1. Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I am a naturopath and a mum to two gorgeous girls – Issy who is is 5 and Maya who is 3. I am incredibly passionate about supporting the health and wellbeing of mums throughout all stages of pregnancy and motherhood.
This includes supporting their mental health (I have a background in psychology) and helping support them so that they do not burn out but rather thrive during this time of incredible change. I also love working with women to unlock and understand the innate wisdom of their bodies by helping them understand their menstrual cycles and all the superpowers that can come along with this! I am raising two young girls and it is very important to me that they grow up understanding, accepting and loving their monthly menstrual cycle rather than feeling ashamed (as a lot of girls and women do).
You can find Lou at her practice Little Alchemy
2. What are your self care rituals?
The concept of self-care has changed a lot for me over the years. Since becoming a mum I have definitely prioritised my own self-care as it is incredibly important to me and has a huge impact on my mental health. Every day I put aside at least 45 minutes for myself. It goes in my calendar as a non-negotiable so it does not get missed! I schedule it in my favourite colour (sky blue) so I look at my daily schedule I am reminded that my needs are super important and a priority (which can be challenging once you become a mum!). My favourite thing to do during this self-care time is some form of exercise (depending on how I am feeling and where I am in my cycle) , a solo walk or meditation and mindfulness. Before bed each night I also have a nice wind down routine too – no screens for at least an hour before bed, a heat pack on my shoulders, a beautiful magnesium blend to help me feel relaxed plus some massage oil (with rose) rubbed into my feet. If I am finding it hard to get to sleep I will listen to a yoga nidra or guided meditation.
3. During your pregnancy and postpartum, what are some healthy habits that made you feel your best?
Firstly, I really focused on a good preconception care plan (before I even became pregnant) which was a great foundation for my pregnancies. I recommend this for any couple looking to become pregnant. It involves three to four months of identifying and correcting any deficiencies and imbalances, getting to know your cycle and understanding ovulation, prioritising a whole food (and organic where possible) diet with low intake of alcohol and taking some key supplements such as a good pre-natal multivitamin. I enjoyed healthy and empowering pregnancies and births which has had a really big impact on my post- partum mental and physical health, and my journey into motherhood.I also prioritised movement and exercise (I loved pre-natal pilates!) and embraced rest and balance in my life as much as possible.Having clear boundaries around social media use and consumption of the news (especially recently) is also a healthy habit that I embrace.
4. What does a ‘day on the plate’ look like for you?
Upon rising I always have a big glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon. It’s a great way to combat dehydration and I feel so much better when I do it!
Breakfast for me is usually a homemade granola with oat milk and some fresh berries or homemade apple and cinnamon pancakes (which my girls love too!0
I enjoy one oat milk latte per day around 9am (and never on an empty stomach!).
Lunch: This is usually a big plate of veggies, some salad, some good quality protein (organic tuna or chicken) plus some basmati and quinoa cooked in bone broth.
Mid afternoon – sometimes I have a match latte with collagen or a home made bliss ball and some fresh berries
Dinner I usually eat my last meal around 5pm and it is usually something like homemade tacos or poke bowls.
I also believe in embracing a balanced lifestyle so I enjoy chocolate almost every single day.
5. What are your currently reading/watching/listening to?
Reading : Hormone Repair Manual by Lara Briden plus
Listening to: We have just moved to the Mornington Peninsula so I am currently listening to the sounds of birds sing, around me which is so beautiful and reminds me of my childhood living on a farm.Watching: I just finished watching the new season of Sex Education on Netflix – such a well thought out show which celebrates diversity. I wish it had been around when I was a teenager!
6. Favourite Mum hack?
This is more of a mental health hack. On hard days (when you are tired, sleep deprived, have an extra clingy baby etc) ask yourself “how can I make today easier for me?” As mums, we are so hard on ourselves, always pushing ourselves to do and be more so it’s important to be gentle with ourselves as much as possible…. and sometimes this means reheating a freezer meal for dinner, prioritising some rest over a sparkling clean house (hard I know!). or letting the kids watch some extra TV whilst I go a little workout! Motherhood can have many hard days and so finding ways to be gentle with yourself or taking some easy shortcuts sometimes can be really important for your mental health and general wellbeing. We dont’t have to be perfect all the time and the quicker we can embrace this, the easier motherhood can become.
7. What is your favourite type of exercise?
The answer depends on where I am in my menstrual cycle!I am a firm believer in choosing exercise that matches your hormonal and energy levels and this looks different throughout the month. For example:
During my monthly bleed I prioritse rest and gentle exercise like walking or yin yoga. This is when I really slow down and prioritise self-careDuring my follicular phase when my energy levels start to rise, I enjoy doing some HIIT sessionsDuring my ovulatory phase I enjoy high energy workouts and boxingDuring my luteal phase I love yoga and pilatesThis keeps my exercise regime fun and means I am maximising my efficiency too! I am very much guided by how I feel every day and prioritise exercise that really makes me feel good!
8. Do you have any advice for pregnant/new mums?
Protect your little bubble as much as you can. By this I mean be mindful of what you are allowing into your sacred private space (not just during birth but during pregnancy and into motherhood!). This includes news, social media and even people (especially those sharing scary birth stories!) When a woman becomes pregnant she often feels like she becomes public property (with all the comments from strangers, people wanting to touch her belly, tests, scans etc) so it’s important to be able to control what you allow into your private space as much as possible.I also really recommend pregnant/new mums to cultivate a morning and evening ritual for themselves. This has so many benefits – they are the bookends of your day and even if your day feels chaotic and out of control (very common with a newborn!!!) sometimes, how you start your day and end your day really is all yours.