Carolyn Tallents of CLT Wellness, Wellness for the mom, body & soul, talks with us about leaving corporate America to pursue a compassionate career guiding moms and moms-to-be in nutrition, fitness, lactation support and infant care. We love her outlook on postpartum care and the advice she gives at the end for new moms can’t be missed.
Carolyn, you are not only a lovely person to know but your services offered as a wellness coach in the prenatal/postnatal space are pivotal for women trying to navigate what it means to be healthy inside and out. With that said, tell us a little about CLT Wellness and what your core focus was when it started and how that vision has evolved since the company’s conception?
Thank you so much for the kind words Amelia! CLT Wellness was born out of personal necessity in 2016. I was working in the corporate world and my husband and I were having a difficult time getting pregnant. As I started to focus more on my own well-being, I discovered how little guidance and support we’re given about our bodies outside of our regular doctors appointments and some ill-advised Googling. I decided to leave my job to start my own business focusing on nutrition for fertility, pre and postnatal women. Four years (and 2 babies!) later, my business has morphed from solely nutritional guidance to a full range of physical and emotional services for moms and moms-to-be, including fitness, lactation support, and infant care.
Being in the corporate world for over a decade and deciding to make a change is a big move that takes a little planning, a lot of courage and infinite trust that things will – for lack of a better term – fall into place. Was there a specific moment in your “past life” that led you toward this new path or that made you realize it was time for a change?
Absolutely! For me it was less about a singular moment and more about a shift in perspective. I loved working in marketing and the corporate environment, but I started to get an itch to do something different – I just wasn’t sure what that was. Then when I started dealing with fertility issues, including a heartbreaking miscarriage, I found myself sitting in these endless meetings completely disconnected and dispassionate. Everything in my job that used to feel supremely important started to feel trivial. I knew then that it was time to take a leap but was so fearful of the lack of stability. Thankfully I have an incredibly supportive husband who gave me the confidence and encouragement to just do it.
I can relate to this on a personal level and agree that a supportive partner is so imperative when making a lifestyle move whether career or personal.
What part of your experience as a mom (of two adorable boys) and your journey in getting there, has shaped how you work with clients today?
I think my biggest learning has been that no two pregnancies, deliveries or postpartum experiences are the same. It’s so important to meet moms wherever they are, with no expectation of how they “should” be feeling. I had a really hard time physically and emotionally after my first son was born and then felt really good after my 2nd birth, so my postpartum needs were completely different.
So true and so important to remember. Which leads me to some of the exciting new ventures happening in the near future that we spoke about, one specifically being your shift in focus to postpartum recovery and health. This seems to be the “forgotten” phase of motherhood, with so much planning and preparation emphasized on the birth and then the baby…we are often left wondering, where do mom’s needs fall in all of this? How can your services specifically support moms postpartum?
Absolutely – once the baby is born, it’s all about the baby. Well wishers often say things to the mom like “You must be so in love!” or “Enjoy this magical time!” And in your mind you’re like – I’m sleep deprived from waking up every 2 hours to feed, my boobs are engorged and I can’t sit down comfortably. This is not magical! And don’t get me started on “sleep when the baby sleeps” 🙂
I’m there to provide support and make sure the mom is getting the care she needs – whether that be physical support to ease aches and pains, lactation support, newborn care, bonding with the baby, making a meal, learning how to move your own body safely again, or simply holding the baby while you have a moment to yourself.
Many women turn to doula’s for support, however, it is not uncommon for a woman in our society to have no idea what a doula is or how she can help – particularly when it comes to the care of the mother after birth. Why should women consider consulting with a postpartum doula?
We’ve all heard the phrase “it takes a village” and while it is incredibly true, very few women in New York City have access to the traditional village – where they are surrounded and supported by immediate and extended family after the birth of their baby. New motherhood can be incredibly overwhelming and isolating and a postpartum doula is there to be your “village,” to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Your services at CLT range from meeting individual needs of the mother to working with women in group settings. If a mom or mom-to-be contacts you about any of the above mentioned, what can she expect?
I love to start with an in person meeting to get to know each other, whether you’re pregnant or already had your baby. A first date of sorts 🙂 If you’re going to be inviting someone into your home after having a baby, when you’re at your most vulnerable, you need to feel comfortable as possible.
From there we discuss what you need or anticipate needing in the first days and weeks postpartum, talk through anything you’re unsure about and make a rough action plan. We can work together for a few hours, or a few months, depending on your needs. I include a physical recovery plan of basic core and pelvic floor strengthening and many clients will stay on to continue to build on that plan as their recovery progresses.
And what is the best way to reach out and learn more?
You can email me at Carolyn@CLTWellness.com to learn more! I’m happy to chat any time to provide more information or answer any questions.
Lastly, if you could share one piece of advice to the mom who just had a baby, who is feeling isolated and a little shook adjusting to this new world of motherhood, what would that be?
I have two pieces of advice that have gotten me through 2 babies:
- The days are (very) long but the months are short. Especially at the beginning, the days with a baby can feel endless. You spend your time talking to something who doesn’t talk back and doesn’t really do much besides sleep (hopefully) and cry (definitely). But all of a sudden you are celebrating their 1st birthday and can’t understand where the time has gone.
- Everything is a phase. I would get so worked up about why the baby wasn’t sleeping well that week, and then all of a sudden sleep was fine, but he wasn’t eating as much as he used to. A few days later, he’s eating like a grown adult but he learned to crawl and I’m panicked about baby proofing. It’s always going to be something so it’s important not to get too bogged down on one particular issue. So much is happening developmentally that things change daily!