These postpartum recipes are full of ingredients that will nourish and replenish new mamas. Plus, you can make them all in advance so there will be plenty of nutritious food on hand when that little bundle of joy has all of your undivided attention.
It’s no secret that once babies are born, all of our attention turns to them. Mamas selflessly give themselves to this tiny new human being who is just trying to adjust to life outside of their mother’s womb. What is often overlooked is the fact that postpartum mamas need just as much special care and attention during this time as their new babes – both mentally and physically – and one of the best ways to do this is through healthy, nourishing food.
When thinking about the best postpartum foods for new mamas, there are a few overarching principles to remember that will both speed up recovery and provide the sustenance needed to get through what many affectionately refer to as the “fourth trimester”.
Things to Embrace When Eating for Postpartum
Here are some general things for new mothers to embrace when eating in the first few weeks (or even months) after giving birth:
- Warming foods such as cinnamon, ginger, steamy broths, tea, oatmeal and cooked grains
- Animal products or other food items that are incredibly high in protein, best when slow-cooked
- Collagen-rich foods or a collagen supplement
- Foods rich in vitamins, omega-3’s and DHA
- Foods that are COOKED and easy to digest
- Carbs and salt from REAL food
- High-quality dairy such as warm milk, soft goat cheese, and unsweetened whole milk yogurt
- Plant- and seed-based oils such as avocado, olive, sesame, hemp and coconut oils
Things to Minimize When Eating for Postpartum
Here are some types of foods that will not necessarily provide optimal postpartum nourishment; however, they can still be enjoyed on occasion (you know I’m all about that balance!)
- Salads and raw vegetables
- Crunchy crackers and chips
- Ice cream, sorbet or gelato
- Sweetened yogurt
- Processed oils such as canola and vegetable oil
Now let’s get on to the recipes and some of the star ingredients that make them postpartum powerhouses.
Make-Ahead Postpartum Recipes Featuring Nuts & Oats
Nuts and oats both offer huge benefits in the realm of postpartum nutrition. Nuts are high in healthy fats, protein and B vitamins, and have the added bonus that they can easily be consumed in their natural form. Oats are high in fiber, boost energy and help support milk production. They also help strengthen digestive organs, which are thrown for quite a loop during the birthing process.
Make-Ahead High-Protein and Egg-Based Postpartum Recipes
Protein is incredibly important for postpartum, not only for filling up hungry mamas but for providing vital nutrients such as iron, B-vitamins and Vitamin A. Eggs are one of THE best foods to eat both during pregnancy and postpartum, as they provide healthy doses of choline, DHA, iodine and zinc. Foods rich in these types of nutrients speed up the healing process and also enrich breast milk.
Make-Ahead Postpartum Recipes Featuring Cooked Veggies
Cooking vegetables before consuming them makes them easier to digest while still providing new moms with essential vitamins and nutrients. The idea is to help your digestive organs recover from giving birth by minimizing the amount of work they have to do to get all of the nutrients out of the food you’re eating.
A Hydrating and Mineral-Rich Postpartum Drink Recipe
If labor doesn’t cause you to want to drink everything under the sun to stay hydrated, breastfeeding sure will. It is incredibly important to be drinking plenty of fluids starting early on in pregnancy, and continuing to do so through the birthing process, postpartum and beyond. And it sometimes takes more than just water. Jazz up your beverages with things like coconut water and sea salt to get extra electrolytes and keep you extra-hydrated while your body grows, gives birth to and nourishes another human being.
Filling and Healthy Sweet Treats That are Perfect for Postpartum
If you’ve ever experienced being a new mom yourself, then you know the insatiable hunger that hits you as soon as you give birth. Aside from the hunger, you’ll also likely be craving some sweets to give you an extra dose of energy while you’re navigating life (and trying to get any sleep you can) with your new little one. Here are a couple of healthy yet filling treats you can have on hand when the craving strikes!
By taking a day (or even just a few hours) to prepare some of these delicious and nourishing recipes for your “fourth trimester,” you’ll set yourself up for not only a speedy recovery but to also be in the perfect mental and physical state to bring this new human into your life.
I’d love to hear of any favorite postpartum recipes you rely on in the comments below!