How to prep for postpartum meals | Rotterdam Doula

Trust me, you don't want to worry about cooking while caring for a newborn. So, let's prep for those postpartum meals.

Caring for your newborn (and child) should naturally be your main priority, but it shouldn't be at the cost of your own health. You not only grew life inside of you for nine months, but you also just birthed that child into this world. Your body needs some TLC, and it needs time to heal, so that you can be the best mother for your child.

One of the ways in which you can care for your own health and well-being, is by making sure you get all the yummy nutrients and food your body needs to survive and thrive. Luckily, this does not have to be something daunting and overwhelming. Especially if you make the time during your pregnancy for postpartum meal prep.

When you have a newborn in the house, the last thing you want to worry about is cooking. Perhaps you think your partner will cook? Hopefully, they do, but the reality is that your partner will also be tired and just as preoccupied with the little one as you. You do not want to be worried about cooking, and you do not want to be eating a bunch of junk (trust me, your body needs nutrients when you are postpartum). So, postpartum meal prepping is key if you want to make sure that you also get the good stuff while looking after a newborn.

Pregnant woman holding her belly. Only her torso is visible. From the side. 
Here are a few tips on how to make sure you have nutrient-rich food ready: 

Batch cook

Set a day aside and plan what you want to cook, go out and get all the ingredients, and start cookingYou can make a day out of this. You can even invite some friends over to keep you company or to help with the cooking. Freeze the postpartum meals in portion sizes and label each container. Viola! You have ready-made meals.

If at this point you have not done your research about the vitamins, minerals and types of food that are essential for your postpartum recovery, I highly recommend Heng Ou’s The first forty days.  Not only does she explain the importance of good nutrition, but she also has a lot of great recipes in her book.

If you prefer some personal guidance, you can also book a virtual session with me and I can talk you through everything you need to include and avoid during your first few weeks postpartum.

Food Train

Ask your friends for help. I love this idea and always recommend it to my doula clients.  You can either approach your friends yourself, or (and this is what I would do) you can approach your best friend and ask her to set it up for you.  Make a train of as many friends as you like (5 to 10 would be ideal).  As soon as you start going into labour, the first person in the train gets notified and will be ready with a fresh meal (that is postpartum friendly) the day after the baby is born.  This will set the train in motion and for the next week or two you will have freshly cooked meals delivered to your house.   

Pro Tip: Help your friends out by sharing some recipes from Pinterest or your meal prep books with them.  Here is a link to my Pinterest board that I use for meal prep inspiration. 

Go Pro

If you don’t feel like meal prepping and you don’t want to “burden” your friends with prepping meals for you, you can call the professionals in. These services might be limited depending on where you live, so it is good to do your research well in advance to see if this is even an option. 

If you live in Rotterdam or the more southern part of the Netherlands, check out the Kraamdiner website.  Kraamdiner prepares postpartum meals for postpartum families, and I can tell you, her food is absolutely delicious.  

Pro Tip: ask people to contribute to an initiative like this as a baby shower gift. 

Backup Plan - if all else fails

What do you do if your fridge is not big enough to freeze 2 weeks' worth of meals? Or what if you are an expat and you don’t really have a lot of friends to help out with a food train? Not to worry, you still have options. 

Mother’s Finest is a German brand, that delivers to the Netherlands. They make premade postpartum meals that do not need to be frozen, so you can stock up and keep it in your pantry.

Another great idea is to have a supply of good quality, premade bone broth (the golden elixir of postpartum). One of my favourite local brands is BABS bone broth. You can order their broth online or check their website to see which stores stock it. You can mix this into any of your postpartum meals to get the benefits of the broth, or just make a bone broth drink (not the best-tasting drink out there, but worth it).

So, no matter how big your fridge or your support system, you have options. By having some postpartum-friendly snacks and food options available you’ll be less likely to grab a sandwich or order junk food. And trust me, you will be so grateful, as you will be healing faster, feeling better, and having more energy.