About the book

The path of motherhood will change you in unimaginable ways. As you move onto this path, many questions may naturally emerge, including how to nourish yourself well, how to awaken fertility, how to eat safely in pregnancy and how to replenish your body in the newborn weeks and beyond. Motherfood explores these questions and more, in so doing, unearths the special role that nourishing foods can play in your journey. 

Motherfood also illuminates the many different ways there are of knowing food and, accordingly, lights a path that is grounded in respect for your body, compassion, wisdom, humility and, most of all, connection. The humbling realisation that our foodways shape us, just as we shape our foodways, is one of the most revealing gifts from this deepening insight. Humans and nature is a false dichotomy – we are fundamentally intertwined and inseparable. And there is no other time in life when this is more apparent than in the peripartum period – during pregnancy and in a baby’s first year.  

I hope this is a book that can be supportive through all seasons of motherhood, contemplative and beyond. Sharing glimpses of ways of relearning and reclaiming the art and practice of nourishing foodways and reconnecting with ourselves by doing so. Mostly, I hope this book assists and empowers you to navigate your own journey, because I believe that we, as a community who mother, have it within ourselves to collectively shape a nourishing future for our children and our mother – Earth.

a closer look

In Chapter 1 – The Science of Motherfood, we journey through the body of knowledge that reveals how the changing nature of connection between people, food and the Earth is what led to the evolution of our species, how we have arrived today in a time of profound disconnection, and how we can start to think about healing this rift. In Chapter 2 – The Art of Motherfood, we look at ways of reimagining lifegiving foodways by thinking of what food practices would look like if they were woven with an approach of care and connection. In Chapter 3 – The Practice of Motherfood, we see a wayfinder – a holistic way of choosing, preparing and enjoying foods so that they nourish us and the Earth. In Chapter 5 – Sense, we notice how pregnancy changes us, learn to take care, to be safe and well in pregnancy, and prepare to welcome a new life. In Chapter 6 – Release, we consider the importance of holding a mother as she explores new ways of tending to her unfamiliar life and go into responsive practices for breastfeeding a newborn. In Chapter 7 – Recipes, we share tried and tested seasonal, plant-based recipes, with further notes on ingredient selection and cooking skills. In Chapter 8 – The Science of Nutrition, we explore the social life of nutrients, the roles they perform in our bodies, how they work together, and appreciate the interconnectedness between us and the foods we eat. In Chapter 9 – Assist, we look at the place of supplements in times when it is hard to meet nutritional needs through food alone.

Hardback bound in linen with a brown satin ribbon page marker, Motherfood is a beautiful keepsake book. Vanessa’s words and recipes have been complemented with food photography by Jacinta Moore, motherhood photography by Danielle Dobson and Olivia van Leeuwen and woodcut illustrations by Rosanna Morris. 

Where to buy?

Motherfood is available now in local and independent bookshops and online. Follow the links below to the store of choice and order your copy now.