Nourishing food is one of the most important parts of postpartum recovery. I’ve never experienced hunger quite like I did in those first few days postpartum when my milk was coming in, but immediately after birth it’s best to start slow with easily digestible and nutrient dense foods. Think of foods you would turn to when recovering from the flu. As you can imagine, the organs in your abdomen are all going through a massive shift and digestion can be compromised.
The meal I had after the birth of my first baby consisted of 'Birth Broth', orange slices & postpartum tea. It was so hydrating and comforting that I made sure the same meal was ready after the birth of my second baby as well.
This Super Secret Birth Broth is something my doula, Jessica, makes for all of her clients. She quietly prepared it while I was laboring and had it ready for me after birth. It was amazing… light, yet incredibly satisfying.
Birth broth is made with bone broth, which is a good source of minerals. Specifically, magnesium to aid muscle repair, and calcium to produce calcium rich breast milk and to help rebuild calcium stores that are often depleted in late pregnancy.
The protein and collagen in this birth broth play a major role in repairing tissue that may have been damaged during birth. Collagen can also help to tighten skin that was stretched during pregnancy.
Your body produces Relaxin when pregnant to loosen ligaments, including those in the pelvis. Consuming collagen rich bone broth postpartum will help you avoid joint injury and support your joints until things return to normal.
A special thank you to Jessica for generously allowing me to share her recipe.
- 2 Eggs
- 4 cups of bone broth
Whip up the eggs and fry them, as if you were making a really thin omelet. Once cooked, cut the eggs up into small squares and mix into a warm pot of bone broth.
I vividly recall biting into an orange slice after the very physically demanding 49 hour birth of my first baby. The sweet juicy fruit tasted like the best thing I could ever remember eating. The natural fruit sugar helps restore energy and the vitamin C supports your immune system, which becomes compromised by intense and prolonged physical exertion.
Gloria, my birth attendant, made wonderful postpartum tea for me. An Anti-Bleed Tea for my first and an Afterpain Tea for my second.
“The tea preparation is part of the setup for the birth when the birthing woman is reaching the pushing stage: —sterilize instruments, make the post partum tea, prepare a waterproof bed for the mother and baby to lie down after the birth, find a placenta bowl, make sure the resuscitation bag is at hand. We leave a mug with sweetener, spoon, straw and strainer all ready on the counter beside the pot of tea. Then, as soon as baby is in the woman’s arms, one helper runs to the kitchen and pours the tea and brings it back. Without passing between the gaze of the woman/baby, the bendy straw is put near her mouth and she can take a big swallow. (Best to pass it from behind her if she’s sitting in a water tub.) It’s not just the properties of the tea, it’s a warming, hydrating thing, too. In a pinch, you could just go in her cupboard and find some herbal tea bags and make up a warm cup of herbal tea for her.”
Make sure to properly nourish yourself through labor as well!