While pregnant and after having a baby, it's more important than ever to eat well for the health of the mama and the baby. These easy postpartum meals will make your life easier and help you through recovery after delivery.
If you haven't been following along on Instagram, you might have missed that my family and I recently welcomed our newest son, Judah, into the fold. It's been such an exciting time becoming a family of FIVE!
Birth is beautiful, but there is so much chaos when you bring a new life into the world.
For us this year alone, there was chaos in moving to a new house, opening an Airbnb and being pregnant well past my due date — PLUS raising and homeschooling Judah's two older brothers, preparing for maternity leave away from my business and podcast and not to mention keeping myself healthy.
All this chaos reminded me how important it is to rest and eat nourishing meals, even after the baby's birth, so I tried my best to prepare lots of meals ahead of the baby's arrival.
Here's what I've learned and am passing along to you — with the major caveat that I am not a doctor or nutritionist, so please be sure to check with your medical team on their personalized recommendations for you.
Scroll down for a list of my top 10 meals for the postpartum period!
Why You Should Eat Healthy After Having a Baby
When you are newly postpartum, your body has gone through a very serious event and transformation. (Honestly, that's understatement of the year!)
Regardless of what your birth was like, you now have a large wound inside your body from where your placenta was attached and your organs have shifted a ton over the course of pregnancy.
As they settle back into their "normal" positions over the next few months, it's so important to treat your body to some extra nutrients.
Plus, if you are breastfeeding, there are extra benefits to gain from eating well.
What to Eat When Breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, it's recommended to get at least an extra 500 calories per day to cover the work your body is doing to produce breast milk and nurse your new little one.
I can remember with both of my first two, I could not stay full for longer than an hour it felt like!
So this time around I wanted to really focus on nourishing, hearty foods that would keep me full and nourished, but still be easy on my digestive system.
Best Postpartum Foods
There were two major things my midwife recommended to me for nourishment in the first few weeks of postpartum: bone broth and fruit and veggie-packed smoothies!
Luckily I'm no stranger to enjoying smoothies, but I plan to focus heavily on more green smoothies with extra plant-based protein powder.
Smoothies are a great way to start your morning off with nutrition and something that is gentle on your stomach and easy to sip on while nursing. These blueberry Greek yogurt smoothies are full of antioxidants from the blueberries plus calcium and protein from Greek yogurt.
Another thing I love about smoothies is that you can sneak in lots of extra protein. This is a favorite plant-based protein powder I love!
A lot of postpartum women avoid soy as their hormones regulate, so stick to almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk.
For bone broth, you can make your own easily with leftover bones from, say, a rotisserie chicken. You can make either chicken bone broth or beef bone broth. Also, Costco sells a great bone broth for sipping!
Here are some other great postpartum foods:
- Bone broth
- Nutritious smoothies (with fruits, veggies and protein)
- Easily digestible meals
- Recipes that avoid soy (soy can cause estrogen imbalances)
- Recipes that avoid dairy (dairy can bother little babies' tummies sometimes)
- High protein snacks (like energy balls or protein bars)
- Roasted veggies (they are easier to digest than raw)
- Fermented foods or probiotic rich foods to help boost your gut health
How to Plan Postpartum Meals
When it comes to meals, you'll want to think about how many you might need. I truly don't think you can make TOO much — unless you have a small freezer or prepare 6+ months' worth of food that might go bad before you use it!
For breakfast, anything you can make ahead is great. For example, overnight oats can be prepped in jars and made the night before you need them.
I wanted to have enough freezer meals prepared for one meal per week for my family for the first few weeks of postpartum. I definitely expect to be back to cooking as soon as I'm physically able because it's something I love to do,
However, if cooking is not something you enjoy, plan for a longer break from it! You will appreciate the up-front hard work later, trust me!
You can also make it fun with a freezer meal party: Invite some of your friends over, have everyone bring an Instant Pot or Crock Pot and cook a bunch of meals while you play music and chat!
Also, be prepared for friends and family to offer to bring you meals. Feel free to send them this list if they aren't sure what to make you!
Okay, that was a lot of info, but I hope you found it helpful! Now, let's get into some of my favorite meals to make before you have a baby!
Easy Postpartum Meals to Make Ahead
The most important meal of the day is even more important after having a baby! Start the day with one of these easy breakfasts or smoothies.
Here are meals you can make ahead to help you plan for the postpartum period.
It's important to have delicious snacks on hand, especially if you are breastfeeding.
More Postpartum Nutrition & Meal Prep Resources
If you want to read more, my favorite book on this subject is The First Forty Days by Heng Ou.
Here are some other resources that might help you with your meal prepping: