Today we’re kicking off a new blog series on “Planning for Postpartum” where we’ll explore a few ways parents can begin to think about prepping and planning for the small things in their lives. We’re talking, small things that actually make a big impact during earliest days home following birth. Spending time during pregnancy focused on organizing and thinking through a few key systems lays foundation for a healthy, solid postpartum experience. And, it allows a small measure of control during the otherwise uncontrollable parts of having a new baby. Enjoy!
Having a newborn at home often means having a newborn in one arm (if not both) nearly around the clock. That leaves even the most simple tasks, like cooking or heck, even microwaving, feeling nearly impossible.
Feeding yourselves nutritious food during postpartum doesn’t just keep those Hangry feelings at bay. Eating actual food, balanced meals that includes a mix of healthy proteins and (ideally) some fresh vegetables, plays an important role in stabilizing your blood sugar and your mood following birth.
That said, cookies are LIFE (try out this recipe if you’re feeling adventurous today), so don’t be too restrictive with what yourselves. Early postpartum is absolutely not the time to try out a new diet, or to hold your nutritional goals to a standard you found on the internet.
This is not the time for Ideological Eating.
It’s so much more important to fill your fridge with foods that you will actually eat, rather than foods you hope you’ll be able to eat.
So, what’s a new parent to do?
How does one hold a baby, feed that baby, and care for their own nutritional needs at the same time? Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore our best tips and resources for expectant parents that will help them feed their bodies, without adding to the stress of postpartum.
This week, we’re talking all about the art of the Freezer Meal.
If you spend any amount of time Googling “Freezer Meal Preparation” you’ll quickly find yourself in a complex rabbit hole of spreadsheets and freezer inventory lists and full-day marathon cooking sesh details from folks who are seriously dedicated the time-saving lifestyle of Freezer Meal dinners.
That’s certainly one way to approach pre-making meals for your postpartum experience.
Another way? Do it slowly over time.
Take the last few weeks of pregnancy to build your stash over of prepared meals over time. As you’re preparing meals for your regular life, consider doubling the recipe. Eat half that day (or that week) and put the second half into the freezer for consumption during postpartum. Over time, your stock of meals will grow without too much added effort. And you’ll fill your freezer with recipes you know and love, instead of trusting The Internet to tell you if a recipe is reliably delicious or not.
Consider building a stockpile of more than just dinner entrees.
Explore other ideas for breakfasts and lunches and/or snacks. Bake some banana breads, muffins or quiches for a quick breakfast following birth. Create and freeze some one-handed lunch options like burritos, soups, or smoothie packs (measure out portions of frozen fruit and greens and store in sandwich size Ziploc bags to later be blended with Greek yogurt and honey when you need a healthy snack).
While you’re at it, go ahead an pick up a few shelf-stable snacks too. Things like trailmix, granola bars, and squeezy applesauces or yogurts make easy grab-and-go-pick-up-the-baby, filling snacks to tide you over until you’re next meal.
Postpartum You will thank you for thinking beyond lasagna and chili at 2 a.m. when that middle-of-the-night feeding hunger hits hard.