Let’s face it. Hungry does not describe the intense hunger of a breastfeeding mother, especially in the first few weeks! She just ran the marathon of her life – birth, and now she is feeding this little being CONSTANTLY (or so it seems)! Plus, all of her stored nutrients went to her baby while pregnant and will continue to while breastfeeding. This mama needs to EAT!
Wondering how you can help a mother? Bring her food! My church brought food the first week after my son was born; it was the best gift ever! Here are some foods that are easy to eat, but also can be nutritious, for a breastfeeding mom (really, any mom that just gave birth!):
Whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, have great nutrients, fiber, and are easy to eat. Fiber will hopefully minimize constipation. This is especially important if mom is on any pain medication while she is recovering.
Meat has high amounts of protein that will help stabilize mom’s blood sugar. Meats high in iron, like beef, are especially good the first few days after birth, especially if extra bleeding occurred. Pick meats that are easy to eat one handed. For instance, I love chicken wings, but way too messy for me while I was nursing so frequently. Burgers and steaks were much easier.
Add the first 3 foods together and you have a casserole! You can hide tons of nutritious foods in a casserole. Plus, they are solid enough for mom to stab with a fork and eat one handed!
Nuts come in convenient bags or cans and are packed with protein. Ideally, find nuts that don’t have a lot of additives or sodium, and have had minimal processing. Stash them around her house, or better yet, put them in her breastfeeding baskets. (If she does not already have a breastfeeding basket, this would be a great gift!)
Granola bars are convenient and quick. I had a variety of granola bars sitting on my bedside table at night (remember breastfeeding a newborn is a 24/7 job!), so that I didn’t have to get up and rummage through the fridge in the middle of the night. These are also great for a breastfeeding basket, purse, or diaper bag. Again, find protein bars with minimal processing and refined sugar.
Last, but certainly not least, is water. Mom needs to drink a lot of water! Her baby will literally drink the fluid right out of her. As my son would nurse, I would get more and more thirsty! I enjoyed infusing my water with fruit because there is only so much water I can drink before I need to drink something with some flavor. We had a water pitcher that was specifically made for infusing, but really, just throwing fruit in a pitcher will have the same effect. Fruits that I enjoyed were lemons, strawberries, and pineapples.
There you have it, 7 ways to help mom while also nourishing her. What would you add to this list?
I am a Breastfeeding Mom that works as a Doula, Childbirth and Parenting Educator in the Lafayette, LA area. For more information about me and my services, visit MY Birth & Baby website.