Bring back the practice of caring for postpartum moms with these nourishing ideas to take to a new momma in your circle.
This post has been right at the tip of my heart to share for almost a year now.
While the heartbeat of the passion behind the Raising Generation Nourished blog message revolves around nourishing our next generation of kids, in all reality the goal of raising a healthier generation of kids begins right at the very beginning…with momma.
My sweet friends I am so encouraged by what I read and see today for postpartum momma care compared to what I saw and experienced almost 7 years ago as a brand new momma myself (which was practically nothing). We have a ways to go in my opinion, but the rise of a generation of women that are choosing to care for themselves and the women in their tribe is breaking down walls of generations of women that have had to walk through the season of postpartum alone.
My very first postpartum experience was one drenched in severe postpartum anxiety.
I had a massive hemorrhage after I delivered her to the point of them almost losing me, and my body was just flat out not working right. Top that off with a very “Type A,” get-it-all-done-myself type of personality, and it was a recipe for disaster.
I was horrible at asking for help. Honestly, I’m not sure what new mom is. My postpartum experiences are what have brought about this practice of making my new momma nourishment packages.
I promised myself that if there was a momma in my circle, they were going to be cared for without them having to ask for help.
Because about 5 days into being a new mom I think I would have given just about anything to have someone take care of me a little. YES my husband was *amazing* – he literally sat next to me to feed me for weeks while I was figuring out nursing. But there is just something about women taking care of other women. That whole “it takes a village” thing…
So here are some of my suggestions to include in your own nourishment packages! These are just some ideas to get the ball rolling – I hope it serves as an encouragement to you to take care of the mommas in your circle. Because really if we have a goal of raising a nourished generation, it really does start with momma.
And before I get to the list I just wanted to take any new mommas or soon to be new mommas aside for a second and share with you a little something…
Young momma, this encouragement is for you. It is ok to accept help – yes you are going to need help if you want to maintain your health, and that is a promise. You, dear momma, are the heartbeat of the home. When you are taken care of the rest of the house will run within a beautiful rhythm. You are worth caring for – your baby is worth having a momma that is cared for.
Ok! Onto my nourishment package staples!
Nourishing, Replenishing, Nutrient Dense Food
This is sort of a given, but I wanted to share with you some of the food staples I bring to young moms to replenish their body postpartum. The goal here is super nutrient dense – but also easy prep without being processed. It seems like a tall order but it is so do-able.
The key is to just double batch for your family so you aren’t overdoing yourself trying to take care of someone else too. Meals, soups, breakfast cookies, snacks etc all can be easily double batched to feed your family for a meal and another one in need.
If you have a staple meal you love to bring new moms go for it! I would encourage you to sneak in a little grated liver if it is a meat dish as momma and baby would really benefit from the added nutrients from grassfed liver.
Bone broth rich soups are my staple meal and I pack spinach lasagna soup most of the time. I just cook the soup to the point of adding the noodles and stop. I pack up the brothy soup part in a freezer safe container and the noodles in a separate bag with instructions to bring the soup to a simmer and add the noodles. It is a very easy prep that anyone in the house can make from the new momma to daddy or a relative that might be visiting. The other great part about this soup is that it is super kid friendly with all the noodles. If there are other little ones in the house it helps to have them fed well too! It really does taste like lasagna when you top it with cheese too – I have had rave reviews of kids eating this one that aren’t used to real food styles of eating.
I also like to pack in smaller jars of easy brothy lunch soups that can go in a mug easily to sit next to momma while she nurses. Simple soup purees like squash soup, broccoli soup, and tomato soup work well, and will get momma extra broth for mineral boosting and recovery that she needs.
You can also pack momma’s freezer with breakfast cookies to make for quick midnight nursing snacks or early morning pre-breakfasts. They are also a favorite of any other little ones that might be in the house and make for an easy breakfast for mom to serve. You can try these Ultimate Breakfast Cookies, Lemon Breakfast Cookies, or Molasses Breakfast Cookies.
Herbal Recovery Tea
There are so many combinations you can pick from in this category. My goal here though is zeroed in focus on replenishing momma’s minerals and hydration from having a baby. Teas for boosting milk supply are great, and momma may already have some of those, but again…the focus here is on mom. If momma’s minerals are being replenished, then believe me, the milk will follow.
I like to mix a pint jar of nettles and hibiscus with instructions to just steep a tablespoon of herbs per quart jar of hot water into an infusion. Making nettle infusions was absolutely key in my energy as a new mom as well as my milk production (and yes I was one of those that really struggled with nursing supply – I had to work my tail off for my milk). It is also a good way to hydrate mom without diluting all of her minerals with too much water.
You can read more about how to make herbal nettle hibiscus infusions here – while the post is geared toward kids, the method is the same for adults as well.
Replenishing Mineral Bath Salts
It is so easy to lose yourself in those first few months (probably more like the whole first year!) after having a baby. You literally eat, sleep, and breathe a newborn, and as wonderful as it is, there is a big problem if momma is not taking some “me time”. Twenty minutes momma. You are allowed 20 minutes to not be attached to baby, cleaning a house, or tending to other little ones.
