Meet Rachel Nicks
Posted on February 08 2018
Mom To: Samuel Otis Lyons IV, 2 months
Profession: Actor - Fitness Professional - Doula
A few months into your motherhood journey, what has been the best part of being Samuel's Mommy?
The highlight has been our connection when we breastfeed and I love the baths and little massages I have given him. I love gazing into his eyes while he feeds. I have wanted to be a mother since I was a little girl and I cannot believe that my dream has finally come true. Samuel is my little miracle. Mama’s dream come true.
What has been the most challenging part of being a new mom?
It is a blessing and a challenge to be the one and only person that my child needs for his every need. His father is fabulous but I am his mama. I have the special touch and the MILKS. My son loves to eat so I am the one that has to fulfill his needs whether it is at 3pm or 3am. And sometimes at 3am I just have to take a deep breath and focus on the blessing of being his mother. I also have to remind myself that it is ok to be tired. I am still working on trying to rest when he rests!!! I am a busy body so that is honestly my biggest challenge. REST when your baby RESTS!! Everyone will tell you but it is important. You and everyone in your home will benefit from a rested mama.
You became a doula before having your own children, what inspired you to do so?
I became a doula 4 years ago. I was passionate about supporting my prenatal and postpartum clients and I began to educate myself about pre and postnatal fitness and it lead me to becoming a doula. I have always wanted to be a mother and grew up with a mother that always spoke positively about how beautiful and empowering birth and motherhood are. She did not have easy births but she never filled me with fear about the journey. I find that most women are afraid of birth and that always bothers me. We were made to create life and we should be supported and empowered when we choose to become a mother. Our society has a lot of work to do. My goal is to educate, support, and empower women through fitness and as a doula and lactation consultant.
As a doula what was it like to be on the other side of labor?
My labor was challenging but I am so so thankful that I had the education and tools to help me get through it. I strongly believe I would have ended up with a cesarean had I not had the education and team that I had in place. My husband, midwife and doula and mother and father were all fantastic. They advocated for me and kept me in good spirits. They never let me question my ability to birth my baby boy. After my birth experience, I am even more passionate about spreading knowledge and supporting women.
What do you do for "me" time?
In the last few weeks, I have made time to get a blow out and get my eyebrows done and this week my goal is a mani pedi. I also indulge in a yummy shower everyday and then take my time applying my body oil and a dab of perfume…not too much so I don’t bother the baby. I also do my hair and try to put on at least some eyeliner and mascara and my jewelry and some fresh cute sweats! It makes me feel like myself. I believe in self care. It is not easy but it is super important. I have also enjoyed going through all my beauty products and applying a face mask twice a week. I try to nap every morning when he naps then I know I got one nap in for the day.
What is one piece of advice you would pass on to other moms, whether it for the pregnancy or motherhood journey?
During your pregnancy take advantage of resting and self care. This will be the last time in your life you can be 100% selfish. DO IT. Embrace and Love your changing body. I took bump pictures every week to document how magical my body is. I think it is important for women to connect to the magic of their bodies during pregnancy. Begin to make sure you share the tasks of your home. DO not be afraid to ask your partner for help. I am a task master who cannot sit still. I made it a priority to ask for help with things while I was pregnant because I knew I would really need support once my son arrived. Sit Still. There is nothing wrong with having unfinished things on your to do list!! I promise. As much as it kills me to leave dirty dishes in the sink I have learned that life will go on if they get washed in the morning and I have learned that my hubby prefers to wash dishes in the morning so some nights I leave them. haha.
Make friends with Amazon Prime and Instacart. I hate online shopping….I know it sounds crazy but I realllllly hate grocery shopping online. However, with a three week old who loves mama’s milk when he wants mama’s milk having your groceries delivered is a huge help. I suggest doing a bulk Costco purchase of your meats, veggies and fruits. Then you can walk to the store and grab little things here and there and make it your outing for the day to grab some fresh air if you like. Make friends with your crockpot. Make enough food to have leftovers. Ask friends to bring you meals or prepare meals for you. I was blessed to have my mother here for three weeks and she helped me prepare some crockpot meals. She put all the ingredients in a bag and froze them and all I have to do is pop them in the crockpot and add some seasoning!! Genius. I love to cook but I am thinking of creative ways to do it that are less time consuming because most of the day I am holding Samuel or doing laundry. You will do a lot of laundry. TIP: try to do one or two loads a day so it doesn’t get overwhelming. TIP: EAT and Hydrate. Breastfeeding makes you super thirsty and hungry. Make sure when you wake up you don’t wait too long to eat.You will avoid a headache….not fun with a crying baby. Plus being HANGRY is never good. I always just pop a piece of fruit right when I wake up or in the middle of the night if I am up with him and super tired. It gives me the fuel I need. For the mornings, I have steel cut oats or boiled egg or cereal. I boil enough eggs to have for a few days and make enough oatmeal to have leftovers. These little things really help because you will always need to eat but you won’t always have time or energy to cook. The good things about NYC is you always have SEAMLESS but I love a home cooked meal which helps me stay healthy and on budget. ENJOY every moment. Even changing 4 diapers and outfits in an hour. Try to see the beauty in all of it. When you need a break-take it. It isn’t always easy and your partner does not always understand. Ask for support. Call your mom or a friend. Do not try to be superwoman or wonder woman- you already are. You birthed a magnificent child. You are a superhero.
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