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Meet the Mama: Peggy Chen from East Bay, California

Meet Peggy Chen

A licensed clinical social worker in a health tech company and a first time mom with a handsome 12 months baby boy, residing in the East Bay of San Francisco Bay Area. In our Meet The Mamas Series, Peggy shares her transformative journey into motherhood, her precious bond with her son, her experience with postpartum anxiety and how she overcame them. 

Peggy and Son Postpartum Recovery

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

I'm not really sure how one would measure "recovery" because I think physically I recovered pretty quickly but mentally I was in a whole other head space for a while. I delivered vaginally without an epidural so most of the recovery was just good ol' witch hazel sprays to the tender areas and those nice cool pads the hospital gave me. Honestly, trying not to do too much helped me the most. I noticed my bleeding was heavier if I was moving around too much (I'm used to skipping steps up the stairs and forgot I really shouldn't be doing that).

Mental recovery was about 6 months -- I think prior to my baby being half a year old, our minds were just melded together. I didn't start to feel a semblance of my old self until he was 6 months old, where I could be separate from him, staring at myself in the bathroom mirror and say "oh hey I know that girl." Interesting fact is that my therapist told me around 6 months is when our babies start to really understand that they are separate from us.

How symbolic that the moment our babies realize we are separate that we begin to feel it too.

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?

Looking back, I wish I had better nursing tops and ditched nursing bras entirely. My little guy nursed so frequently and all I had were a few nursing tank tops and a ton of hand-me-down nursing bras from my sister. But since it was the middle of November, it was getting cold and I would have to layer over the tank tops but struggle to try to get my boobs ready and available for my crying hungry baby.

What was super helpful was that my parents ordered a traditional 40 day Chinese postpartum meal delivery service for me so it was just a matter of popping the food in the microwave and heating it up for all 3 meals of the day. I didn't have to worry about what to eat.

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

I think once my OB cleared me, I took a nice hot bath. I hadn't taken a lot of baths during pregnancy because I was so paranoid of the water being too hot and not safe so I really looked forward to taking baths postpartum. The other huge one was finding a really good therapist.

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 mom came to stay with us for a month a little after I gave birth. It was helpful but I also realized later on that I honestly didn't need that much help in the very beginning. Our baby didn't have many needs other than nursing, sleeping, diaper changes.

My mom kept trying to hold the baby for me so I could "do other things" and I would have this strong maternal instinct to not want to let him go. I wanted to hold him all the time and I understood my mom thought I needed a break, but I ended up having a hard conversation with my mom about what help looked like. I told her I really needed her to do other things like empty the dishwasher or laundry and let me continue to hold and nurse my baby.

I think if I could've done it differently, I would've set those expectations early. There's a reason why there's this instinctual urge to be by your baby 24/7 in the beginning: it's natural and normal and you BOTH need that closeness.

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 had a TON of postpartum anxiety. The funny thing is, as a licensed clinical social worker, I was prepared to make my maternal mental health my top priority. Close friends and family members had suffered from postpartum depression and I was scared I would too. Little did I know, the other side of that coin is postpartum anxiety. I second guessed every single decision I made, Googled the same questions over and over again. Why was it that this thing that was supposed to come naturally to me felt like it wasn't? My therapist challenged me to not Google ANYTHING for an entire week and it was surprisingly hard. She also suggested just finding one source of truth and she recommended which was the only thing I scoured when I was on my Google fast.

For new moms, definitely find a therapist ASAP. I actually did some research while I was pregnant and was planning to get connected to the therapist before giving birth so that I could have that support immediately. It's really hard to find a therapist when you're in the thick of postpartum depression or anxiety, so if you're pregnant now, do the research while you still can, get connected to one before giving birth.

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

I still look back on this piece of advice and I rue the day I was given it: don't let them fall asleep in your arms. This was in response to me texting someone "why won't he sleep in his bassinet? He won't let me put him down!" and their advice was that they were really mindful to never let their baby fall asleep in someone's arms so that they would get used to falling asleep independently in a bassinet. Imagine me constantly trying to sneak my few-week-old newborn into a Dock-a-Tot after he happily fell asleep in the safety of his mother's arms -- he would wake immediately and cry and I felt like a failure. I honestly hold so much guilt and anger still about how much time I tried to transfer my sleeping newborn into another place and wish I had held him more while he slept. Luckily, there were days where I said, "screw this" and contact napped for all his naps. Sometimes, I'll go back and look at pictures from his newborn days and feel relieved that I actually probably held him for more naps than I can remember. You can never hold your baby too much.

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

There's two!

The first one is to just trust your instinct, trust your gut, forget what other advice people give you. I remember joining a ton of Facebook mom groups and whenever I'd ask a question, the plethora of differing advice was overwhelming. Sleep train, don't sleep train. Burp after feed, don't burp after feed. Swaddle, don't swaddle. Pacifier, no pacifier. How could there be so much contradictory advice out there? Probably because babies are human beings and not robots and there is no one-size-fits-all advice. You are the best mom for your baby and you know what's best. It's wired into our DNA to respond to them how we know and feel is best. If it doesn't feel right to you, you don't have to do it. If it feels natural and gives you peace, do it. The baby product industry is designed to make you feel inadequate as a mother so you'll constantly second guess yourself. There are no true experts. People have been raising babies for millenia and across a multitude of cultures.

The second best advice is to use your Live Photos feature if you have an iPhone! Mostly because after a while they start moving so much you can't get a good photo but also you get a tiny video of a snapshot of their life. It's wonderful.

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

I'm closing my eyes and imagining what I wish I could've told myself when I was a new mom and it's this: you are going to be an amazing mom even if you don't feel like it. Everything you are worrying about will feel like a distant memory soon. Please, for the love of all things good, be present. Breathe in that smell of your baby's head, tell yourself to really try to memorize that feeling of their tiny hands wrapped around your finger for the first time. You'll miss all those moments as they get older, even some of the hard ones. Put down your cell phone, try to take a mental snapshot of these moments. They really go by so fast.



For new mother's like Peggy, 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.