When I went back to work after having my older son Hudson, my milk supply tanked. I took supplements, drank Mother’s Milk tea religiously, did power pumping sessions, ate lactation cookies and somehow managed to keep pumping for another 9 months, but it was a constant struggle. Every day I worried if I would get enough milk to send to daycare for the following day. So when Brooks burst into our lives, weighing two pounds more than Hudson, I felt such anxiety over my milk supply and whether I could keep up with his needs. Every feed, I worried if he was getting enough.
Luckily, my super thoughtful neighbor dropped off a surprise package filled with treats from Mrs. Patel’s. She’d also had milk supply challenges and swore by these delicious bars. Now if only I could keep them away from Hudson who also developed a love for all things Mrs. Patel’s. I mean who doesn’t love caramel and dark chocolate?
Watch + Listen to the whole conversation:
When Anhoni had her two children, her mother filled her kitchen with delicious treats to aid with lactation and postpartum healing. The family recipes, rooted in ayurvedic medicinal system, have been helping women in Anhoni’s family for generations. Anhoni started a company, Mrs. Patel’s to pass along these healthy and delicious treats to help as many new mamas as possible.
How did you start Mrs. Patel’s?
I founded Mrs. Patel’s in 2012. At the time, my son had just turned two and then my daughter was four and half months old. So it’s kind of crazy looking back on it. The recipes are based on family recipes that have been passed down from mother to mother within our family for generations. So when I had my children, my mom made all these lactation snacks and treats for me to help me with postpartum healing and to help me with my lactation. They worked really well for me! I was part of a moms group. You meet other women and you hear their stories and I realized I felt like I had a real advantage. I had this real tool in my tool belt. I had someone in my life making me these nutritious foods that were helping me. When I had my daughter, my mom came and she made all these foods again for me and then I really truly realized how helpful these foods were for me. I wanted to share them with the other women in my mom’s group, the other women in my community, and whoever might need it.
How long have these recipes been in your family?
My mom made them for me. My grandmother made them for my mom. My great-grandmother had made them for my grandmother and so on- so there’s lots of wisdom and knowledge behind it. And in India many families have their own family recipes for these things. But these are my family recipes that I wanted to share. So I took them and I changed them around to suit more of an American palate. The company’s called Mrs. Patel’s and that’s my mother. I named it after my mother because she was my inspiration and these are her recipes.
Can you share a bit more about the ayurvedic recipes?
All the recipes are based on family recipes and are ayurvedically based. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicinal system that’s thousands of years old. There are different doshas and you’re always trying to strike a balance. And then when I redeveloped the recipes and changed them to an American palate, I just ran them by our family’s ayurvedic doctor to make sure that they were well-balanced so that they weren’t going to throw someone’s balance off.
You bring such humor to your instagram account. Can you speak a little bit about your vision on humor?
My personal motto is if you don’t laugh you’ll cry. We all face so many challenges every day. We face frustrations every day. There are moments that feel overwhelming along with all the joys and great things. One great way to get through that is to laugh. Not that I don’t get frustrated- but sometimes you just have to laugh. And so I do really enjoy laughing. I really enjoy humor and I find humor such a great way to diffuse tension and to get through really hard things.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.
Read more from Bridget, follow her on IG, and check out her new series, Work Like a Mother.