The transition from pregnancy to postpartum is enormous — especially because it involves a newborn baby, making milk, and almost nonexistent sleep. Add that to the fact that you’re recovering from just having birthed a baby and your world is full.
It is a good idea to plan nourishing meals for the first few weeks after baby is born. But what?? You may not have a large freezer and relying on a meal train may not be feasable – especially if you have allergies.
To support this shift, it’s important to focus on warming, easily digestible, mineral-rich foods to promote healing and provide sustained energy. Think properly-prepared grains, cooked veggies, nourishing fats, and ferments.
When I was pregnant I froze homemade pancakes, soup, lactation cookies, burritos, smoothies, and giant meatballs. They reheated quickly and for the most part could be eaten one handed if I was holding my new squish.
Whatever meals you choose make sure they are foods that support breastfeeding and promote healing. Eating healthy is even more important postpartum! You are recovering physically, while also providing nourishment for your baby by breastfeeding. This double strain on your body requires a lot of fuel!
Your job in the “fourth trimester” is to nourish your baby, eat a balanced diet and sleep as much as you can. Fortunately, adequate sleep and a healthy diet will help you lose some weight. But this is not the time to try some type of postpartum weight-loss diet or restrict calories, which could cause your milk supply to drop if you’re breastfeeding. And, whether you’re breastfeeding or not, calorie restriction combined with a lack of sleep is a recipe for cravings, overeating and binge eating.
Your body just completed an amazing feat and really needs time and attention to heal, and that often gets brushed over. Plus the sleep deprivation, the laundry, the dishes can all wait. Providing your body with good nutrition, gentle movement and your brain and heart with patience and attention can help you feel more at peace. Be really kind to yourself, Mama! And sleep when the baby sleeps.