There is no doubt that giving birth requires phenomenal physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. I certainly felt zapped and depleted for weeks after giving birth to my daughter. Nutrition, rest, and complimentary therapies work wonders in helping the body restore its vital energy in the immediate postpartum.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body loses a great deal of qi, warmth, and blood during childbirth. Because the body’s vital energy (qi) is utilized to make a beautiful new being, it’s essential for the new mother to replenish her qi and build back her blood after childbirth.
Nutrition is one of the best ways to help restore and heal the body during the postpartum. Here are some useful recommendations and recipes for assisting this process:
1. Eating slow-cooked, simple, and nutrient dense foods (even in the warmer months!):
- Broths, particularly bone broths
- Lightly steamed dark and/or leafy vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, nettles, squash, spinach, and dandelion greens
- High quality proteins, whether it be animal or plant based. When eating animal meats, avoiding heavy, lardy meats is helpful.
- Iron rich foods, such as lentils, molasses, beets, tahini, and of course dark leafy greens cooked in cast iron
- Cooking with fresh herbs, including dill and fennel (great for promoting milk production)
2. Stay hydrated!
- Herbal Teas
- Coconut Water
- Maple Water (Yeah VT!)
3. Properties of foods to eat:
- Easily Digestible
4. Use healthy fats and oils containing Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs – Omega 3, 6, and 9) more abundantly than normal:
- Coconut Oil
- Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Flax Seed Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Sesame and Sunflower Seed Oils
5. A rushed or irritated atmosphere while cooking or eating weakens digestion.
If possible, have friends or family help prepare meals so the postpartum mother can maximize her rest and enjoy snuggling with her newborn.
Here are some of my favorite recipes for the postpartum:
- Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- Prune and Pistachio Cacao Balls
- Saffron Tea Latte
- Maca Maple Amaranth Porridge
- Mung Bean Stew
- Beluga Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew
- Bean Chili with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate
- Beetroot Burgers
- Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich
- Chicken Soup with Kale and Carrots
- Fully Loaded Sweet Potatoes
- Yogi Bowl