

Kate Callaghan 27:31
Look, I appreciated the gifts that everyone bought me.

Natalie K. Douglas
That’s true. You did.

Kate Callaghan
Especially the food.

Natalie K. Douglas 27:38
Okay, so do that free cook and freeze meals before Bob is born or even if people bring over too much food, like freeze their food, too. So you’ve got some more in that way. Yeah, don’t let being perfect get in the way of just being good. So and use smoothies as an option as well. What about meal frequency, is that important? Is there should people be eating more often you were saying you were eating quite regularly was that purely because you couldn’t fit in enough food in just a few meals or was it for a different reason?

Kate Callaghan 28:12
I was just hungry all the time. So I really just tuned in to my body and just ate all the time really.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. Cool.

Kate Callaghan
So yes, you probably should be eating more frequently.

Natalie K. Douglas 28:22
Yeah. Okay, awesome. But don’t get neurotic about it.

Kate Callaghan
No, don’t get neurotic about it.

Natalie K. Douglas
Excellent. Now, I did also want to touch on your well, you kind of already touched on it in relation to carbs post-pregnancy. So I wanted to just reiterate that that it’s not a time to go super low carb because as Kate mentioned, your baby does need carbohydrates. So that well your breast milk leads to carbohydrates, which your baby needs. So try to avoid doing that. Try to like my advice would be try to avoid being too anything as in don’t try and be too low carb or too high carb or too high protein or too low protein. Just look at getting a holistic and whole foods inclusive diet from a variety of sources. The other thing that we did touch on Kate briefly was your opinion around losing baby weight, which we’ve we’ve already addressed but what I want to know is did you struggle with this idea and or like this kind of pressure? And if so, what strategies did you use to minimize how much that actually affected you?

Kate Callaghan 29:39
Yeah, I had to give myself a good talking to actually because yes, it did. I mean through between Olivia and Ed, it didn’t because I knew I needed to keep the weight on to conceive again but this time, if I’m being completely honest, there wasn’t that same drive. So I had to reevaluate my, my why’s and part of that was getting my period back, obviously, because I know the importance of that. And I had to really work on my body image and also acknowledge that the things that made me me and the things that that my friends and family loved me for and not what I look like. I had to you know, delete some social media accounts who probably weren’t that good for my mental health.

Natalie K. Douglas
We all have them, don’t worry.

Kate Callaghan
Oh, yeah, some of them. And some of them were people who I really looked up to, and it was quite disappointing but anyway, and then there was obviously Olivia is a big motivator for me because she is three, she’s a beautiful little girl and I don’t want her to grow up with the same issues that I had with body image and trying to fit into some perceived notion of the ideal body type. And I want to be able to teach her and to love and respect and value her body but also to know that you know, beauty is inside, not outside but it can be both but mostly from the inside. And that’s why I don’t want her seeing me freaking out about my body or talking negatively that my body or just acting negatively towards my body. They’re very perceptive.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
Small humans. Like she’ll look at a book and see some goat and she’s like, why is the goat angry? And it has a slightly angry face on it. Like it’s not, I don’t think he is angry. Yes, it is. Look at its eyes, it’s angry. I guess so they’re very, very, very perceptive. You might think that they’re not picking up on things, but they absolutely are. So that for me was probably the number one motivator to just say, no, I don’t I don’t need to lose the baby weight.

Natalie K. Douglas 31:50
Yeah, I totally agree. And I think part of the struggle is that we are inundated with messages that are opposite to that. And so I really do agree with you in terms of trying your best to minimize your exposure to that. And also like another one, another big one, I would say is, like might sound harsh, but avoiding catching up with anyone, any friends that make you feel like that, or that a very body-focused themselves because that can feel like I know, you know, I obviously haven’t had a baby. So I haven’t had that, you know, that specific struggle but I’ve certainly suffered from eating disorders, I’ve certainly had to put on weight. And a huge thing that I had to do was stop being around people, even if they were lovely people, like stop being around people that had a really big focus on body image for a period of time while while I addressed my own issues with that. So just being mindful about that, because it can be really distressing because you feel pulled in a lot of different directions. So that’s another good strategy.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
And Kate, like one last thing I did want to chat you about because I think it’s really important. And you’ve been really open in, in sharing your experience about this in the past. And I think it’s a good thing to share on because it is a real issue. And that’s postnatal depression. So I know that you’ve mentioned that you’ve suffered from that in the past. And I wanted to know what kind of or your top few strategies for helping get through that. And are there any, any kind of early, early actions people people can take when they feel like they are heading down that path?

Kate Callaghan 33:37
I think it’s really yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head, you have to be prepared, that you would potentially will suffer from it. Even if you have that positive disposition. I’m a very happy, optimistic person. So I didn’t think that postnatal depression was something that I would experience. But it’s really, really prevalent and everyone’s susceptible to it, especially those who are struggle with infertility and issues with conceiving, it’s actually more prevalent in those women. So just be mindful of that. I think having a bit of a plan in place, I do have a whole blog post on having a plan and plan in place. First and foremost is don’t be afraid to get help. Like, honestly go and see someone go and see a counselor or a psychologist or your doctor, go and talk to someone. Don’t feel that you have to suffer in silence, because it seems like everyone else around you is enjoying motherhood and that you’re the only one and that you you must be a bad person because you aren’t enjoying motherhood.

