How to prep your body (and freezer!) for postpartum
Dear Expectant Mothers,
Congratulations! You are about to bring a beautiful new being into this world. By this point, you have probably spent hours and hours researching and hospitals, birth centers, midwives, home births... you’ve found what works for you and you’ve gone over your birth plan 1,000’s of times. But guess what, caring for your body and the birth process doesn’t just stop at birth.
There are simple and effective ways to care for your body now to help you fully focus on your baby. Taking some simple steps pre birth can help nourish you after birth.
What can happen to moms after birth:
Even though you have lots of love for your baby, it may be normal to feel sad, lonely, and depressed. Postpartum depression occurs in 1 out of 9 mothers (CDC). Symptoms include feeling lonely, isolated, and helpless. You may want to withdraw from others, cry a lot, and stay in bed all the time. The western perspective offers treatment options of psychotherapy and antidepressants (Mayo Clinic).
From the Chinese perspective, mothers after labor are depleted. You have just expended a monumental amount of energy to deliver your baby. It was totally worth it! But, you will feel tired be depleted of blood and energy. When you are that depleted from giving everything to your baby during labor, depression can occur. It is natural but let’s work on preventing it.
Let's prepare you now to replenish you after birth! The more nourished you are, the more you have to give to your baby. Here are 8 steps to take now:
Nutrition: Nutritious foods and vitamins are essential. Throughout your pregnancy you have been diligent about your nutrition and taking your prenatal vitamins, don't stop now! Keep up your vitamin intake postpartum! Buy your favorite supplements now so you won’t have to do it later.
Placenta: Looking for a postpartum vitamin exactly tailored to your nutrient needs? Placenta. Save your placenta. Cooking is an option. Grossed out a little?
Encapsulation into a pill for is easy too. It will be just like taking your prenatal vitamins except exactly for you. Many midwives and doulas offer placenta cooking and processing options (or know someone in your area who does).
3. Stock your freezer and pantry: Adjusting to a new cooking routine with a new little baby can be challenging. Plan ahead and prep by freezing nutritious foods. When the baby comes you will have made nutrient dense homemade meals ready. Grab, unthaw, eat.
Freeze pig's feet soup for complete nourishment food. This is a hyper nourishing and blood building soup.
Chop and freeze veggies for easy grab and sauté or omelet.
Bone broth is not just a trendy fad. It provides essential nutrients and
college to rebuild your blood and tissues. For maximum health, buy from organic, grass fed farms. Then, throw in your chopped veggies for an easy soup.
4. Set-up a meal delivery plan: A great baby shower gift could be a postpartum healthy home cooked meal delivered right to your door from a loving friend. Community can be a source of support and remember, you are in control of setting boundaries. Feel free to speak up about how long people can stay, who can hold your new baby, etc. Dropping off the food and heading out the door may be the best option for you. Also speak up about your dietary preferences and restrictions.
5. Collect menus : As a last resort, it may even be good to research some health-ish take-out options in your area. We all have those emergency “need to eat” moments and knowing where to get healthier takeout is better than going through the nearest drive-thru.
6. Lactation and Community: Speak with a lactation consultant and find a breastfeeding community. Many women have difficulties with breastfeeding. Sharing tips and tricks with other breastfeeding and a lactation consultant can make breastfeeding smoother. And building community with other people going through similar challenges prevents feeling of isolation.
7. Care plan: Herbs and acupuncture are very effective for postpartum care replenishment. Book appointments with your acupuncturist. See if they do home visits. But it may be a great excuse to get out of the house. Arrange baby care early or plan on bringing your baby.
8. Support phone numbers: No matter how much you plan ahead and prepare, feelings of depression (through no fault of your own) can sneak up on you. Just in case, have the Postpartum International number on hand. It has great hotline to connect you to local resources for support: 1.800.944.4773
Focus on nutrition, stocking your freezer, building supportive community, and helpful care team. With an after birth nourishment plan in place, you will continue your pregnancy glow right through motherhood. But if those feelings of depression still sneak up on you (they tend to do that, it's not your fault), reach out and get some help.
More resources for support visit: http://www.postpartum.net/
“CDC Features.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, 23 May 2017,
“Postpartum Depression: Manage Your Symptoms, Enjoy Your Baby.” Mayo Clinic ,
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Aug. 2015,