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Meet the Doula: Katelyn Gonzalez from Hayward, California

Meet Katelyn Gonzalez

Meet Katelyn Gonzalez. Katelyn is a doula and childbirth educator who works with and supports clients to meet their desires and needs around birth and postpartum. She has been practicing full time in the San Francisco Bay Area for 4 years, has attended over 100 births, and has supported dozens of families during the immediate weeks following birth. In our Meet the Doula series, Katelyn shares her role in an inspiring recent labor and some helpful tips around navigating postpartum hormones.



Can you tell us a little about your own experience as a parent?

My daughter Antonia was born in July 2020, smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though I’ve seen so many births and have been a part of so many peoples’ postpartum experiences, my own pregnancy, birth, and postpartum has humbled me to my core. My daughter is my greatest teacher and my own view on motherhood can be described as “exhausting, beautiful, hard, and wonderful.” 


Why did you become a doula?

My sister had her first baby when I was 17 and seeing her pregnancy, birth, and postpartum changed my world. However I didn’t jump right into doula work. I went to college and graduated with a degree in journalism and practiced tech PR for nearly 10 years. Then one day I decided that work didn’t feed my soul, and so I quit my job and became a full time doula. I’ve always been fascinated by pregnancy and birth and consider myself a “helper,” so that, coupled with my naturally calm demeanor, made it a dream job for me. 


Can you tell us about a recent labor and delivery and your role in supporting the mother, birthing person, or partner? What are your reflections on that experience?

So many come to mind. Every single birth is different and just when I think I’ve got it down, something comes up that makes me have a newfound respect for this work. One particular birth that I loved was with a woman who had labored all day and all night in the hospital and was stuck at 7 centimeters for 12+ hours. She worked so hard and so beautifully. She went on to have a vaginal birth (something that we thought might not be possible due to her being at 7cm for so long), but what I loved most was that her support team consisted of her husband, me, mother and father, and every one of us took turns supporting her on the way we all needed to. At one point I supported her laboring on the toilet, another moment her husband was rubbing her back in only the way he could, and her parents went and got us all food. It was teamwork at its finest. I love when the whole family can get involved (grandparents too!)



What are some of your favorite self care rituals for postpartum? 

REST! And good, nourishing, warm meals that taste good. After every birth I was a part of as a doula, I would treat myself as if I were postpartum. So I’d take a nice hot shower, eat warm food, drink tons of water, teas, and bone broth, and sleep and rest as long as I wanted to/possible. 


How has COVID changed the birth experience and support for mothers and birthing people?

Ugh, this is something I could write a whole novel on. I think the main thing I’ve seen and experienced is that COVID has taken away the community pregnant people and new parents crave and need! I can’t wait for people to be able to gather again for baby showers, mother’s blessings, postpartum support groups, etc. 


What stands out to you when working with first-time vs. second-time mothers, birthing people, and parents?

From a very logistical point of view, second and subsequent labors tend to go much faster. I think lots of new parents can be more anxious about everything - how will the birth go, how will breastfeeding go, how am I going to do without much sleep, etc. All valid anxieties if you’ve never been through it! Second-time parents are much more laid back about everything. It comes with experience and time! I also see many parents wanting a “different” experience than their first so they put more time, energy, money into their support team, and things like nourishing food postpartum.


What are some of your favorite meals or snacks for postpartum recovery?

Soups and stews with healing veggies and hearty meats. Teas with warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, turmeric, star anise, cardamom. Energy balls made from soaked nuts, goji berries, and dates. Room temp smoothies. Anything that’s easy to eat with one hand. 


What are your best tips for postpartum care?

The number one thing I tell people is to truly rest those 6 weeks after birth. Newborns are often sleepy, so take advantage of that and lay in bed as much as you can. Your body just grew and birthed a human in 9ish months. It needs time to come back together. Also make sure you’re taking care of your mind too. Postpartum hormones are wild, so be vocal about what you need. For me even watching the news was too much in those early days postpartum so I made sure to keep things light-hearted. Also, on a practical level, make sure you’re ready for those postpartum night sweats. They completely caught me off guard and I soaked through shirts and sheets for weeks. Sleep with a towel under you! And wear light clothing that are both easy to breastfeed in and won’t overheat you.



Do you have any advice for new mothers or birthing people experiencing postpartum anxiety or depression?

Yes. First, there is nothing wrong with you. It is so common to have anxiety and/or depression postpartum and I wish more people talked about it. If you do suspect you’re experiencing these things, make sure you’re letting your closest loved ones know what’s going on and/or contact your care provider. I relied heavily on my therapist postpartum and she validated a lot of my feelings that I thought were “scary.” But I knew that by talking to her and truly letting her know what was going on in my head that she would know if she needed to step in and suggest medication or alternative interventions.


What's the worst advice you've heard for postpartum & early motherhood or parenthood?

I think all of the advice that undermines a parent’s intuition is by far the worst. You are the best parent for your baby! Even if all the “experts” tell you what you and your baby should or shouldn’t be doing, listen to your gut. 


What's the best advice you've heard for postpartum & early motherhood or parenthood?

Everything’s a phase, nothing lasts forever, and babies certainly don’t keep. 


Any closing advice for someone who's about to become a new mother or parent?

