Postpartum nutrition is a great investment in a new mother and her baby, in fact, the whole family. There are many plants and food that are especially nourishing and restorative.
Some particular foods for postpartum may include orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, squash, carrots. All of these are roots and roots draw their energy from the Earth. That’s good for restoring your own energy after birth.
Many cultures encourage eating nuts, seeds and whole grains. These are kernels that hold the essence of life and help restore your ‘chi’. Whole grains such as oats and brown rice are full of b-vitamins and easy to digest.
Warm spices such as ginger, garlic, coriander, cinnamon are all good for your circulation and restoring your energy. Warm soups and hot drinks are often part of a postpartum tradition. Mochi (pounded brown rice) dumplings in miso soup is a traditional Japanese food given to mothers after birth.
Some herbs may help boost a low milk supply: fenugreek, thyme and Goats Rue. Honestly, your best bet is frequent, effective nursing and rest in the first two weeks. You should be able to feel your supply wax and wane with each feeding.
Cimicifuga is a plant that who’s roots and leaves are used for pregnancy and menopause: fundamental, earthy energy. In late Summer and early Autumn, it gives off a sweet, earthy aroma. I think that’s appropriate.
Whole nutrition and specific herbs can influence your well being and recovery. Good support, the sooner the better, makes a difference. Take good care of yourself and enjoy your meals.
Robin Snyder-Drummond, BA, IBCLC
Prenatal classes and home visits
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