When I was newly post-partum, I struggled. Hard-core.
I was in a lot of pain from swelling and a tear sustained during delivery.
I was sleep-deprived and kept forgetting to take pain medicine for that pain.
My baby was cluster-feeding by day 2 of her life.
I was exhausted.
My nipples hurt and I started to cry every time she would get hungry because I dreaded the latch.
I was so desperate that I was in a Lactation Consultant’s office on the morning of day 3, as soon as they opened.
I was completely consumed with trying to get sleep, trying to get my newborn to sleep, and trying to feed my baby.
Notice what I left out?
One of the fundamental basic needs that I struggled to meet for myself was eating!
The #1 best thing that my support system gave me in those early days was the gift of food.
My sister in-law brought me snacks in the hospital. I ate them all before I left from a one-night stay.
My mother-in-law brought me my first postpartum meal which I devoured.
Anyone who came to visit in the first couple of weeks, were requested to bring food. These were close friends and family and all were happy to oblige.
We didn’t even care what they brought, it was all welcome.
I am remembering this all keenly this week as I shop for a coworker’s wife who has a brand new baby at home.
I remember how difficult it was to nourish my body well.
I remember how hard it was to eat one-handed.
I remember how I had to grab snacks before sitting down to feed baby because I could get stuck there for a couple of hours. Also, getting up and down hurt for the first week or so.
So I’m paying it forward now to a new momma who has her own hands full.
These new parents have been fortunate enough to have a meal train set up for them, but I know that middle-of-the-night breastfeeding can cause some intense hunger so I chose to give them a big bag of snacks instead!
Here’s what I included in the bundle!
- Individually bottled smoothies
- Body Armor drinks
- Pumpkin seeds
- Beef sticks
- Individually wrapped cheese sticks from the dairy aisle
- Greek yogurt Flips
- Gummy bears
- Dark chocolate
- Homemade energy bites with this recipe
- Sheet face mask
- Dry shampoo
They also have another young child and I didn’t want her to feel left out so I gave her her own bag:
- Bambas peanut puff snacks
- No Mess marker coloring kit
I tried to focus on
- Can be eaten with one hand if at all possible
- Protein and omega-3s
When you are feeding a baby, especially a newborn who needs more support with positioning, you never have both hands free.
Breast milk requires all 3 macronutrients, but getting carbs is usually really easy. Finding quick ways to get in protein can be a lot harder.
Generally speaking though, you need all the calories you can get, so you want foods that deliver serious energy to your body.
A lot of post-partum moms are dealing with vaginal tears, c-section wounds, and/or hemorrhoids so fiber helps make going to the bathroom less scary to go #2.
I also threw in a couple of toiletries so she has them on hand when she has the time to do something nice for herself.
I hope this list helps you, whether you are preparing for your own post-partum or if you are supporting someone through theirs.
I believe it truly takes a village and I believe all new parents deserve all the support we can give them.