We’re continuing our series on Planning for Postpartum and ways in which New Parents can nourish their own bodies as they recover from birth, and care for their newborns at the same time.
This week, we’re encouraging parents to lean into their support networks, and hop aboard one of the best ways those supportive friends & family members can lend a helping hand, without being physically in a new family’s space.
Meet, The Meal Train.
True Story: The best gift you can get a new parent is a fully prepared meal. Meal Train is a free, online tool where your friends, family, and community members can rally around you and show their love for you with food.
Is it actually Heaven? Maybe.
We’re guessing you likely have an eager friend in your network who is just dying to help out your new family in a meaningful way. Yes? Make that person your Meal Train Conductor. Your conductor will help coordinate the details and sent out the sign-up link to other folks in your life who want to take part.
Even better, YOU get to set the boundaries for it and YOU are able set expectations for visitors around meal drops. It’s easily customizable with your favorite dishes, and dislikes or allergies, and you can choose drop-off instructions and best times for deliveries. Plus, if you have people in your life who don’t speak the love language of a home-cooked meal, you can list your favorite take-out and delivery spots for gift cards!
Doula Pro Tip: Leave a cooler on your porch and include instructions in your Meal Train details for folks to drop their yummies there if your front door is closed. This gives you a little more control on those days your newborn decides to party all night (and by party, we mean, feed and not-sleep.) and you’re just not feeling up to an extended visit with your boss and coworkers, or that extra-friendly neighbor-three-doors-down. They can place their meal delivery in the cooler, and you can pop out to grab it when you’re ready for it.
Postpartum is also not the time in your life to start being Eco-Friendly.
Consider grabbing a stash of paper plates and utensils to help cut down on your dishwashing needs. Also pick-up a few extra small-sized Gladware or freezer storage vessels so that you can stash away single-serve portions of any generous-serving meals you’re gifted. (In our experience, when a family grows by one baby, folks love to bring a casserole that feeds 12.)
Storing leftovers in the freezer helps you avoid wasting all that delicious food when you inevitably are a little grossed out to eat casserole everyday for 4 days, and you’ll have ready-made lunches ready for another time in the near future.
What are some of your most favorite Meal Train deliveries? Tell us about them in the comments!
Want to read the full series on Planning for Postpartum? Click below for previous blog posts on this topic: