Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue Shopping

Meet the Mama: Kendra Bell Holmes from Portland, Oregon

Meet Kendra Bell Holmes

A first-time Mom to an outgoing 7 month old beautiful baby girl. Kendra is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who works with children and their families with developmental disabilities. Recently, Kendra joined the board of advisors for Tiny Earth Toys, an educational toy subscription curated by learning experts and exchanged after play. In our Meet The Mamas Series, Kendra shares tips and advice from her experience with a prolonged postpartum recovery after her 30 hour of natural labor that ended up as an emergency c-section.

Mother Kendra Bell and Baby
Kendra and Baby at 2 Months Postpartum

How long was your recovery after giving birth? Did you run into any challenges? What helped your recovery the most?

I would say that the physical recovery took about 2 months and the emotional/mental recovery is still very much a work in progress. To give a little backstory, I had planned for MONTHS to have an entirely natural and medication-free labor. Unfortunately after 30 hours of said natural labor, I ended up having an emergency c-section as the baby's heart rate started to dip. Add that to the unexpected addition of Covid-19 and you have the ultimate recipe for stress and a prolonged postpartum recovery.

The things that helped the most during recovery were:

  • Sleep: Although hard to do when you have a new baby, trying to find as many moments to sleep as possible. I know they say "sleep when the baby sleeps" but that's not always possible. Early on, my husband and I set up a routine/schedule that allowed each of us to rest when the other was tending to the baby.
  • Water: Drink, drink, drink! I loved (and still use) the 1/2 gallon cup with lid and straw that my hospital provided. I knew I needed to finish at least 2 full cups and most days were closer to 5-6. Not only did the water make me feel much better, it definitely helped boost my milk supply.
  • Nipple Butter: They seriously DO NOT talk about nipple chafing enough, but holy cow was that painful. I was honestly ready to give up breastfeeding from how terrible the first two weeks were. I quickly ordered some Earth Mama nipple balm that SAVED my nipples and my breastfeeding journey.

What are some products or support you wish you had when you got home that first week after giving birth? What was really helpful in making your life easier as a new mom?

I spent my entire pregnancy preparing for a vaginal delivery and recovery process. I really wish I would have spent equal time prepping for the possibility of a c-section and what that recovery may look like.

  • Hatch Skin-to-Skin Bra: It still is the only bra I will wear!! It is lightweight, comfortable and made it incredibly easy to nurse and snuggle my baby in those first weeks/months.
  • Nesting Pillow: Due to my c-section, I was VERY apprehensive to using anything that put pressure on my stomach. While the "brest friend" was listed as a must-have item, it was too much work to attempt to get it around my body when I could barely get out of bed by myself. So this is where the Blessed Nest came in handy! It was extremely soft and molded to my body. This helped the baby to nurse easily and allowed me to enjoy the experience without added pain or anxiety.
  • Meal Train: My family and friends set one up and provide hot meals for almost the entire first month of postpartum which was INSANELY helpful.
  • Snoo Bassinet: If you know, you know !
  • Snack station: One of the nurses at the hospital advised creating a snack station filled with treats to limit the amount of times I left my bed. This included the lovely assortment of medication and water I needed to take but really helped to ensure I was getting adequate nutrition to aid in my recovery. Thank You Nurse Brittany!

What are some of your favorite self care rituals to do postpartum?

Once I made it past the few weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed getting outside and taking a slow walk in the neighborhood. There is nothing like fresh air and the warm sun on your face after weeks of being cooped up inside.

I also loved during the end of pregnancy and early postpartum to soak my feet in epsom salt! Soak for 15 minutes, then lotion with cream and put on compression soaks. Apparently soaking your body in epson salt can help reduce pre-eclampsia too. 

I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences with getting help from family or friends. Did you have help, and what was it like? What would you have done differently in terms of getting help from family or friends?

My husband and I both live over 600+ miles from our family which made bringing a new baby into the world during a pandemic THAT much more difficult. I would like to give a huge thank you to our chosen family here in Portland (Faith, Chelsea & Michael) who helped take care of our pup while we were in the hospital and were always a phone call away.

However, we were advised by professionals to not have any visitors in our home which meant we were entirely on our own to figure out how to keep this tiny human alive! Since I had a c-section I wasn’t able to lift, bend or lay down for close to 4 weeks, so I am forever grateful to have had such a hands-on partner. Once my husband went back to work (4 weeks postpartum) my mom came to stay with us which was extremely helpful! She cooked, cleaned and took the baby in the early mornings so that we could sleep in.

While the situation was not ideal by any means, I don't think I would have changed the experience. I enjoyed finding my groove and getting adequate rest with my husband without any outside pressure or influence. Next go around, I think we will stick to having the first 1-2 weeks alone and then welcome family/friends for support.

Did you experience any baby blues or postpartum anxiety or depression? Do you have any advice for new mothers struggling with postpartum anxiety or depression?

I did not experience any baby blues or depression, but I certainly have had my share of anxiety. As I've discussed with many of my mama friends who have given birth in 2020, it's hard to discern what is postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety and just general depression/anxiety related to the pandemic. The advice I have for new mothers is to do some research into what PPD and PPA looks like prior to birth and make someone you know, love and trust aware of the signs as well. You may be experiencing it and due to all of the added emotions and hormones associated with birth, not realize it.

Give yourself grace and know that even if you do experience any or all of them..


What's the worst advice you've gotten for postpartum & early motherhood?

Honestly any unsolicited advice was the worst for me in the first few weeks. I'm learning to appreciate it a little more now, as well as set boundaries with friends/family around it. Perhaps I'm a bit hard headed when it comes to learning things on my own, but if I need/want your advice... I'll ask for it :)

What's the best advice you've gotten for postpartum & early motherhood?

I don't remember who exactly told me this..probably Chelsea but "Do what is best for YOU and YOUR family" (this is with regards to everything; breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc.) There will be countless people giving advice, opinions and judgement on what you should and should not be doing. I made it a point to hear them all and then choose what worked for us.

Motherhood is a lot of trial and error, but at the end of the day, you know your baby best.

Any closing advice for someone who's just about to be a new mom?

Be kind to yourself and your body. Give yourself the time, space and energy to feel all the feelings...they are normal. Try your best not to focus on "bouncing back" and enjoy all those first moments because while the days may feel long, the weeks and months will fly by.

Breathe. You've got this!


For new mother's like Kendra, nourishing and convenient meals delivered straight to your doorstep are every new mother's best friend. Learn how Ritual Meals' Postpartum Program can help.

Interested in being featured in our Meet the Mamas 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!

Nourish your body. Thrive postpartum

Before your actual delivery, plan your postpartum meal delivery.

Plan Ahead
Postpartum Meal Delivery
Women-owned Business

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

Locally Sourced
Locally Sourced

We source as locally as possible from our community of local farms and ranches.

Whole Foods
Whole Foods

We commit to using organic or pesticide-free, 100% whole food ingredients in all our products.

Sustainably Made
Sustainably Made

We commit to environmental responsibilty through our low waste practices both inside and outside of the kitchen.

Gives Back
Gives Back

We donate 2% of our sales to organizations that support and empower women or work to reduce food insecurity.