Nurturing for Those with a New BabyCategories: babies, parenting, postpartum
July 24, 2016
author: Jeanette Mesite Frem
Congratulations on the arrival of your new child! As a new parent, your body, heart and mind are undergoing changes. If you gave birth to a baby, your body just grew a human and is now healing after releasing the baby and placenta. For any parent, your heart is growing as you get to know your new child. Your mind is changing with your new sleep rhythms, new role, new information, new identity and so much more. Your may feel expanded and joyful or a find this new phase of your life challenging…or, as is typical, BOTH!
Many cultures have practices of nurturing the new mother for at least 40 days. Pampering her by feeding her nourishing foods and drinks, bathing her, helping care for the baby and helping her and the baby sleep. Many new parents in the United States don’t have that type of culture in their family or group of friends BUT you can create it for yourself or ask your family and friends to help.
Ask for help?? That’s not something many new parents are used to doing. We are a culture that seems to value independence and “I can do it on my own!”. HOWEVER, PLEASE KNOW THIS: if you would help a friend of family member who just had a baby or needed support, that is the person to ask to help you at this precious time!
Below are some suggestion that I hope you’ll take to heart and try out. It’s important for your body and your soul to allow others to support you and for you to nurture yourself through rest, good food, good drinks and surrounding yourself with love and support.
- Rest. Take longer in the bathroom if your baby is sleeping or happy with someone else. Read a few pages of a book or magazine you enjoy. Yes, there’s Facebook and Instagram, but sometimes looking at something on paper somehow is more relaxing for the brain.
- Drink lots of water. Never be thirsty. Drink at least a gallon a day. Find a gallon container and make sure you finish it every day. Some moms drink more than that. :) And no, please don’t get into the fad of sports drinks. Artificial flavors and colors aren’t good for you or for baby.
- Look at mealtrain.com or a similar service. This allows you to write down what foods/groceries you want (down to the brands, sizes) and then email everyone you know locally and they can sign up to drop off meals or groceries as a gift to you.
- Check out a grocery delivery service like PeaPod. Or try the partially prepped meal services like Sun Basket, Green Chef, Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Then ask someone to come over and cook it for you. :) Or hold your baby while you cook (if you enjoy cooking and want to move your body a little bit in the kitchen!).
- Bone broth is nutritious and easily made. You can freeze it in small batches and enjoy it as a soup or base of a soup with vegetables, beans and meats. Easy peasy.
- If you don’t already have an InstantPot, I highly recommend it. You can cook foods VERY quickly as an easy and safe pressure cooker, sauce in it or use it as a slow cooker. Perfect for those with kids, you’ll use it for years. Amazon is one source for purchasing it and go ahead and buy an extra inner pot! Imagine having a whole chicken perfectly cooked in 1/2 hour and then the bone broth you can make immediately after! Yumm! And steamed vegetables in a few minutes. Set it and leave the room…
- Use coconut oil for body care for you, baby and for cooking. It’s great for nursing nipples and baby’s bum!
- Plan to wear your baby. My favorite things to recommend for the early weeks are the Boba Wrap or a baby-wearing shirt/carrier like the NuRoo Pocket, Kangaroo Care, Nesting Days or the Soothe by Lalabu. There are others (check Etsy, too!) but the point is, wearing your baby will help you and your baby be happier, get more sleep AND wearing your baby skin-to-skin helps you make more milk AND helps you both bond and be comfy.
- Consider nurturing teas like those for new moms by Earth Mama Angel Baby. Watch for unusual bleeding, though, as some herbs make some moms bleed at times when mom shouldn’t be bleeding…
- Plan for some healthy snacks that you or your partner can easily prep and have ready in the fridge or in a basket/box in your bedroom or where you hang out most of the day. Pack some of them in your bag if you leave the house. (You’ll continue to do this until your kids are much older!).
- granola bars, snack bars (choose wisely)
- nuts, raisins or dried fruits (add a little dark chocolate!)
- honey sticks from local farms
- hard boiled eggs
- trail mix
- almond butter with apple
- avocado half or those guacamole 100 calorie packs
- Bananas and apples, clementines
- Roasted chick peas
- Kind bars (a mommy favorite)
- Kale chips (easy to make!)
- Handful of nuts of your choice
- cut carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, broccoli
- cheese cubes or sticks (if baby is sensitive to cow’s milk protein, remember that goat’s milk cheese isn’t usually a problem, so enjoy!!)
- hummus or a bean dip with vegetable-based crackers/chips or veggies
- Powders for easy and healthy smoothies like from Amazing Grass. Mix with organic milk (they say one of the most important changes a person can make is to switch from conventional milk to organic milk, plus it tastes better and last longer in the fridge!), almond milk (super easy to make, by the way!) or another kind of milk or add to a smoothie.
- Prepared smoothies or kefir you can purchase at the grocery store (there are even some made from goat’s milk so if you are avoiding cow’s milk protein because your baby is sensitive to it, you can use goat’s milk!).
These are just suggestions but wow, what a difference it makes when you feel like you are nurturing your body…your energy level and attitude will be more positive!
Best wishes for a great first year with your new addition(s). Remember to take time out for yourself and for the relationships that matter to you. That nurtures your soul. Body and soul are both key to keeping a balance in this amazing thing called life.
* I am not associated with any of the products above and if you choose to purchase them, I will not benefit from that purchase. :) I just provide these recommendations because I like these products or have found many moms like them.