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Jules Blaine Davis is a kitchen healer, a mother, and a woman who is hungry to nourish America.


The L.A.-area mom of two uses food as a way to help women connect to themselves, and one another, creating a movement to awaken women to their literal and metaphorical hunger, and help them to find the nourishment they need.

We're in.

Her inspiring takes on food and nourishment, found on her social media accounts, through the gatherings she created called miracles she hosts out of her home, or the therapy-based work she does with women and families invites us to deeply reflect on the meaning and importance of physical and spiritual nourishment in our lives.

Plus, her dreamy Instagram updates are simply gorgeous.

Jules has a deep passion for helping women and mothers to discover their values, a role that she says connects women to one another throughout place and time.

Her work is about guiding us to connect with our "insatiable hunger for something deeper.”

And just look at those altars of fresh food. We love her take on "messy beauty."

Through her gatherings with women who sign up for a day of nourishing reflection, relaxation and consciousness-raising around the seasonal meals she prepares, Jules gives women a space to explore their vulnerability and permission to be more present in their everyday lives.

She connects women to each other, to the food that nourishes them and to their family, to how and where the food was grown, to their story and the food's story.


Motherly spoke with Jules Blaine Davis about her work, about modern motherhood, and about what inspires her about the power of nourishing food.



Motherly: What is about food that is so powerful in our lives—both in what it does for us, and in what is also represents?


Jules: Food is the first thing we’re given when we get here as newborns. We’re put immediately on the breast or fed through a bottle. It’s the first experience of touch to our lips. It’s the first experience of intimacy.
And food is the thing we’re most worried about --or we’re not. And this begins the journey of how we were nourished, or how we weren’t. Being nourished can be very emotional terrain. And for mothers, some people are so excited to breastfeed, and some people feel like they can’t do.

How we were nourished is completely connected to how we nourish ourselves and our families now. This is what I call our food story. When we realize that we can change our story and learn how to connect to ourselves in this way, we are forever changed. We come to many a-ha moments. One is nourishing ourselves gives us the energy to nourish others and that in turn also feeds us. Once we learn how to do that inside a kitchen that inspires us and our needs, inside a life that aligns with our values, we learn other, more practical things like how to store the zucchini.

There are some homes I go into where nourishing is an obligation and a source of stress. It’s overwhelming. It’s empty.

In fact, we are divided culturally as Americans about what a woman's relationship with food should be. It's no wonder that women feel conflicted.

We all have stories about how we relate to food, to cooking, and to being nourished. I'm helping women change their story.

Motherly: Why is food so overwhelming for some of us mothers?

Jules: Part of it is the cultural expectations we bring to the table. We have an idea of what food should look like, what it needs to be due to our upbringings, our parents, our values and lifestyles. That is usually how we decide what food is going to go on the table. If those values don't align with the lives we lead, then there is conflict. We need to look to who we are, who we hunger to be, to write up values that work for our lives now. That will tell us what is on the menu.

For example, some women have husbands who only eat meat and potatoes. But she loves kale and could eat some goat gouda and could be done for the day. Perhaps the kids are very picky and need a balanced meal of fresh foods and meats. What do you do? Usually take out is on the menu when it's too overwhelming. Is the value that she makes three different meals or a one meal thing? It’s a layered subject. It gets stressful because we’re not really quite sure how to approach everyone's hungry. We need to connect with ours first then we will know what to do. That can be a place we need support, hence the need for a kitchen healer.

There's also an emotional layer here for many women because the picture of what meals should be all go back to the story that was passed down from our grandmothers, our mothers, who showed us what nourishment was—or wasn't. Whether it was candy bars in the car or we had a full warm lunch or everything in between. So now in our hands as modern mothers, through social media, the news and society seem to tell us that we have to know how to with meal "perfect" in order to make sure our child is gonna live. That is intensive care. And that is very stressful.

It’s stressful and hard because as a culture, the stories didn’t get passed down. The story about how to make a soup and have a job. How to make food when we’re so busy. How to keep the fire on while we sate our other hungers like motherhood, or dream job, traveling the world, whatever it is.

This is what happened is in the 1950s and 60s: TV dinners showed up, and our moms went out to get diplomas. And so that pantry that our grandmothers had started to get filled with cans.

Moms are stressed because we’re having to make stuff up from scratch. We have to make sure it doesn't have poison on it, we have to make sure of so much these days that is just gets to be too much especially when we don't know what to do. It's sad because it hasn't been that much time that has passed.

I know we can turn this boat around. We can do it all. We can build our business and feed our family. It really does come down to values.


In my home, an egg on rice is a meal. Maybe I'll add beans, an avocado, the whole kitchen sink. There's a lot of permission in how I feed my family. That’s a power meal.



Motherly: You’ve talked about how new mothers experience both grief and joy. What do you mean by grief?

Jules: Motherhood is in part a grieving. I feel that we’re always grieving and grateful at the same time.

In early motherhood, you're having to say goodbye to the old self, which is actually the young self, because as you birthed a baby into the world you birthed a mother in you—you’re forced to grow up even if you weren't necessarily ready to. Now you have life on your hands looking you straight in the eye. I think that we grieve ourselves first. I hope we do. . . leaning into the grief helps the heart SOFTEN which is something else you can heal in the kitchen.

And then we begin to grieve the journey of the kids growing up so fast. As the baby stage passes away, so quickly.


Then we grieve our bodies. And we are grateful and in awe at the same time that our bodies made babies!

We grieve what we think we knew about ourselves, and realize how quickly, too, our bodies can change and then we come to know how amazing we are. This is where we begin to wake up to our hunger.

To heal, we birth new things. New meals, a nap! Or a shower. This is the beginning to mindful living and to loving ourselves as we truly are. It's about writing the story we want to live. Then our kids will know how to do the same.
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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

This article is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.

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A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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