Proper postpartum nutrition is important for both mom and baby. Especially if mom is breastfeeding or healing from a c-section, mom needs to ensure she is getting enough nutrients for proper tissue healing and breastmilk production. Sometimes mom gets forgotten about or mom forgets to nourish herself. Creating a plan during pregnancy can take the stress out of nutrition during the early postpartum period. Below are some suggestions to consider when creating your own plan for postpartum nutrition:
Meal trains are a great way to organize home-cooked meals delivered to your door by loved ones. They can be created on Facebook pages, emails, or even by the Meal Train website! You can set one up for yourself or have a friend take the lead. Be sure to tell your loved ones if you have any food sensitivities or allergies.
Note: this option may not be the best if you or your family members have food sensitivities, unless your loved ones are versed in cooking to accommodate those.
Crock pot meals. Have you seen New Leaf Wellness? This takes meal prepping to a whole new level. This blogger has meal plans that provide a grocery list, recipes, and labels for freezer Crock Pot meals. All of the ingredients go into a labeled freezer zip-lock bag and frozen until used. Pick out a meal the night before, let it thaw, and put it into your Crock Pot to have a nice hot meal in 6-8 hours. For me personally, this was the best thing I did to plan for postpartum.
Note: this will save you time and money in the long run, but requires a lot of time to prepare.
Freeze meals, soups, and stews ahead of time. During the last month or two leading up to your guess date, make a little extra of what you are cooking every once and a while and freeze half. Chilis, soups, stews, and bone broth are great to have on hand. You can also do this with homemade breads (banana bread), egg casseroles, pot roasts, etc. Look into proper preparation to freeze each of these and be sure to label everything with the freeze date.
Note: this option is great for those who meal prep!
Stock up on favorites. If there are non-perishable household favorites (think almond butter, Rx bars, coconut oil), grab some extra at the store leading up to your guess date so that you don’t run out in the first month or two postpartum. Think about what quick snacks you would like to have on hand, especially if you are planning to breastfeed.
Thrive market. If you are unfamiliar with Thrive Market, it is membership based online store with great prices on natural, organic groceries. Shipping is free for all orders over $49 and those who are new to Thrive Market, can try it out for free with their no-commitment 30-day free trial. There are free products with minimum purchases available a few times each week. This is a great way to get natural, organic groceries into your kitchen at a great price without having to leave the house!
Join a CSA. A weekly subscription to locally-sourced foods will cut out time spent at the grocery store. Your partner or another loved oneyou could pick up your share and drop it off on their way home. Some offer additional products that can be purchased when your share is picked up. Not only will this save you time, but it will bring locally sourced produce (and meats depending on your options) into your home.
Check out Instacart. This company will deliver groceries in one hour for $7.99 or 2+ hours for $5.99. If this is available at your favorite grocery store, this is a small price to pay to not have to pack up a newborn (and possibly more littles) to have whatever you need delivered to your door!
Lastly, never be afraid to ask visitors to bring food over when they come by! People want to help. Let them ☺
Candace Gesicki, DC
BIRTHFIT Cleveland Regional Director