My name is Emily and I just want to take a minute to tell you about the story of Fertile Ground Kitchen. After spending years working in the wellness industry as a chef, it wasn’t until I had children that I realized the true source of human health. After I had my first daughter in 2014- a long and challenging hospital birth- I realized how much I had been indoctrinated, along with millions of other American women, to believe that I could have a baby and maintain the same structure that was in place before our sweet girl arrived. I believed that it was up to me to maintain the same household and social responsibilities, and to take care of anyone that walked through our front door. Meanwhile, I had no family members nearby and my partner, who I am so lucky to have, received no parental leave. I knew in my heart that this wasn’t how a postpartum experience should be, and I also knew that I wasn’t the only mother who felt this way. Many other cultures hold a deep reverence for a mother’s postpartum journey because they understand that the health of future generations depends on the health of mothers. In traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, the first forty days after a woman gives birth is considered a sacred window of healing, during which the mother is cared for by others so she can rest, eat nutrient-dense foods cooked by others, and bond with her baby. Unfortunately, in the Western world, many of us have lost our “village,” and we have forgotten how to rest deeply and allow ourselves to ask for help when we need it most.
This is the gift of the journey into parenthood. Our children are constant reminders of what make life worth living and what constitute our true necessities: shelter, security, good nourishing food, community, and love. Unfortunately, these things aren’t always easy to achieve, with privatization of Earth’s natural resources being the focus of many big corporations. Never before have we had to ask so many questions about the origin of our food, our water, our skincare and home care products, even worrying about the air that we breathe and the grass that should welcome bare feet. All of these things are negatively affecting the long-term health of us and our children, the Earth, and even our ability to have children.
Two of the biggest signs of our declining health are the rising rates of infertility and chronic childhood conditions. Modern statistics show that in the U.S., one in six couples is infertile, one woman in five will have a miscarriage, one in ten babies is born prematurely, and one in thirty children will be born with a congenital defect. Autism, allergies, asthma, learning disabilities, childhood obesity, autoimmune conditions, tooth decay, and cancer are all on the rise with each subsequent generation. We cannot always control toxins in our environment, but one thing we can control is what we put in our bodies. The best way we can encourage optimal fetal development is by nourishing our bodies and minds before, during, and after the childbearing year.
Traditional cultures understood the importance of good nutrition for fertility, pregnancy, and early childhood development. In order to ensure that their cultures would survive and thrive for many generations, they knew that nourishing both mother and father with certain sacred foods would help produce beautiful robust babies with strong immune systems. Let us carry on this wisdom and empower our little ones to do the same!
Learn more about the pillars of prenatal and postpartum nutrition here.
Find out more about our postpartum care packages here.
Sending you happiness and health, from my family to yours.