Postpartum Food and Meal Plans
My love for postnatal recovery nutrition has grown with my practice working as a birth Doula. Some of my absolute favourite experiences have been those where I am able to walk with a woman right the way through her pregnancy, birth and postpartum weeks bringing together all the skills I have learned, giving her and her family the love, support and information they need to really thrive in the early days of parenthood.
Traditionally, in cultures all over the world, the postpartum time (usually a period of around 6 weeks/40 days) a woman is intensively looked after, fed, massaged and pampered so she is able to physically, mentally and spiritually embrace the new mother she has evolved into.
Sadly, the postpartum 'lying in period' or 'babymoon' is a dying art and, in the West, has been all but forgotten. Our media and language is littered with concepts of 'bouncing back' and 'having it all' and with them come feeling of shame or of not being good enough if we find ourselves less than able to cope with new mothering all by ourselves. Our communities have long since dissolved into nuclear families and women, who were never designed to parent alone, all too often find themselves anxious, overwhelmed, depressed and feeling like they have somehow failed.
There are frightening statistics around postpartum mental health and shockingly, suicide is the primary cause of postpartum death in Western society. My own experience of the postnatal period was woefully lacking in support and when my partner was not around I often didn't eat a hot meal for days at a time and became thin and depleted while I breastfed and tended my new baby. I would have done it so differently, had I known then what I know now!
So what can we do to change this? We can love our new mothers, feed them, nourish them, tend them, massage them... and did I say feed them?
And that's what this page is all about.
Over the years I have learned loads about different postpartum foods and about what the postpartum body needs to heal and recover. Sandwiches, Pasta and Cold Salads simply do not cut it. Drawing from global postpartum culture that still survives today, some similar themes run through nearly all traditional postpartum food. Warming, easily digestible, nutrient-dense, healing! From my perspective as a Herbalist, all postnatal food pivots around these principles. Food that caters for the incredible work the body has just performed, growing a whole new human and organ to support them, re-arranging and expanding to many times its normal size, enduring the herculean feat of childbirth and healing an invisible wound left from the placenta detaching. This is not even taking into account the massive increase in the production of blood during pregnancy or the hormonal jiggery-pokery necessary to make it all happen. The birthing body is unimaginably complex and yet it is able to do this magical thing time and time again (should we choose!) if it is cared for properly during this essential postnatal time.
So how does it work?
After many different ways of doing things, I have finally come up with a way of working with postnatal clients that seems to have the flexibility needed. It looks like this:
If you are hiring me as your Birth Doula then we have plenty of time to talk about what and how much support you feel you need. We then come up with a price that works... I always offer my best rates to my Birth Doula clients as we have an established relationship and have spent many hours together. It just works that way.
If you want a postnatal food package you can chose from 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 meals a week.
These are made in my home and brought out to you on the day they are made. I charge £30.00 per meal or you can buy a bundle of 5 for £120.00 to be taken as you need with 24hrs notice (I'm not Deliveroo!). I work with Organic and High Welfare ingredients (wherever possible) and draw from multicultural influences that we can talk through on the phone. You can find a sample menu here
If you have read all the way through this and really want some of what I have to offer but do not have the means... get in touch. I will do my very best to work something out. If a woman and her family need help I will do my best to provide. Always.