Just about six weeks ago we had our third baby – our first girl! Those first two births looked a lot different, and so did those first few weeks after our oldest sons were born.
This time around we were brought meals every day for two weeks. This was unbelievably generous and helpful in allowing us to get the rest we needed and for me to truly bond with our newest little blessing.
So I thought I’d share some tips for preparing foods, in light of a new mother’s needs, that will nourish and nurture a growing family – your own or someone else’s.
1. Iron and Calcium-Rich Foods. It is oh so easy to become severely anemic after having a child and I have been there twice. Iron-rich foods can help a mother regain her strength and stay well. Foods like grass-fed beef and buffalo (especially liver) and dark leafy greens are examples. Calcium is also really necessary for the breastfeeding mother so high-quality dairy products, bone broths, and leafy greens are a good idea for calcium as well.
2. Milk-Building Foods. First and foremost a mother needs plenty of calories in order to nurse her baby so be generous and make sure the family has more than enough food to eat. Foods known to enhance milk supply include oats, quinoa or other whole grains (especially if they are fermented), eggs (preferably from pastured chickens), leafy greens (I know!), and dark beer.
3. Foods Easy To Digest. It is really important to be sure to keep digestion going right after you’ve had a baby. Good foods for this include anything containing probiotics like yogurt (make your own!), kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, etc. and fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Restorative Foods. I’ve been told that we ought to think of recovering from birth like one would think of recovering from major surgery, so a new mother needs restorative foods. Foods that restore often contain electrolytes and other trace minerals. Bone broths are an excellent choice for making a big pot of soup or stew for the family, and make sure you include plenty of sea salt so she can replenish her fluids. Other options include fermented beverages such as water kefir, pastured eggs and butter (maybe with sourdough bread), and coconut water.
These are just a few things I have found to help me after having a child. So whether you’re bringing food to a new mother or stocking your freezer for your own birth, you might keep these things in mind when menu planning.