10 Tips for a Better Postpartum: Tip #4
This post is part of the series, 10 Tips for a Better Postpartum. This is Tip #4 in a list of 10 things you can do in pregnancy to set yourself up for a more comfortable, peaceful, and enjoyable postpartum journey. Check back in the coming weeks as I share the next tips in the series!
Tip #4: Make a Plan for Postpartum Meals
To be completely honest, newborn baby care can feel like, well, A WHOLE LOT. Those early days and weeks are so precious! But they can also feel like an altered reality where time doesn’t really exist and you are moving through a neverending loop of feeding. One feeding blurs into the next, and it can make it difficult to squeeze anything else in – including feeding yourself and your family. “Postpartum You” will LOVE “Pregnant You” for having done a little bit of meal planning before baby’s arrival. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I was SO grateful to have some healthy meals in the freezer ready to go! I purchased some disposable casserole dishes and gallon freezer bags and spent time on a couple weekends preparing recipes that would freeze well and cook up with little to no effort postpartum. My personal favorites were a healthified tuna casserole dish I could just pop in the oven and a crockpot chicken curry I could just toss in the crockpot. I also assembled, wrapped, and froze some breakfast burritos and some homemade protein-boosted, whole-wheat pancakes that I knew would be quick and easy, nutritious breakfasts for the family.
Then in the month or so leading up to baby’s arrival I purposely made larger batches of whatever we were eating those nights and froze the leftovers. Things like soups, pasta casseroles, and egg bakes were super easy to thaw and heat up postpartum.
If you read Tip #3 in this series, you know that postpartum is NOT the time to be a superhero – ask for and accept help! If someone offers to bring you a meal, let them! Many people understand what those early days and weeks with a baby are like and would love to support you in this way. Just communicate expectations, letting them know that if you are not yet ready for visitors that it may need to be a drop-off, but that you are looking forward to having them back for a visit soon! There are also a variety of websites you can use to allow friends and family to sign up for a day to bring a meal. You can note any allergies, sensitivities, or preferences so that anyone signing up can see them.
Make a plan for how you will keep yourself fueled. Your body is recovering from the hard work of growing and birthing another human – pretty amazing right? You need nutritious foods to support your body in healing. If you are breastfeeding, you need to fuel your body in order to feed your baby. Think about snacks that are nutritious, portable, and can be eaten easily while nursing. Unsure what to eat during pregnancy and postpartum? Take a quality birth class and learn how to appropriately fuel your body for both!
Ask your partner, postpartum doula, or visitors to help remind you to fuel your body regularly. It can be surprisingly easy to forget! If you are on your own during the day, consider setting an alarm to check in with yourself on your nutrition and hydration needs. Here are a few of my favorite postpartum snacks:
Protein balls – Find a favorite recipe and stock the ingredients. Make a double-batch for the fridge
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables – Cleaned and cut in the fridge. Pair with hummus, nut butter, or Greek Yogurt-based dip
Cheese, Jerky, & Whole Grain Crackers
Loaded Oatmeal - Add fresh fruit, nuts, local honey or maple syrup, chia, flaxseed meal, or nut butter
Hard-Boiled Eggs – Add a favorite seasoning. I like mine spicy, so I sprinkle Creole or Jalapeno seasoning on top.
Healthified Muffins - There are so many options, and you can make them ahead and freeze them
Smoothies – Experiment with ingredients until you find a few recipes you love. For many recipes, you can place all the ingredients in a freezer bag so they can just be pulled and blended when you are ready for a snack. Some of my favorite mix-ins: Plain Greek Yogurt, Spinach, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed Meal, Kale, Frozen Mango, Nut Butter, Unsweetened Almond Milk, Kefir, Local Honey
Keep a binder of easy, nutritious meals and snacks handy. Then your partner, visitors, or your postpartum doula can easily whip up a batch of your favorite protein balls or a quick & easy meal. This collection of easy, nutritious meals & snacks will come in handy so you or a support person can just pull a few recipes out, add any needed groceries to your grocery order and be ready to go for the week.
There are many meal-delivery services available now, including some local options like Chilled. Do your research to understand what level of preparation is needed, if dietary needs can be met, and what, if any, supplies you will need to have on hand. These services can be a great way to lighten the load of feeding your family during your postpartum journey.
For a better birth and postpartum experience, please reach out and I can connect you with a class option that is right for you. Start making a plan to fuel yourself and your family postpartum!
Looking for more tips for a better postpartum? Check out Tip #5!