Cooking for Postpartum
It’s easy to say you’re going to prepare freezer meals for your postpartum. But do you know what to cook?
Lasagna and casseroles are the go-to freezer meal options, but they’re not always the best choice for postpartum recovery.
- Heavy, cheesy foods can be comforting but they do not usually agree with the slow metabolism women have after giving birth.
- Adding certain spices, vegetables, and textures within your postpartum menu can help promote a healthy recovery process by using food as medicine.
- In this post, we’ll go over which foods to choose for postpartum and why they are so beneficial for a healthy recovery.
Eat soft, warm foods
During birth, you lose many bodily fluids, such as water and blood, both of which can help regulate your body temperature. Your body, therefore, may have a hard time keeping warm and adjusting to the climate of the room. If you eat cold foods, they will cool you down faster, which will slow your recovery (cold cells move slower than warm cells). Eating warm foods will promote heat retention in your cells and muscles, as well as help you to relax and feel comforted. Furthermore, it is harder for your digestive tract to break down hard, raw, or crunchy foods. Your intestines have done a lot of shifting before and during birth, and they are just starting to get back into the swing of things - before they do, focus on giving them a leg-up by eating soft, cooked foods. Think stews and soups rather than smoothies and salads!
Drink a lot of water
Water helps everything move through your digestive tract as smoothly and as gently as possible. It’s important to drink a lot of water to keep things going! Water will also hydrate your mind, restore your tired muscles and replenish the fluid you lost during birth. For breastfeeding moms, water helps to boost your supply - the more water you drink, the more milk you can make for your baby. Try filling a big water bottle with markers on the sides to tell you how much you’ve been drinking, and try to empty 2-3 of them per day. You can also set a rule to help you remember to drink, such as “every time I feed the baby, I drink 8oz of water.”
Quick doesn’t need to mean unhealthy
It can be so easy in the haze of new parenthood to grab whatever cereal is in the cabinet and eat it by the handful between baby feedings and diaper changes. However, it’s really important to remember that quick grab and go meals can be prepared ahead of time to ensure nutritionally sound foods while acknowledging that you need it fast! Recipes like peanut butter power balls full of protein and nutritious nuts and seeds, heat-and-eat postpartum stews with lots of soft vegetables and warming spices like turmeric and cinnamon, and fiber-rich oatmeal cooked quickly on the stove can be some wonderful choices for a busy and tired new parent.
It’s just as important to feed yourself good food during your postpartum as it was to do so while you were pregnant. Warm, soft foods full of nutrients, and lots of glasses of water throughout the day, can help promote a healthy postpartum recovery. There are many cookbooks available for postpartum recipes, such as The Food Doula Cookbook by Lindsay Taylor, and Nourishing Newborn Mothers by Julia Jones.
Share Your Favorite Foods
What is your favorite recipe to eat while recovering from childbirth? Comment below!
Writing compliments of
Andrea Luzitano is a postpartum doula and graduate of the Conscious Postpartum Caregiver Program. Through Upon Arrival, she "mothers the new mother" and her family by providing healing meals, emotional wellness offerings, and local resources that gently guide them through the life-changing experience of early postpartum parenthood. Many women plan for the birth of a baby - but what about the birth of a mother? She is a firm believer in holding space for this precious time in life and keeping it as worry-free and comfortable as possible. Learn more about Andrea at https://www.uponarrivaldoula.com/.
Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.