According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, women who have just given birth are supposed to stay in bed, be waited on hand and foot, and given lots of massages. Pretty awesome, right? They are also supposed to eat lots of hot soups and stews because they are nutrient dense and easy to digest.
Having an idyllic postpartum may seem out of reach, but there are some things you can do to try to get the most rest and nourish your body after the baby comes.
I would definitely hire a postpartum doula and schedule a massage, a chiropractic and an acupuncture appointment within the first few weeks. I also highly recommend encapsulating your placenta, or even eat a piece raw if you can. There is really no other way to restore nutrients lost in childbirth and postpartum so effectively and efficiently.
In general, Ayurveda states the optimal health can only be achieved when the five elements of the body are in balance. The five elements are earth, fire, wind, space and ether.
Additionally, each person can be categorized into three different doshas. Pitta, Kapha and Vata. Each dosha has a combination of each element within. And each dosha has its own functions.
Vata is composed of air and ether.
Pitta is composed of fire and water.
Kapha is composed of earth and water.
Vata, because it governs all movement, is known as the “queen” of doshas. Childbirth, nervous system function, movement of food through the intestines, elimination of wastes are some of the functions of vata.
Pitta dosha governs digestion, metabolism and production of heat.
The function of kapha dosha is to lubricate joints, mucus production in the airways and in the gut to move food.
Pregnancy aggravates vata as it inhibits the flow or movement of energy that is characteristic of vata.
So because of this new mothers require foods that are vata pacifying and nourishing, grounding and easy to digest.
Soups & Stews For Postpartum Recovery
Hot soups and stews are easy to digest because they have been cooked slowly and both the meat and vegetables are soft and nutrients have been retained. Soups and stews are usually made with a foundation of homemade broths and those are nutritious and healing to anyone, anytime.
Food that is hot is easier to digest, because when foods are cold the stomach has to work harder to bring up the “digestive fires” (technically speaking that would be things like hydrochloric acid) to help digest it.
This is why slow cooker freezer meals make perfect postpartum meals!
You can assemble and freeze them ahead of time when you are pregnant and wanting to stock your freezer. It’s so easy! It takes me about 2 hours to assemble 6 meals. And they are the perfect postpartum delivery meal to bring a friend in need.
For recipe ideas, check out my free recipes in my archives and my cookbooks. My cookbook, From Your Freezer To Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes For Every Season is available here!
Once you have the meals done in the freezer, when baby comes you can easily have your doula, partner or family friend pull a meal out of the freezer in the morning and put it the slow cooker so you have a nourishing soup or stew done in time for dinner. Each meal is pretty large too, so unless you have a huge family, they are all meals you could eat off for a couple days, further saving time in the kitchen.
They are great for people who are healing from other things as well.
I loved this email I got the other day from a reader:
“Two sweet mammas in my area have faced crisis (one is in the final stages of cancer, and one is facing her one year old’s surgery for his brain tumor). My church group used crock pot recipes from your site to make batches of freezer stocking meals for their families, and it was a HUGE blessing to have easy, nourishing, allergy free meals at our fingertips to help love these families.
I’ve also been busy with your new cookbook stocking up my own family’s freezer in anticipation of our busy homeschooling year. Your work has made such a difference in our lives here, and just wanted to send you a big thanks for your work. Yay for using your gifts!!! Blessings – Angie”