Natalie K. Douglas 34:40
And Kate, can I just interrupt on that? So would you say that going to see someone that is outside the immediate situation is is really important, as opposed to just talking about it with friends or your husband? Was it more helpful for you to express those those thoughts and those feelings to someone that was more. Yeah, removed from the immediate situation for you? Did you feel like you could be more free in in having those kind of conversations?

Kate Callaghan 35:07
Yes. But I think it’s also if you’re comfortable. I think it’s also important to feel confident to say that, let’s say in your mother’s group. When you think that everyone else is cruising through, they probably aren’t. You’d be surprised at how many people are struggling as well but they’re just too afraid to say something and think that they should be loving motherhood but they’re not. So you speaking up in that situation, gives them permission to also speak up and say actually, I’m struggling too. Whereas if we all try and pretend that everything’s just rosy, that’s not going to serve anyone, it’s not going to serve us, it’s not going to serve our friends. So does that make sense?

Natalie K. Douglas 35:46
Yeah, definitely. And I totally agree with you. What about like, I? What about sharing it with your partner? Like, did you find that was something that was was helpful or was it a point of contention? What’s your advice around that?

Kate Callaghan 36:01
It’s a must. Again, I have an amazing husband, he was pretty much he was my rock, he got me through it oh, really, it was a tough time. It was a really, really tough time but he, one of the things he forced me to do was gratitude. But he forced me forced me to write down 10 things that made me a good mom, and I didn’t want to do it. I struggled and maybe write down one thing and just started crying but he helped me. Yeah, I’m just going to start crying now thinking about that. But yeah, so definitely speak to your partner they need to know. And guys struggle, so you need to help them help you.

Natalie K. Douglas 36:38
Yeah, and I think that’s, I think that’s really important and not just struggling with mental issues post-pregnancy, but in general, I think that it’s really important to communicate, because I think that if you if you don’t, and you hold that in, it causes more division. And, you know, for a lot of people, we well I know that I take out my like my anger or my unhappiness on the people that are closest to me if I haven’t shared what’s really going on. But then once you do share what’s really going on it allows them in and allows them to be able to help you more and I think it’s a really important thing if. Like when you’re struggling with this kind of thing post-pregnancy to share particularly with your partner because like Kate said, it’s pretty likely that you know they’re also feeling overwhelmed. And it’s it’s it will bring you closer together to know that oh, hey, like, I’m not the only one that’s like, oh, wow. Like this is this is big. This is a big change. Like guys can’t can’t read our mind. No one can. And I think that it, it creates a lot of a lot of connection by sharing experience and feelings and it just helps you understand each other better as well.

Kate Callaghan 38:00
Yeah, totally.

Natalie K. Douglas 38:01
And then last question, Kate is, are there any supplements or essential oils that you would recommend post-pregnancy in general or any that were particularly helpful for you during that time that just you would recommend people have a look into or a discussion with their health practitioner.

Kate Callaghan 38:24
I think it’s probably a good idea to continue with the prenatal postpartum to restore those nutrient levels. So good quality prenatal supplement the omega-3 supplement as well is helpful if you’re not having some oily fish regularly. I also like having ashwagandha as an adaptogen. I also use echinacea daily as an adaptogen and an immune support, as well as vitamin C for healing and immune support. Essential oils oh, god, I use them every single day, there’s so many of them, but probably the biggest ones that I use for myself would be frankincense, for my moods, to help relieve any anxious feelings and kind of feeling down to uplift me. I use one called balance on the soles of my feet to keep me grounded and tolerant of a baby and three year old and one called Clary Calm to help kind of regulate my my lady lady garden situation.

Natalie K. Douglas 39:23
Yeah, lady garden, I love it.

Kate Callaghan 39:26
But there’s many, many that I use every day, but they’re probably my key ones that I found really beneficial in the postpartum period.

Natalie K. Douglas 39:32
Okay, awesome. And if people want to have access to those, is it best to just email you to get some more information about the essential oils?

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, email is good, [email protected], please.

Natalie K. Douglas 39:49
Awesome. Okay, well, we are coming up to time. So, we will wrap up there but thank you for sharing your experiences and your advice. I think there’s a lot of really good information in there amongst our dabble and inappropriateness.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
Yes. Sorry about that, everybody.

Kate Callaghan 40:06
I’m sorry friends, I appreciate it.

Natalie K. Douglas 40:09
If you guys have any follow up questions, please let us know because as we always say we want to keep answering your questions. And that’s about it. So Kate, thank you again and have a lovely afternoon.

Kate Callaghan
Thanks, Nat.

Natalie K. Douglas
You too.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas

Outro 40:28
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. So, if you have any questions or topics you’d like discussed on the show, simply submit them to [email protected] or [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends and family too. Need more personalized nutrition advice? Why not invest in a consultation to accelerate your journey to your optimal health. You can find Nat over at HealthByWholefoods.com.au and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time guys.


The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!


Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.


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