One of the things I wish I had done more of in my first pregnancy was more meal prep for postpartum. It is so important to be nourished as a new mother, and not just with nutritious food! This time around I am making sure that I accept offers of meals from family and friends, and also making sure that my freezer and pantry are well stocked with postpartum meals.
The two main books that I used for recipes are Nourishing Newborn Mothers, by Julia Jones, and The First Forty Days by Heng Ou. Many cultures encourage warm, soupy foods that are easy to digest as the digestive system is weakened after birth and needs to be supported until digestive fire has been rebuilt.
Jar meals are easy to prep and last a long time in the pantry. For postpartum you want soft, warming and easy to digest foods – so I prepped some classic postpartum meals from Julia Jones’ Nourishing Newborn Mothers book and a couple of soup recipes that I searched for on the internet.
I also prepped vegan lactation cookie mixes, breakfast cookie mixes, Peanut Butter, Black Sesame, Coconut & Chocolate Granola from The First Forty Days, and Julia’s foundation lactation biscuit and dukkha recipes from her book.
I have made sure my pantry is well stocked with some staples that will be used for the jar meals, as well as easy breakfasts and other meals. Things like tinned tomatoes, coconut cream, oats, red lentils, tinned legumes, pasta, pasta sauce, Basmati rice and semolina.
I generally buy nuts, seeds and legumes in bulk anyway, and these are a good source of protein and fat for a plant based postpartum. Dried fruit like sulfur free apricots and dates are also handy to have on hand for quick snacks.
For the freezer, I made some regular meals like a lentil bolognese sauce to have on pasta, chickpea and potato curry as well as a veggie lasagne.
I also made more postpartum specific meals from Nourishing Newborn Mothers (NNM) and The First Forty Days (FFD):
Lentil Soup (NNM)
Pumpkin Coconut Soup (NNM)
C Recovery Vegetable Stew (FFD)
Creamy Kabocha & Red Lentil Soup (FFD)
Quinoa, Lentils & Greens Soup (FFD)
There’s also a bunch of snacks in freezer – vital for a four year old in the house who lives for them.
Salted Tahini Fudge (with added molasses)
Chocolate Alternative – which I rolled into bliss balls
Apricot Coconut Balls from The Raw Kitchen book
Lastly I stocked the freezer with frozen fruit – bananas, blueberries, mixed berries, mango. Although it’s preferred to eat warming foods in postpartum, as the weather heats up and I move past those first couple of months it is very handy to have smoothie ingredients on hand to made a nutrient dense smoothie or smoothie bowl when I need something quick on hand.
Of course water is the most important beverage postpartum, however herbal teas are also a great way to stay warm and hydrated, particularly if you birth in cooler weather. Some of my favourites are nettle, red raspberry leaf (uterine tonic traditionally used for labour preparation but also excellent for postpartum), alfalfa, caffeine free chai (make your own mix or my favourite blend is made by Love Tea, Nourishing Newborn Mothers also has a recipe) and goji and red date from the First Forty Days – which has plenty of other herbal tea blends you can make to have on hand.
I hope you have found this helpful and enjoy preparing for your postpartum. Remember that a postpartum doula is also a beautiful way to support your transition into motherhood, and accepting help from family and friends – even though this can be foreign to us.
Wishing you a blissful postpartum,