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Rest, recovery and larb tofu: a startup to remedy our postpartum care problem

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W hen New Yorkers Irene Liu and Jennifer Jolorte Doro launched Chiyo, their postpartum meal delivery service, they weren’t only interested in making it easy for new mothers to heat up delicious dishes like pumpkin lentil curry and larb tofu.

They were using food to challenge an entrenched idea: that maternal care begins with pregnancy and comes to a screeching stop at childbirth.Named after a popular Japanese girls’ name that translates to “eternal” or “a thousand generations”, Chiyo draws from postpartum practices common in eastern cultures.

In most Asian countries, the first 40 days after birth are considered a crucial period of recovery. In this month-plus-long restorative interval, new mothers recharge through a strict regimen of rest, isolation and a nourishing diet.

Another key ingredient: the support of family.The US, by contrast, is the only rich nation without a national paid parental-leave policy.

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