Meet Doula,Actress & Fitness Instructor Rachel Nicks Who Says No to "Mom" Guilt

Meet Doula,Actress & Fitness Instructor Rachel Nicks Who Says No to "Mom" Guilt

We spoke to Rachel Nicks recently and were so impressed with her positivity and all her talents - she's a doula, lactation consultant, fitness instructor AND actress! ⁠She talks to us about what helped her during her own birth experience, her miscarriage and how she got through it, and  how she HATES the pressure that's put on women to get back to their pre-baby bodies soon after birth.⁠ When talking about her work, we loved hearing she doesn't feel mom guilt and instead she says she feels her, "best self when all my pieces are at play," and we totally agree! Read below for more of her inspiring interview: 

 

1) As a doula and prenatal fitness instructor, what are the 3 things you believe every mother could do to better prepare for birth?

  1. Build an intimate relationship with your pelvic floor. Practice the engagement and relaxation of your pelvic floor and practice the engagement of your transverse abdominals. When it’s time to push its important to know how to relax your pelvic floor and engage your transverse abs.
  2. Adopt relaxation techniques
  3. Exercise and prioritize your self care

2) What helped you the most during your own labor/birth experiences?

Embracing the unknown. Trusting my body was made for this. Having faith in myself and being patient with the process. Giving up control. Listening to my body and speaking up and advocating for myself when I saw fit. Music, water and movement were my top 3 pain management techniques. I hydrated and snacked throughout as well which gave me the fuel to endure my long arduous births - 33 and 52 hours!
3)  Tell us about your miscarriage before getting pregnant with your second baby, Baldwin. How has sharing that experience helped?
I was pregnant with my second child and miscarried right around week 7 on November 17th, 2019. It was a horrible experience. The most devastating and heartbreaking experience of my life. It knocked the wind out of me. Although I was in extreme pain I was able to still count my blessings. I was a mother to a beautiful boy and that was a gift. I still had faith I would mother another child but will always mourn the one I lost. I chose to share so that women never feel alone or ever feel that something is wrong with them. I have found healing and peace by sharing my story because I have helped other women heal and not feel alone.

4) You breastfed your first son Samuel until he was 19 months old and you’re currently breastfeeding your newborn son Baldwin. What do you think helped you most to have successful breastfeeding journeys?

I love breastfeeding. I was raised by a mother who breastfed so it was an obvious choice for me. Growing up around women who breastfed gave me confidence and comfort. As an adult I realized all women didn’t have that. Learning how many women struggled with breastfeeding and struggled with being comfortable around others while breastfeeding led me to doing my lactation training. It is important that women have the proper tools and support to have a successful breastfeeding journey. I was blessed to have the tools, support, and comfort to have a successful journey. Not to mention two voracious eaters.  

5) Your top 3 Teat & Cosset nursing styles and why you think functional clothes for breastfeeding make a difference in a moms journey.

The hoodie jogger set is awesome - love a breastfeeding friendly hoodie!! Functional and stylish and perfect for my active lifestyle with my boys. I also love the Beatrice sweater. So versatile and fashionable. The zippers are great because as your body changes in pregnancy and postpartum you can adjust the zippers to make you feel more comfortable. The Lia knit top is also great - knits are wonderful and not easy to find for breastfeeding. So as we enjoy fall and enter winter Teat & Cosset is my go to. Breastfeeding friendly clothes are life changing. So important. It provides ease and comfort for mom and baby. 

6) How do you feel about the pressure that is being put on new moms to get back to their pre-baby bodies asap?

I hate it. 6 weeks means nothing. Listen to your body. Never compare yourself.
Your journey is your journey. Each pregnancy and birth are unique. Allow yourself to rest, heal and cuddle. Slowly start to come back into your fitness routine. Start with pelvic floor and transverse abdominal exercises and short walks and gentle yoga and stretching. Slowly add in strength. Please save running or other high impact for at least 3 months. There is no need to add more pressure to your pelvic floor. I encourage all women to go to a pelvic floor therapist. Make sure you understand how to properly do your Kegels. This will help you build real strength. Your pelvic floor is the foundation of your core strength. It’s crucial you commit to healing and rebuilding that strength. We want to prevent incontinence.

 

7) You juggle lots of different things, 2 kids, your home, acting, teaching fitness and being a doula. How do you keep on top of everything?

I do what I can. I stop when I don’t have the presence of mind. Of course there are times I just have to push through but I try not to waste time forcing work to get done when I’m brain dead. My children are my priority. I am ok with asking for an extension to a deadline because I am a human being —a badass one but a human and there are only 24 hours in a day. I am good at prioritizing and time management. I’m extremely efficient. I don’t have time to second guess myself or over edit. I get shit done. I trust my instincts and I shoot and execute. I’ve worked more as an actor since having my son and made the most money in my career since having children.

I am growing constantly. I love to learn and add to my toolbox. I don’t limit myself. I say, “I’m the most unprepared yet most present I’ve ever been” being in the moment is the best. I feel completely psycho sometimes trying to multitask but it fuels me. Balls will drop and eggs will break and messes will happen and things will get forgotten and that is ok. I give myself grace. I’m kind to myself. I’m realistic with my expectations and I am super honest with everyone I do business with. I love reminders. I’m a Pisces. I’m artist and businesswoman...I’m a pretty organized artist but I’m still an artist so I could always be a bit more organized. But I do my best.

8) What about focusing on your career has helped you become a better mother and wife?

I am my best self when all my pieces are at play. I’m not one thing. I am a fabulous mommy but I don’t want to only be a mommy. I have no guilt about wanting to work and be a mother. My children make me a better business woman. They make me better period because they are my motivation and I want to make them proud and be able to provide them with everything they need to live out their wildest dreams. My husband told me, “even though it’s tough when you are acting and training and some days you have really long hours you are happy and we all benefit.” When mommy is good everyone is better.

 

9) Top piece of advice someone has given you about motherhood.

My mother said, “It’s your body and your baby and only you know what’s best.”
This is the BEST advice ever! Thank you mommy. Trust your instincts and motherhood will be much more enjoyable.
All photos by Kate Moore Photography.

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