Take it day by day, sometimes even moment by moment. It’s hard work, and some days you’ll question what you got yourself into and wonder if you’re doing it right. but it’s the best thing you’ll ever do and someday you’ll look back on this time with the fondest memories. 

If you enjoyed reading this, check out our other blog post, Meet the Doula: Lindsey Ehlers from Austin, Texas



Katelyn Gonzalez is a certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, and childbirth educator servicing the East Bay, San Francisco, Peninsula, South Bay, and surrounding areas.


Instagram: @holistickatelyn




Interested in being featured in our Meet the Doulas Series? Contact us at



Have more questions about Ritual Meals? View our frequently asked questions below.

  • What is Ritual Meals?

    Ritual Meals is a postpartum meal delivery service. Our signature postpartum meal delivery product is The Postpartum Program, which includes meals, snacks, and teas shipped weekly to your doorstep. Customers receive orders with all the fresh meals, snacks, and teas you need to enjoy nourishing postpartum food prepared by our chefs. We save you the time and energy of going to the grocery store, finding new recipes, meal planning, and portioning.

    Our talented chefs work with our Wellness Team to create new menus each week for you, based on what’s seasonally available from our community of local farms and ranches. We use the highest quality ingredients which are organic or pesticide free produce and grass-fed or pasture-raised animals.

  • What are the benefits of postpartum food and Ritual Meals?

    We understand that, as a new mom, you've got one of the hardest jobs in the world—so we created The Postpartum Program to help you heal and feel your best after giving birth. Our postpartum meals are nutritionally designed to support your physical recovery, energy levels, hormonal balance, milk supply and quality, and mood. At Ritual Meals, we are serious about supporting your postpartum nourishment and postpartum wellness journey. Everything we cook is made with the highest quality, whole food ingredients, good for you and your baby, whether or not you are breastfeeding.

    Our postpartum nutrition philosophy is focused on food as medicine.

    Our postpartum meals include both plated food and soups and stews which are more easily digestible and improve absorption of essential minerals and vitamins that the body needs to repair, restore, and fortify after birth or surgery. Grass-fed and pasture-raised animal stock are the base of all of our soups and stews, supplying essential nutrients, lean protein, and collagen to boost energy, support and heal connective tissues, and support healthy metabolism.

    If you are breastfeeding, our postpartum meals can provide measurable benefits for your milk supply and quality. Our postpartum meals often include galactagogues (ingredients which support milk supply and quality), including flax seeds, oats, tahini, brewer’s yeast, and more. We also avoid ingredients that could be associated with colic or sensitivities for breastfed babies, including cruciferous vegetables, garlic, and hot peppers.

    * This program is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with your doctor prior to starting this program if you have a medical condition or are taking any prescription medication or nutritional supplements.

  • How much does Ritual Meals Cost?

    The Postpartum Program at Ritual Meals is priced starting at $176 per week. Meal frequency per week can be customized, which changes the cost of the program. As well, if you opted into our Subscription option, you can save up to 10% each week and receive free delivery with promo code FREESHIPPING.  Customize your postpartum plan to view prices.

  • What kinds of ingredients does Ritual Meals use?

    All meals are made to order and made from scratch with the highest quality ingredients. We prioritize local and organic produce and use only meat sourced from local farms that sustainably and humanely raise their animals. Our animals are always grass-fed or pasture-raised. Our produce is plant rich, organic or pesticide-free, low gluten, no refined sugars, and non-GMO.

    Organic or pesticide-free, whole, unprocessed foods are both more nutritive and more flavorful. We thoughtfully pair ingredients based on complementary benefits. For example, these pairings—lentils and red bell pepper, sesame and salmon, pasture-raised eggs and leafy greens, and chicken and quinoa—allow you to absorb more nutrients and experience their healing benefits.

  • What if I have allergy or dietary needs?

    Due to the small size of our culinary team, we are currently unable to offer substitutions in our menus, which are set weekly. To receive weekly email notifications about our upcoming menus which lists our full ingredients, please subscribe to our newsletter below.

    Please note: our Postpartum Program is not intended for severe allergies. If you have any questions about how we can support your dietary needs, please reach out to our Wellness Team at

  • How do you keep food fresh in transit? What if I am not home?

    We pack the postpartum meals fresh with care using 100% recyclable, insulated boxes and drain safe gel packs designed to keep your food refrigerated on the way to your doorstep.

    We understand that when it comes to birth, timing may not always happen according to plan. We highly recommend recruiting the help of a friend, neighbor, or family member so that if you aren’t able to get to your food when it arrives at your doorstep, they can help you store it in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy them.

    The delivery driver should leave the package for you at your door with no signature required. We package our postpartum meals in 100% recyclable insulated liners with drain-safe gel packs, so that your food stays refrigerated in transit. If you have any concerns with the temperature or condition of your meals once delivered, please contact our Wellness Team at

  • Where does Ritual Meals deliver?

    We ship across the continental US to your doorstep! If you have any additional questions, you can contact our Wellness Team at

  • How do I get started with Ritual Meals?

    You can get started by selecting your program options on the Postpartum Program page

    If you would like any help choosing a program that works best for you, please email our Wellness Team at and we’d be happy to help!

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Founded and created by two women of color, our goal is to create more opportunities to other women.

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Locally Sourced

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