YUMMY FOODS FOR THE NEW MUM
The weeks after giving birth are so important for the new mother.
If it is at all possible, the new mother should be fully supported and cooked for so all she has to do is feed and be with her baby and rest.
In India it is said that how the mother is nourished in the 40 days after giving birth determine her next 40 years of health!
Simple foods that nourish and calm the mother's energies are called for, foods that catalyse the healing process are needed and herbs that help milk production are given. Because of the impact of the birth, the mother's digestion is very compromised at this time, so
only food that is warm, simple and easy to digest should, at first, be given. Below are a few recipes including one shared to me by an Indian Grandmother in Woolgoolga who was visiting to assist her daughter with their new baby.
Have you got a friend who loves to cook? Its actually not hard or very expensive to make up these recipes. Many people you know would love to help.
If you ask one or more of you friends to cook for you in the postpartum, you'll be deeply nourished and they'll feel wonderful supporting you too. Ive got great joy from cooking for new mothers, its a wonderful service to be able to provide.
Just get your friends or family to check out this page so that they know to:
keep it super simple and super slushy in the first week or two
keep everything served warm including drinks and water
use lots of ginger and black pepper and ghee to help heal the digestive fires
use minimal oils and ghee after c section birth
use minimal salt in the first week or two
bring in well cooked root veggies in the second week before any other veggies.
stay away from nuts and seeds and dry cookies as they are hard to digest and may create constipation
keep meals simple with minimal ingredients as mama's digestive system will be weak after birth
slow cook meats to make them digestible and delicious!
Chaitanya is sometimes available to provide meals for the first week of the postpartum period for new parents in the Woolgoolga area. If this is something you're interested in please send me an email through the link above and we can have a chat about whether we can make it work.
She also offers consults around planning the postpartum to ensure that your whole family recieves the nourishment and support they need when the new baby arrives. If this is something you havent thought about or would like to explore please send me an email.
DELICIOUS POSTPARTUM RECIPES
FIRST FOODS FOR A NEW MOTHER:
YUMMY SPICED RICE PORRIDGE
This delicious first food is so yummy you'll want to eat it all the time!
Which is great because its so nutritious and healing for the new mother she can eat small bowls of it throughout the day and night for the first few days! This may sound strange as we are used to eating different meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but if you ask any of the mummas I've catered for they'll assure you that this satisfies and heals on a very deep level.
When I hear that a mother has gone into labor, I get out the slow cooker and put this simple meal on. Consider having a friend nearby do the same so you dont have to worry about cooking when the birth is unfolding.
FIRST DAYS' SPICED RICE PORRIDGE
from Touching Heaven: Tonic and Delicious Postpartum Recipes from Ayurveda by the Sacred Window School.
Start by washing 1 cup of basmati rice well.
Cover with 16 cups of boiling water and 1/4 cup ghee
Boil then simmer for several hours.
When its well cooked and sloppy add spices, ghee and sugar:
- 2tsp ginger powder - 1tsp cinnamon powder
-1/2 tsp cloves powdered - 1/2 tsp black pepper
-2/3 tsp turmeric or 1/3tsp loose packed saffron threads
-1/2 tsp cardomom 1/2 cup rapidura sugar
- 1/4 cup ghee
Cook a little more then serve with as much ghee and rapidura as the mama desires.
KITCHAREE - YELLOW MUNG AND RICE - HEALING FOOD
This special version of kitcharee is the staple food for new mothers in India It is simple to prepare, the combination of yellow mung beans (also known as dahl) and rice forms a complete protein and is a tonic for the digestive system. The herbs included help reduce the stresses that arise from birthing and also bring the digestive fires back to life. It is slightly spicey due to the black pepper but not chilli hot so it doesnt disturb the baby through the breast milk. This meal could be the basis of your diet for the first weeks of your recovery...
NEW MOTHER'S KITCHAREE
Traditional Recipe as given to Chaitanya by a Punjabi Grandmother in Woolgoolga.
-1cup basmati rice -2/3 cup yellow split mung dal
-3tbs ghee (less after c section) -1tsp turmeric ground
-1/2 tsp ginger ground -1/2 tsp ground black pepper
-salt to taste but less in the first week
Wash the yellow dal and rice under running water a few times.
Heat the ghee and add the ground spices for 30 seconds stirring.
Add rice and dal to spices and stir to coat.
Add 5 to 8 cups of water and bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally for 30 mins.
Add more water if needed to keep the consistency sloppy!
In the early days keep this recipe simple, it will help mama's digestion recover from birth and can be eaten over and over again.
As a couple of weeks pass, you can add fresh coriander, lime or lemon juice or some extra spices like coriander powder or cumin seeds, cinnamon bark, fresh garlic and ginger to the mix!
GHEE GLORIOUS GHEE
Considered a deeply healing and nourishing food in India, Ghee is made from clarified butter and has so many health benefits, especially postpartum.
Ghee fired up your digestion which is so needed after birth. It calms inflammation in the tissues, heals the intestines and is great at keeping those bowels moving!
Ghee keeps well unrefrigerated and can be made while baby is still in your belly. Its a good staple to cook with and add to milky drinks too. Load up on ghee, unless you've got a fatty liver or have had a c section.
MAKING YOUR OWN GHEE
-2kgs or less of unsalted, preferably organic butter
Place the butter in a big pot on a low to medium heat.
Allow it to melt and simmer, if its vigorously bubbling away turn it down a little.
Allow it to bubble away without stirring for about 15 mins.
Have a look at the mixture, you'll notice white solids forming on the bottom and sometimes rising to the top.
As the ghee gets closer to ready, no more white bits will rise to the top and small fizzy bubbles will begin to form.
The ghee will turn a beautiful light-golden brown (see photo) - take it off the heat now and cool slightly.
Carefully pour the ghee into glass jars without letting any of the solids on the bottom of the pan to come along - these are the impurities that we want to get rid of.
Cover your ghee pots and dont let any water (through using wet spoons etc) into the ghee or it may go off.
You did it! You made ghee!
CHAITANYA'S POSTPARTUM CHICKEN STEW
Have someone cook this for dad when mum goes into labor!
I feel its good to wait about 2 weeks to serve this slow cooked stew to mum but if you do make it for dad, make it extra soupy and strain off cups of broth for her. This food is a lifesaver.
-1 or 2 kg of free range or organic chicken drumsticks
-2 onions chopped -2tbs each chopped ginger + garlic
-2tbs each cumin + coriander powder - 3 or 4 tbs ghee
-1tbs ground turmeric -handful curry tree leaves (optional)
-1 heaped tsp salt -handful goji berries + red dates (opt)
-1/4 cup apple cinder vinegar
Heat ghee in a BIG pot. Add ginger, garlic, onion, curry leaves and stir over medium heat until onion is starting to become clearer.
Add the drumsticks and spices and salt and ACV and cover with boiling water, bring the whole lot to a boil then simmer for hours. You can do this in a slow cooker also.
An hour before you want to finish add
-2 or 3 handfuls of chopped green leafy veg (omit if mama is less than 3 week postpartum)
-3 chopped carrots, 1 small chopped sweet potato or other root veggies
-tsp chopped lemon rind - handful of dried fenugreek leaves from indian store (optional)
Cook for an hour and check the flavour. If its too bitter because of the greens, let it keep cooking till the flavour balances out, You can add more water as needed to make it more brothy and cook it for ages to get all the goodness from the bones. Add more salt to taste.
You can keep a bit pot of this in the fridge and freeze portions of this before the baby is born also. Again, its a real lifesaver.