If you’re like me, it was when I was pregnant, and during the postpartum period, that I took what I ate the most serious. I have heard the phrase “Your eating for two now” way too many times for comfort; however, I noticed those words were often followed by family and friends trying to feed me more, but not necessarily nutritious food. It wasn’t until I really "blossomed" that I felt like I needed to change my diet.
I’m not going to lie, at first, I would inhale everything in sight. Ice cream? Yes, please. Red Lobsters Ultimate Feast? I’m going to need two baskets of cheddar biscuits, thank you. Chinese buffet? Let me put on my stretchy pants. However, after a couple of short months with this type of diet I did notice that I didn’t have as much energy as I would like. I mean, I knew growing a person takes a lot of hard work, but I felt like I was a little too tired. I had to take an evaluation of myself and what I was, or was not, doing to ensure I had the healthiest pregnancy I could have and ultimately have a healthy and happy baby.
Who knew it would actually take time to research food? And who knew that it could lead you down a rabbit hole to a new way of thinking about food and herbs and what they can do other than taste good? I didn’t. During my first pregnancy I was in my early 20’s and my health food knowledge went as far as knowing I needed to eat fruit and vegetables because the food pyramid said so. Boy, did I learn something new.
First, food is not just a way to fuel your body, it also nurtures and promotes healing. Natural herbs and spices have been used since the beginning of time as medicines. I found that roots, leaves, oils, and teas, in the right combination, can be used to heal everything from aching backs to whooping cough. Although we have made a major shift from natural remedies to modern medicine, herbs and spices still play a role in nourishment and healing.
So, what does this have to do with pregnancy or postpartum?
The short answer, EVERYTHING!
Consuming herbal teas and real whole foods helps promote a healthy pregnancy and helps the healing process during postpartum. Food can help with lactation, the shrinkage of the uterus, and help relieve gas for your baby if you’re breastfeeding. Eating warm foods, lean meats, and green vegetables helps with digesting (which is VERY important after giving birth) and can replace the warmth into your body that was lost during childbirth.
After truly making conscience decisions about my food, prepping my dinners, and incorporating more fresh foods into my diet, I began to feel the difference. Believe it or not, there were times I felt better than I did before I became pregnant.
Now, I know that cooking healthy meals and eating healthy meals are two totally different things. I will admit, I still struggle with it til this very day, but I have a great and simple tip that will help anyone who wants to make meal time a little easier (other than ordering it). Just two words.....meal prep. Crock pot meals and freezer meals are good to have on stand by for when there are times you don’t want to, or just can't be in the kitchen for long periods.
So if you find yourself wanting to maintain a diet regimen, or you're like me and feel that pregnancy and postpartum helps you make better food choices, but you don't have the energy, contact Your Family Tree Doula Services. We will help provide you and your family with healing nourishment.