In the weeks leading up to labour and delivery, there are many ways you’re probably planning and preparing for your baby’s arrival—but have you thought about what you’ll be eating postpartum?
When you return home from the hospital with your baby, life will look very different than what you’re used to! You’ll have a lot of new routines, not to mention needing some rest after labour and delivery. And with a new baby to care for, your own self-care will often feel like a lower priority. However, in reality, it’s so important to look after yourself to support postpartum recovery, positive breastfeeding, and your overall well-being as a new parent. An important part of this care is ensuring that you meet your nutrition needs.
A helpful strategy for this is to try preparing for healthy eating prior to delivery. This is guaranteed to make your life much easier when you’re trying to care for your baby, but also need to feed yourself!
Here are four tips for preparing for healthy postpartum eating prior to labour and delivery:
Prepare freezer meals in advance
While adjusting to and balancing your new routines, it might be challenging to find time to cook and prepare meals. So in the weeks leading up to labour, try cooking and freezing some meals to have on hand for easy and nutritious options when you don’t have the time and/or energy to cook. Some easily freezable options are breakfast sandwiches or wraps, soups, chilis, stir fries, curries, and baked pastas.
Stockpile some one-handed snacks for multitasking
Munchies like mixed nuts, crackers and hummus, popcorn, fruit, yogurt, roasted chickpeas, or homemade muffins that are easy to eat with one hand will be important as a new mom! Multitasking is especially key if you’re breastfeeding since a lot of your time will be spent feeding your little one, and this is an important opportunity for you to refuel as well.
Accept support from friends and family members
Many friends and family members might offer support for when you’re returning home from the hospital. If this is an option, let them know how helpful it would be to have a meal taken care of to save you from spending valuable time in the kitchen.
Ensure that you’re meeting your hydration needs
For postpartum recovery and breastfeeding, your daily fluid requirements are 10 to 13 cups of fluid daily. Since this is a lot to drink each day, it can be helpful to strategize how to meet your needs. Try buying a large volume water bottle, stocking up on your favourite unsweetened sparkling water, or downloading an app on your phone to track your water intake.
The more you can prepare for your postpartum nutrition needs before your baby arrives, the easier it will be to properly fuel your body as you transition to life as a new parent.