One of the main reasons we started ByRuby was to help parents in the early days of a new baby. Our Co-Founder, Milly had wonderful, nourishing meals cooked for her by her sisters when she had her first baby and by the time her 3rd was born, ByRuby was up and running. To this day our New Parent bundle is one of our bestsellers, either as a present or as a lifesaver and gift to self for those early days when the focus is on feeding the tiny bundle rather than yourself. We believe in supporting parents and the importance of nourishing them as much as the baby, and it’s great to hear of resources and people who think similarly to us.
Millie Poppins is an old friend of ByRuby, she is a Motherhood Journey Coach and provides support to new and expectant parents for the early days of a new baby. Millie’s approach is balanced, helpful and nurturing (much like our food!). After all, the early days of a new baby should be a precious and enjoyable time and, as she says: “aren’t always a piece of cake (although a piece of cake can definitely help… a spoonful of sugar and all that!)”.
- Your approach to nurturing people into parenthood seems refreshingly balanced, what are your thoughts on how people should approach the early days of a new baby?
I feel very strongly that in our society today we are constantly pressured to be doing more and achieving more. Whilst this can be productive and rewarding it just doesn’t fit in with what is essential in early parenthood and baby care. In a way I feel that babies can force us to slow down, be more responsive and take it day by day. When I give parents the ‘green light’ to just soak up the time in the baby bubble it is exactly what everyone needs (and enjoys!)
- How did you become a Motherhood Journey Coach, have you always worked with children?
I actually started a degree in Construction Management/Architecture after leaving school. I hated it. Halfway through I begged my Mum to let me do something ‘fun’ for one year and then I promised I would return to university after the deferment. I never did though! I worked in a baby room (6 weeks to one year olds) at a local childcare centre in Australia and went on to study Early Childhood Education. Over the last ten years I have worked all over the world (four continents!) supporting new parents through that newborn haze.
- How important is it for the parents to take care of themselves in the early days of a new baby? What role does food play in this?
Incredibly important - think of it as supporting yourself so that you can best support your baby. If you are running on empty, depleted, stressed and overwhelmed then your baby will absolutely feel this too. Care of them starts with care of you - physically and emotionally. It is really easy to put yourself last when you have a new baby. Eating regular, nutritious meals, drinking lots of water and resting at every possible moment is key.
- What is the best present you can give to a new parent?
Something that’s not for the baby! I find that new parents actually enjoy buying what they need for their baby themselves so you definitely don’t need to splurge on that cute cashmere outfit or stuffed bunny... The best present is anything that takes the pressure off of new parents - ByRuby meals are a great option as well as the offer to babysit older children, take the dog for a walk or book them a massage.
- There is often a lot of pressure as a new mother to ‘fit in’ with a particular routine, how can your services help with this?
I would definitely encourage any new mother to follow what feels intuitively good for them and their baby. There is an overwhelming amount of advice and products in the baby space and it can create so much pressure for new parents at an already vulnerable time. My approach is all about empowering mothers to care for their babies the way that they want to. Not how their mother did, their sister in law does or the lady down the road or on social media suggests. I truly believe that if your baby is safe and happy then absolutely nothing else matters. When working with a 1:1 client I like to quickly establish whether their concerns are genuine to them or have surfaced from outside pressure. I then reassure, guide and create holistic routines and rituals that are personal to them and their family.
- As a busy person with lots of balls in the air, what do you do to relax? Do you enjoy cooking or is it something you prefer to outsource?
I really love cooking but only for other people. Sharing the joy and magic of a new cuisine or dish is so comforting (plus it’s always lovely when someone else can wash up!) I have spent the last year in solo lockdown so have lost the joy of cooking a little. But ByRuby has been a godsend, particularly for me when going to a night shift and not knowing if I’ll be able to order something or use what is in my client’s fridge.
- Which is your favourite ByRuby dish?
The microwave options would have to be a firm favourite. Often when I have settled a baby to sleep (finally!) I just want to eat as quickly as possible without losing out on quality or nutrients, so that I can get some sleep before the baby wakes again. The trout and lentils option is so delicious! I feel quite confident in the kitchen but genuinely this is so much yummier than anything I could whip up myself in the same amount of time.
- Finally (quite a hard one!): If you had to choose just one meal (starter, main and pud) and drink to have for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Ooh I love this question!
Fois gras as a starter, gnocchi quattro formaggi for main, sticky toffee pudding for dessert and a mango chilli margarita or champagne! Now I’m hungry…
We absolutely loved chatting to Millie and hearing more about her approach to Motherhood. It can be a bit of a minefield out there with information overload coming from all angles, so it was really refreshing to speak to someone who understands that each Mother’s experience is unique and there is never a one size fits all.
To learn more about the wonderful Millie Poppins, her instagram @millie.poppins is always full of amazing tips, free workshops, IGTV lives, and just general reassurances that you are doing an amazing job no matter what stage of your journey you are in!
Even better, you can head to her website milliepoppins.com where you can book her masterclasses, work with her 1:1, and also, very excitingly, join her newly launched membership (which includes an exclusive ByRuby discount for members!). We seriously recommend exploring further.