Moms know that trying to keep ourselves well-fed with a new baby can be daunting, if not impossible. Chicago mom Matura Suksai recognized the challenge of staying nourished while also caring for a new baby and healing from childbirth. She created a meal delivery plan, MaMeal, that brings fresh, healthy meals to the doorsteps of families in the Chicago area. We love her idea—which would make a great gift for new parents— and were delighted to talk with Matura about the ancient custom behind her new business, what foods new moms need, and more.
Congratulations on the launch of your new business, MaMeal! How did you come up with the idea for your business?
After having children, I personally experienced the struggle of caring for my two young children and myself, and the pressure to bounce back quickly. I realized that women need to prioritize this time period for themselves; when you’re running on little to no sleep, making a simple meal for yourself can become the greatest of challenges! I came up with the concept of a meal delivery service designed exclusively for these new moms with the hope that they can find more time to heal. In checking cooking nutrient-rich meals off of her list, MaMeal gives moms more time to rest and recover.
Can you tell us about the ancient Chinese custom of zuo yuezi, that suggests new moms rest and recover for a month following childbirth?
I was inspired by the founding principles of an ancient Chinese postpartum practice, which prioritizes the healing of new mothers. The tradition of “zuo yuezi,” which translates to “sit the month,” asks postpartum women to rest and take the time to recover. In this practice, the woman’s support system assists them by providing nutritious meals to warm their body from the act of childbirth.
Do you have any advice for new moms on fighting the pressure to keep up with their busy lives in the first weeks after having a new baby?
Try to rest and relax. The best thing you can do for your baby and yourself is to take it easy and give your system some time to reboot. Also, it is essential to enjoy these first few weeks together, because you can never get this time back.
What are some foods that are especially nurturing to new moms?
The childbirth experience greatly varies from woman to woman, but every postpartum mother needs to replenish certain vitamins and minerals that might have been depleted during childbirth, such as iron, healthy fats, fiber, and calcium. Protein is essential for rebuilding strength and stamina, which is always a cornerstone of our dishes. You’ll find a lot of soups in our meal plans, as bone broth releases nutrients and minerals and makes nutrient-rich collagen, gelatin, and glucosamine easier to digest. If a woman chooses to breastfeed, she needs to increase her caloric intake to meet the demands of her body. The MaMeal nursing plan accounts for this and also prioritizes milk-boosting ingredients, such as oats, garlic, and ginger.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Preparing food, cleaning the house, or delegating diaper duty!
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
I love to watch Korean drama in bed!
What is your best parenting hack?
I always tell them “Good job,” “Good girl,” and “Good boy,” whenever my kids follow my instructions.
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
Telling my children to sit tight in the car seats otherwise the cops will pull us over! It’s true though!
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
Skylar and River always hug each other in the morning and before they go to bed. I am so proud that they learned how to share and show love to each other!
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
Love others like you would your own family.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
If your child is happy and healthy, you’re fine!
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
I start my day pretty early. Then, after 4:00 p.m., it’s family time. Nothing else can come across—I don’t check emails or my phone during my family time.
What was the last book you read?
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother.
Favorite Beauty Product:
Lancome Renergie lift for day and night moisturizer
Favorite Form of Exercise:
What is on your DVR?
The Walking Dead and Mickey Mouse
Favorite Kids Store:
I shop online only—Ali Express, Gymboree, Amazon and Nordstrom