Not only is it important to get adequate sleep each night, but the foods and drinks that you put into your body count too! The sleep thing is quite tricky once Baby arrives and unfortunately, mostly out of your control in those early weeks and months. So, what you eat becomes that much more crucial. Here are some suggestions for easy, healthy snacks to have on hand when your little love has been born. Enlist helpers to make sure these types of foods are easily accessible to you all hours of the day and night (nibbling on something small while Baby is up for feedings at night is totally approved!). Better yet, hire a Postpartum and Infant Care Doula to not only prep the snacks for you, but help you plan them out, shop for them and put them away in the kitchen! This is one of my favorite tasks as a doula and I'd love to help you in this way too!
The first several weeks after birth is not the time to focus on getting back to pre-pregnancy weight or worrying about your figure. Keep in mind that for nearly ten months your body changed drastically to conceive, incubate and birth a brand new human being so cut yourself some slack! Don't compare yourself to other mamas whose baby weight "just comes right off" after giving birth. Their body is different from yours, their experiences, their highs and lows, the ways their body metabolizes things, its all different than your body and it is only your body that you need to think about as you recover from birth.
- Blah, blah, blah. We all know "Water first to quench your thirst." but sometimes plain ol water is too boring for me! I like to keep a stash of organic lemons, limes and oranges on hand and squeeze a bit of their juice into my water from time to time. Our family also loves many of the sparkling waters from Trader Joe's that don't have any calories or added sweeteners. The carbonation is fun to switch things up sometimes.
- Smoothies can be a fun treat and can be an extra way to get protein, good fats and fruits and veggies into your system.
- Herbal teas like what Earth Mama Organics offers or teas such as red raspberry leaf, rooibos, stinging nettle, ginger or chamomile are great to have on hand.
- You could also have soda, juice, coffee drinks or dairy products, but I'd advise drinking these in moderation. The caffeine in soda and coffee isn't always so easy on your system (or your baby's) right after birth and it might be better to introduce those slowly. Juice can have lots of sugar which will taste good in the moment, but makes your body work harder to stabilize your blood sugar levels and it'll often lead to some sort of body crash later on. In the first weeks with Babe at home, you don't need any added things that make your body crash - you'll do that all on your own! As far as dairy goes, this is also something that can be especially hard on your baby's gut and might cause you some bloating or bowel issues in ways it might not have prenatally. With anything, experimenting slowly is wise, keeping track of how things make you feel after you drink them.
- Fresh veggies, cut up and easy to eat on the go. You could have some hummus, guacamole, salsa or baba ganoush on hand as a dip if you're into that sort of thing.
- Fresh fruit, cut up and easy to eat on the go. You could dip your fruit in a nut butter or Greek yogurt dip.
- Homemade granola
- Cubes or slices of cheese with crackers
- Granola, Luna or Lara Bars
- Dried fruit like banana or plantain chips, dried apples or mangoes, etc.
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Salad bar items. For some this would be a meal, for others, its a good snack option. Have pre-washed salad greens on hand with toppings you like stored in separate containers. Having everything washed, chopped and ready to mix together takes the "work" out of making a salad in the moment and gets lots of good foods in ya!
The list of healthy snack options could go on and on, but for now, I'll leave you with these. It really is important what you put into your body after you've given birth. If you ran a marathon, you'd be conscious of the foods and drinks you consumed right after the race, wouldn't you? Giving birth is the same type of physical feat for most women and your body needs to be handled with respect, wisdom, patience and care.
You're strong and powerful, Mama! Put foods into your body that can be described in the same way!