POSTPARTUM MUSHROOM SOUP BY DOULA + CHEF STEPHANIE MATTHIAS

This mushroom soup is a postpartum favorite and feels like a nice thing to share as we’re transitioning into fall.
— - Postpartum Doula & Chef, Stephanie Matthias

Mushroom Soup

Serves 4-6

  • 2 tbsp ghee

  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • Equal parts crimini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms (about 3/4 pound each), roughly chopped- stems off

  • Sea salt

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3/4 c dry white wine

  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp tomato paste

  • 4 cups bone broth (or more, depending on the texture you want)

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Sweat the onions in the ghee.. once they are totally soft and translucent, add the celery, carrot and garlic. You can allow the mixture to brown a bit. Add the tomato paste and mix it in thoroughly with the vegetables. Cook until it darkens in color a bit. Add the thyme and a sprinkle of salt.

While the onions and rest of veg are cooking, sautée the mushrooms in batches in a separate pan until they’re all browned nicely (you can do this in ghee or olive oil). Once each batch is browned, set aside in a large bowl.

Once the veg mixture is soft and nicely cooked, add in the mushrooms and mix it all together. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced by about half.

Add the broth. Bring to a simmer and let it keep cooking for about 5 minutes.

Blend with a handheld blender or in a Vitamix until desire consistency is reached (I recommend using a handheld blender because it’s easier to control the texture)

Add salt to taste.

Enjoy!

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To read more about Stephanie Matthias, click below for her Inspiring Women Series on Allison’s blog.

IN MY HOSPITAL BAG

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It's been about five months since our most recent bundle of joy arrived and I've been asked a ton about what I brought to the hospital with me.  I feel like since this was my third time around I really scaled back from my first two trips, and this time I actually used everything I brought with me!

I packed everything in two bags along with an insulated bag (Yeti Soft Cooler) for food and drinks. One of my bags was for the labor room since I wanted that right away, and the other bag for recovery.  The insulated bag I used for both.

Labor Bag: 

Postpartum Recovery Bag:

  • 3 sets of pajamas with button tops (J.Crew, Eberjey, Lunya all have good choices)

  • 1 going home outfit (I wore a soft button up with loose fitting sweat pants)

  • 3 pairs of socks with sticky bottoms (Sticky Be)

  • Nursing bra (bambii the label)

  • Nursing pillow (Sustainable Baby)

  • Personal pillow from home

  • Flip flops if you plan on taking a shower and don't want to stand barefoot on the tile

  • Robe (Barefoot Dreams robe was a shower gift and oh what a luxury it was to have)

  • Extension cord for phone charger

  • Toiletries: Your own personal essentials, but be sure to remember a lotion or balm (I packed Nucifera Balm and Mist) and chapstick (Hurraw is my favorite) for the dry air in the hospital

  • Baby outfit x 2 (onesie and hat) (I packed a Solly and LouLou baby)

Food/Drink Bag:

  • DURING LABOR

    • Coconut Water (Harmless Coconut Water)

    • Almonds

    • Granola (Purely Elizabeth)

  • RECOVERY

    • Bone Broth (Mother’s Bees)

    • Mother’s Milk Tea

    • Calm Magnesium

  • MISC.

    • Refillable water bottle (Swell)

    • Reusable cup for tea and broth (Yeti)

Partner Duties:

  • Insurance information

  • Stem Cell/Cord Blood/Placenta necessities

  • Carseat (Nuna Pipa Light)

  • Phone for pictures or camera

I think it goes without saying that everyones bags will be slightly different depending on their needs, birth plan, support, etc...but hope this helps to give you an idea of what worked for me!

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4 BABY ITEMS I LOVE

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Baby items are changing all the time, and I think there is just no way to keep up with it all. So needless to say that with a 6 year gap between my second son and my most recent, there have been lots of changes. I think most mothers would agree, that as you continue to have babies, you start to realize how little you actually need. But there have been a handful of (new to me) items that have really changed the game for me this time around. All of these were shared with me by other moms and I am so grateful for that. So if there is something you’re loving as a mom, be sure to share with your tribe, we all need to help one another out.

At four months postpartum, here are 4 items that I have absolutely loved, have made my life easier and I would recommend wholeheartedly.

  1. Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump: This is a no brainer if you’re breastfeeding. You put it on the breast you’re not nursing from and it collects all the milk from your letdown that is usually just absorbed in the breast pad. This has been such an easy way for me to stash some milk in the freezer.

  2. Baby Shusher: Most of us either automatically “shush” our babies when they cry, or have been trained to do so after reading Dr. Harvey Karp’s book, The Happiest Baby on the Block. But this little machine does the shushing for you! It’s different than an ambient sound machine and actually calms your baby. I tend to use it most in the car, where I feel the most helpless, and it has been a lifesaver.

  3. Askr Embla Sleepod: I am a huge advocate for floor time, and actually shy away from any sort of baby contraption in order to promote babies development. So this sleepod has been a really useful tool for me to place little Anders down in a safe place and not have to run around grabbing blankets for him. He feels cozy and could lay their cooing for long stretches of time. Not to mention it is completely organic and beautifully designed.

  4. Willow Breast Pump: This was gifted to me and I couldn’t be more grateful! Completely wireless, this breast pump allows me to pump in the car, while helping the older kids get dressed and even while I get ready for the day myself. Pumping has never been a favorite past time for me, but with the Willow I can’t complain.

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ABDOMINAL BINDERS POSTPARTUM

Abdominal binding postpartum has been around for a long time, but with a resurgence of more modern designs and easy to use garments, questions pop up often from women about what is best for them postpartum.

The history of belly binding is rooted in honoring the 40 days of rest “the sitting moon” for mother’s after delivery.  A time that is honored slightly differently in various cultures.  But the idea is for the mother to be taken care of both physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The mother does very little activity other than t give her self rest and nourish her new baby.

When a mother is honoring this time and limiting activity, belly binding or wraps can be a beautiful way to reconnect to the core and feel supported where there is now a void with the delivery of baby.  When the binder or wrap is applied early on, not doing too much physically is crucial.  And this is due to the fact that anytime there is a force through the core, the pressure from it must go somewhere.  And in most cases that is pressed downward into the pelvic floor, which is often healing and/or stretched from pregnancy and/or delivery.  

Therefore if a mother is walking around a lot, lifting and using the binding to allow her to do more physically, the goal is lost and the risks could begin to outweigh the benefits.  I often use a toothpaste bottle as a visual example.  If you were to squeeze the center of the tube (the binder) and place the tube upright, the toothpaste would be pushed down and out the opening, just like your pelvic floor.  And unless your pelvic floor has had an adequate time to heal and recover, the lid (pelvic floor) would not have the stamina to stay on and prevent leaking (incontinence, prolapse, pain).

Overall, I am neither for it or against it.  I just believe firmly that women need education on its proper application and what is feasible for them in their situation.  Every woman is different, so every solution can’t be the same!

Personally, I have chosen to wear the BaoBei maternity bloomers and absolutely love them.  The compression is mild and most importantly they give support to the pelvic floor as well.  I would recommend these wholeheartedly.  Check them out for yourself here!

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