The Birth of a Mama - Jennifer Jolorte Doro
Getting to know new Mama & Nutritionist & Postpartum Chef Jennifer Jolorte Doro
Children’s ages: 16 months - Birthday March 5, 2019
Occupation: Nutritionist/Postpartum Chef
Instagram handle: @alitebite
1) Exploring identity change in motherhood.
What was the transition to motherhood like for you?
It was tough. I was so ready to be a mother. I work with new parents - teach them about birth, breastfeeding, movement, nutrition, self-care yet with all of my training it was still a steep learning curve. No one knows what it's like to be a mother until they become a mother themselves.
How did your identity change?
Since I work with new parents I was thankful I already had a built-in community. I wasn’t one of those new parents who didn’t know anyone that was pregnant or just had a baby. I had a village which was vital to my ability to conquer the first year.
Did your career change?
It didn’t really since this was the industry I was already in but perhaps it became more accelerated. I began to seek out additional teams to help support my business. I became more focused, created more boundaries as time was limited. It really allowed me to be able to say “no” to a lot of the things that were no longer effective uses of time whereas previously I would say “yes” to probably too much.
How would you describe yourself pre-baby? How do you describe yourself now?
Extremely independent. I used to do everything by myself, even without my husband. It could be little things like grabbing your favourite croissant, grocery shopping or even travelling with friends. Now - I would say patient, soft & compassionate. Obviously now I’m never alone (haha!) but becoming a mother has really made me a better person. I want to accommodate my human, allowing him to learn openly and become his own person.
2) Understanding that you can’t completely prepare.
What do you wish you knew that you learned the hard way?
I think there is a big misconception about reading and learning all the things but it is very obvious that no book can really tell you how to be a parent.
Knowing what you know now, what would you change?
Nothing - I’ve had a really great parenting experience so far.
3) Cherishing the memories.
What is your happiest memory?
The first birthday party we threw for him with all our friends.
What was most difficult for you?
When you look back, you barely remember those… but I would probably say the almost two months where we were sick as a family with a stomach virus but then also experiencing a sleep regression. I think I was a zombie for that entire time.
4) Getting all the gear.
What would you definitely purchase?
Hatch Sleep Machine & Loveevery Toy Subscription.
What was a total waste?
Nothing - luckily I didn’t ask for anything and didn’t buy anything. A lot of the things I received were gifted because I didn’t want a lot of “baby stuff”.
What do you actually need?
I’d say a bassinet, a couple of books, a soft blanket, wipes, diapers, nose frida.
5) What about mama?
We’ve found that with all of the focus around the baby moms tend to put themselves last. This can be as true for finding a minute to take a shower or bathroom break as it is for being able to eat or prepare meals. If your breastfeeding this becomes even more critical as your nutrition becomes your babies. Did you struggle to eat well in the first few months post-birth?
No. I think that I definitely did what I always tell clients to do so luckily I had prepped meals beforehand that were freezer ready. I wish I had a bigger freezer, ha.
What worked for you?
Batch freeze meals, healthy snacks, meal prep and healthy grocery stores.
6) Feeding Baby (0-6 months)
Nothing seems to have created more judgement than the way we choose to feed our children. Breastfeeding is filled with benefits, but not always possible for a myriad of reasons, and that’s OK too. What do you learn from the feeding journey that you wish you knew going in?
I learned to become patient with the process. There are days when it is really easy and days when I don’t know why I still do it. But I would say that there are ebbs and flows - although the most natural thing to do sometimes can also be hard.
7) Discussing the tough topics.
2020 has been fraught with pain and conflict. The coronavirus pandemic has also peeled the lens back on other human struggles. Most notably the black lives matter movement. As parents, we have the unique opportunity to collectively build a healthier generation. This is as much about the minds that we help form as it is about the bodies that we help build. Creating an anti-racist society starts at home. What are you doing in your home to help build a healthier future?
We come from a mixed-race family - black, brown, white. We have friends who are the same. I teach my son about our own culture and others - I think it's vital for kids to know there is a world outside of our own.
8) Snuggling in.
What are some favourite books and activities to do with your baby (0-12 months) and toddler (12-24 months?).
Goodnight Moon is our favourite book, we love bath time and eating! We love to garden, touch dirt, play with the dog, we love all the toys from LoveEvery toy subscription.
9) What traditions are you creating and celebrating?
I think we are still trying to establish traditions of our own versus those of our larger family. So far we go to LBI once a year and visit friends/family for an extended period of time in CA for the winter.
10) Creating Routines.
Routines can be a lifesaver in the early days, even if just for your own sanity. What worked for you? Did you try to keep to a schedule?
I actually didn’t focus on a routine or schedule for his first 8 months of life - so really I didn’t have any particular thing we did besides a class here or there. I mostly listened to his own cues.
11) Sleep glorious sleep.
Sleep deprivation is real! Because it’s not challenging enough to learn to look after a tiny human. How did you make it through with getting your baby to sleep as well as yourself?
We took a lot of naps - we are still between 2 to 1 naps - so in this transition, Huckleberry App has been amazing for this. Otherwise, a lot of yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage have been extremely helpful.
Any final words of wisdom you’d like to share?
I’d say learn to trust your own instinct. There is a lot of noise and will continue to be. You know your child better than anyone else thinks they do. Being a parent is probably the greatest and most challenging role you’ll ever face but also the most rewarding.