“Nutrition has always played a key role in supporting families in the postpartum time,” said Sarah Venzara, who recently added a meal service option to her doula business.
Sarah Venzara has been in the birthing business for more than 17 years. She began in San Diego as a doula which is “a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
As part of her service, Sarah Venzara often prepared meals for mothers after their babies were born. Because she felt nutrition was important, she learned more about the nutritional needs of postpartum mothers which include how food impacts digestion, lactation and blood, she said.
“I felt really inspired to start something bigger that would be more accessible to more families than just the ones I could serve in their home … I wanted to reach more of the community,” Sarah Venzara said.
After moving to Boulder, Sarah Venzara began an apprenticeship with a few local midwives, with the idea that she would branch out on her own one day. As she launches her Doula at Your Door business, she wants to include food service. That’s when she turned to her husband, Nathan Venzara, who is a chef and a food photographer.
Nathan Venzara has spent most of his career in the hospitality industry working in restaurants or photographing their food. Through his work he has learned how to cultivate relationships with local farmers and to find the best places to find the most nutritious foods, he said.
The couple said their relationship truly began with food. The couple enjoys spending time creating new nutritional and locally-sourced meals together, she added.
“Food has always been part of our relationship and we really enjoy being in the kitchen together,” Sarah Venzara said.
So it only seemed natural to work together on this venture.
When the couple had the first of their three children, they didn’t have family nearby. They immediately saw the need to set up a meal train for themselves after Sarah Venzara gave birth. At the time, the couple lived in a neighborhood that hosted progressive meals — moving from home to home in the neighborhood stopping to have a portion of a meal at each stop, Sarah Venzara said.
The food service portion of Doula at Your Door allows families to choose several options on a weekly basis. While the service can extend past eight weeks, it is designed to serve a postpartum mom’s body for that long, Nathan Venzara said.
The meals are designed to help moms through breakfast and dinner, with leftovers intended to help the mom through lunch. A week’s worth of meals are delivered at a time and are meant to stay fresh in the refrigerator.
The meals also can be tailored to meet specific needs such as gluten and dairy free dietary preferences.
The plans can be ordered for only the mother, a couple or an entire family, Nathan Venzara said.
“Through all of my years of supporting families through postpartum and also personally experiencing the postpartum three times with my own children, I feel like I really deeply understand the needs that are present,” Sarah Venzara said.