Ok I’m getting the feeling maybe that wasn’t heard so I will step on my soapbox here a minute and make it more clear…
Momma…you are allowed to take care of yourself with some alone time.
Ok, whew! Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about mineral baths. My sweet friend Jessica from Simply Health Home was the one that really got me started on postpartum baths. This was key in not only my physical recovery…but my mental recovery. The whole “me time” thing. A good friend is one that will be honest with you – and she was persistent on being gently firm with me about taking some alone time and she taught me a lot about how to add different salts to baths for recovery after baby.
I typically write momma a little reminder note attached to quart jar of bath salts to take some time for herself. I like to put 1 cup of epsom salt, 1 cup of magnesium flakes, 1 cup of baking soda, and 1/2 cup dead sea salt in the jar. You may add a couple drops of lavender essential oil if you wish, though keep in mind not everyone tolerates essential oils in a heated environment like a warm bath (I am one that cannot) so I tend to leave them out unless I know for sure. She can pour the whole jar into a bath and enjoy some time to gather her thoughts and take care of herself.
Great post! Taking the time to take care of a mama is a gift that keeps on giving! It really is! <3 I love to take a dinner, clean the house a bit while I'm there and I also try to bring a breakfast. Mornings can be rough when there are other kids that want milk and the babe wants to nurse. I couldn't love this post more!
Thank you Jessica! That means a lot to hear from you! I love the idea of cleaning up the house a bit – it makes such a huge difference!
What a poignant post, that I know all of us mamas can relate to! Yes, what a time of feeling needy but not being able to ask for too much help because our culture expects us to be strong, but even worse, praises resiliency! We can’t all bounce back! And those toddlers who need us while the baby is nursing + no shower + still healing, lol, oh my! Thanks for inspiring friendship! More women loving each other and having empathy in truly practical ways.
Thank you Megan! Yes so true!
I love this so much. After our daughter was born 2.5 years ago (and we learned how unbelievably HARD it is to have a newborn) my husband and I decided we wanted to give lots of help to new parents. So far we’ve only been able to do it for a couple of families, since we moved 1.5 years ago and still haven’t made a lot of parent friends. My sister is having her first baby in September, though, and we are already planning on what we can do for them. 🙂 That’s good to know that you like to deliver food for the freezer before the baby; we were thinking about that but I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not.
I’m so glad this was helpful to read Meghan! I love bringing momma her stuff before baby comes – I remember really nesting and loving the feeling of having some food stored away 😉
I love this post and couldn’t agree more!! Unfortunately, I still think society has a long way to go in supporting and helping women postpartum. I recently gave birth to my fourth little one and if wasn’t for my mom staying for a week we would have had no help. I actually had my mom make some of your breakfast cookies and freeze them for my other kids on busy school mornings. They loved the lemon ones. They’ve also been great during the middle of the night when I get up to nurse and am starving! Love all of these ideas. I think I’ll find time this week for a bath! Thanks!
Thank you Meg! Congratulations on baby 4! I hope you make some time for that bath 🙂
Such sweet ideas. Love this! <3
Thank you Kylie!
This is so thoughtful and lovely! I love to make tea blends for new moms too. Love the soup idea so you can get a bunch of healing broth into them. I haven’t made meals like that yet but have brought lots of snacks and fresh produce to snack on with a little note about eating them while she nurses. My neighbor is due soon, I’m excited to get to bring her a little nourishment package.
How lovely! So often, people bring gifts for baby and Mom gets left out or gets something useless like flowers. I don’t know anyone who’s expecting right now, but I’ve pinned this so I have it when I need it!
Thank you Lindsey!
How I would have loved this package after giving birth. Who has the time or energy to make bone broth! I’m using this next time I know someone who is in the throws of postpartum.
I adore this so much! Postpartum lying in is a passion of mine. If I could take all the young women and convince them to take care of them postpartum just imagine the difference it would make in the world!!!
You are such an inspiration Daja! I loved following your lying in after your baby this time around – you know how to do it right!
I adore the nettle suggestion as well as the breakfast cookies. It is so important for new mamas to take care of themselves. Givi
I Love this!! I remember my mom making a big deal about taking it easy and letting others help me after having my 1st baby 7 years ago, but me being stubborn and determined to “do it all myself” didn’t want to listen. Now I would LOVE to have offers to help but alas, they seem to be few and far between :/ in my experience it seems the more kids you have the more it is assumed that you don’t need any help because you’ve been there before. I so wish I had some friends like you and others who have commented, especially come July when baby #5 comes! I spend a lot of time and energy getting our freezer stocked but honestly, when you’re 8-9 months pregnant with several other little ones around it’s exhausting. You are great to help your friends and to spread the message to others-as a society we still have so, so far to go!! Bravo!! 👍👏
Great post!!! These are some really great ideas! As I get ready for baby #4 (June 22!!!) I think I’ll make myself one of these packages while I make them for the other preggos in my life!
Congratulations Jill <3
I wish there was a way I could just print this out to have as a resource (I don’t wanna print all the pictures and stuff)… so good! Thank you!