It’s important to stay well nourished and hydrated throughout your pregnancy, and it is equally important to pay attention to this once your baby is here. Birth takes a toll on your body and the repair and recovery takes a long time. My old homeopath told me she considered recovery to take a whole year, so please bear that in mind if you’re ever feeling impatient!
I speak to my clients about having a plan for their postnatal period – you will likely be in a haze of hormones, lack of sleep and baby cuddles so getting anything done in the early weeks can be challenging. I firmly believe that ‘food is medicine’ and having a plan for good nutrition is key in supporting your recovery. So what can you do to give yourself the best nutrition as you adjust to family life? I’ve listed some tips below:
ask visitors to bring a meal with them! One postnatal tip I give my clients is to set up a Google Drive with lists of chores, meals, things you need collected, groceries you need etc. Keep it up to date and ask any visitors to check it and see what they can help with. This is SO much better than them asking ‘what can they do/bring’ – people want to help and this is a great way to let them give you the help you need.
if you’re cooking before the birth then make a double batch and freeze the extra portions. Either freeze as a family meal or in individual portions ready to grab and reheat when needed
if you have a slow cooker investigate ‘dump recipes’ – these are meals prepped ahead of time, the ingredients (including the sauces and/or herbs) are put uncooked into a ziplock bag (or other container) and then ‘dumped’ into the slow cooker on the day.
smoothies are a great way to get fresh, whole, easily digestible nutrition into your system. You can prep and freeze the ingredients into individual portions, making them ready to use as and when you need them.
focus on foods that are warming and pack a good nutritional punch. Bone broth is a wonderful example of this, if the idea of bone broth isn’t appealing you can get it in powdered form at health food shops and sprinkle it on your food.
make nutritious, easy to eat snacks for when meals are impractical. For example, nuts, eggs, fruit, veggie sticks, bliss balls etc.
Below is a recipe for my Lactation Cookies – but don’t let the name fool you – they’re great for new mums whether they’re breast or bottle feeding. I call them Yummy because that’s what they are, I have to make a double batch whenever I make them, 1 for my client and 1 for my children! They freeze really well so can easily be made ahead of time and even make a great gift if you’re visiting a friend who’s recently given birth.
SAMANTHA’S YUMMY LACTATION COOKIES
½ cup stewed apples
½ cup maple syrup (or honey)
½ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup wholemeal, plain flour
3 tbsp brewer’s yeast (NOT baker’s yeast!)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup cranberries or sultanas
½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180C degrees.
Blend the apples, egg and vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Drop small tablespoons of mixture on lined baking trays. Bake for 12-15 minutes
NB: Please note that some brands of brewer’s yeast tastes stronger/more bitter than others so a little trial and error may be needed. I have made variations of both recipes including ingredients like coconut, cranberries and white chocolate so definitely feel free to experiment with them!