Nutritious Meals After Your Baby is Born Can Be Delivered to Your Door!!!
It is well recognised that the way you nourish yourself when planning your conception and in pregnancy, shapes your baby’s health, and is a key factor in the life long health of mother and baby. The memo that many seem to miss is that nutritious food is incredibly important in the postnatal period, and supports physical and emotional healing, breastfeeding and prevents depletion.
We can learn so much from traditional cultures and practices around care in the postpartum period. They do differ and are fascinating to research, but they all share some common principals that our Western Culture could take much more notice of and make a priority for all new born mothers, who are incredibly vulnerable at this time. The main similarities are:
- Several weeks of rest (40 days), staying in and around the home with limited stimulation and a support team that respects this sacred time.
- Establishing breastfeeding and giving mum and baby the time and support to spend lots of time skin to skin with baby led feeding
- Replenishing nutrient stores with nutrient dense food and fluids that are warming and boost the mothers chi (energy).
- Plenty of support for the new family, where the mother and father/partner can focus on this special bonding time, whilst the community of support provide the care they need (cooking, cleaning, emotional support etc…)
There are many other ways a new family can be supported in their emotional, spiritual and physical healing after birth, We have lots of great posts on how to prepare for this golden month, as well as information and tips on breastfeeding, healing from birth trauma, as well as conventional wisdom on post birth healing from experts in these fields. You can access these resources here!
Not everyone has the luxury of having family on hand to care and support them at this special time. We do recommend cooking a little extra and freezing meals during pregnancy so that you have some meals ready to go on those days/nights when you don’t have the energy to cook, or your support team aren’t there to provide a meal.
Many mother’s find it hard to ask for help, but most of our friends, neighbours and family are happy to help out. Actually, most of them are probably desperate to help, but don’t want to impose on you, or are not sure what is appropriate, as each families needs and expectations are unique. So here are a few ideas to help get nutritious food to your door!!
Doulas for birth and the postpartum period are well worth looking into. Having a doula hold space for you as you give birth is very special and evidence shows that women have better birth outcomes with Doula support, as the mother feels safe, held and able to surrender to the waves of labour. Most birth doulas will provide visits after the birth, and many also provide a more extensive service of postpartum care.
A postpartum doula is a professional who is trained in providing physical and emotional support to new parents and their babies during the immediate postpartum period and until the new family is well adjusted. They are trained in caring for a new mother, a new baby, helping with breastfeeding, postpartum nutrition, and much more. Simply put, they protect your space and provide emotional support, as well as helping to guide you in your physical healing. This may be by daily massages, ceremony, and making sure everything around you is taken care of. Sounds amazing I know.
Many of our Educators provide Doula support for birth and/or for the postpartum. Click here to search the directory Select category Doula or Postpartum Doula in your search.
A Meal Train
A Meal Train is a fabulous idea, as those that do want to help can join the roster and drop off a meal when it is their turn. Visit https://www.mealtrain.com/ to setup your meal train so you can share the link and your supporters can find a time that suits their busy schedule.
There are foods that aren’t ideal to consume in those first few weeks. There are also foods that you should be eating, so having some recommendations or recipes ready to go will be super helpful for your support team. Layla Armour (one of our gorgeous HB mama’s) has created the ‘Village for Mama Book’ – A postpartum recipe book with recipe gift cards to help modern mamas gather their village and organise homemade meal giving for their fourth trimester. It is a fabulous gift for anyone wanting to find something to gift to a mama close to birthing. It is also a great purchase for anyone keen to ensure your support team nourish you with foods that you and baby will tolerate. This recipe book and card pack is perfect for a Baby Blessing/Shower as you can let all those that love you know that they can take a recipe card, join the Meal train and be part of your support team at this very special moment in your life.
Books on Nutrition and Healing for Pregnancy and the Postpartum
There are a few books that we highly recommend regarding nutrition and care for pregnancy and the postpartum period. In no particular order, as we love them all!!
Real Food for Pregnancy – The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition – by Lily Nichols RDN, CDE (Honestly, this book is one that every woman should have in their hands. Lily backs all of her recommendations with the most current evidence in nutrition science).
The First Forty Days – The Essential Art of Nourishing The New Mother – Heng Ou (Great advice and recipes for the postpartum period with a focus on the Chinese traditions of postnatal care)
Newborn Mothers – Julia Jones & Nourishing Newborn Mothers – Julia Jones (Both of these books by Julia Jones are filled with so much love, wisdom and experience as a Postnatal Doula and mother).
The Postnatal Depletion Cure – Dr Oscar Serrallach (With great empathy and wisdom, Dr Serrallach explains how to restore your health and vitality using nutrition, gentle exercises and simple strategies to get you to finally feel like yourself again. This book has helped thousands of Mothers to get back on track after their birthing journey).
Meal Delivery Services
If there is one gift that will be a game changer for you in these early days/weeks, it is to have meals delivered that have been prepared with love and your needs in mind. Being nourished with fresh-cooked, balanced meals and snacks that are delivered to your door gives you the time to focus on resting and nourishing yourself and your baby. If your family or friends want to get you a gift, this will be the gift that you will remember forever!
Here are some of our favourites!
The Golden Month – Meal delivery (ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC)
The Whole Bowl Co – Meal delivery (NSW, VIC, QLD)
Doula Called Cat – Meal delivery (Melbourne)
Kin by Charlotte – Feed me packages (Yarra Ranges, Victoria)
Doula Wisdom – Postpartum Meal Deliveries (Northern Rivers, NSW)
Motherhood with Keturah – Postpartum Meals (Sydney, NSW)
Steph the doula – Postpartum Meals (Sydney, NSW)
The Baby Days – Meal Delivery (WA – selected suburbs)
We’ve provided lots of tips for nutritional support after birth, as well as providing some other great resources for you. Having a plan is always a great idea. Sit down and have a think about what you may need in the way of support once your baby is earthside, and pull together your support team to make it happen. You will be so much more relaxed once you know you have your plan for support in place. We do know that mothers that are well supported, have much lower rates of postnatal depression or depletion.
Sending love for a very special 4th Trimester. Here’s a great relaxation MP3 for you to listen to once your baby arrives!!