by Lindsay K. Germain, Certified Postpartum Doula
(originally published by BirthWays in spring of 2014)
When you welcome your new baby into your home, you’ll find that time tends to shift in mysterious ways. Especially in the early days, chores that used to take an hour might start to take four hours, or even a few days.
Your time will be more precious, and likely more stretched, than ever before.
Unlike adults, who sleep for a long stretch at night, newborns tend to sleep in short naps and aren’t yet able to consolidate their sleep.
In a sea of short naps and night and day feedings, it can be a real challenge to get good, nourishing food into your body.
It’s hard to have patience for fussiness, nap strikes, and other challenges of early parenting if you’re tired and hungry. The more you can get good, small meals and snacks throughout the day, the more resilient you’ll feel.
It’s easy to go hungry when you’re holding, feeding, and caring for your wide-awake baby. If you skip meals, it’s much harder to take care of yourself and feel good about your baby. Breastfeeding mamas need to eat an extra 200 to 500 calories per day.
Lots of moms figure out ways to get quick, nourishing bites when they need to refuel.
If you plan just one thing to make your postpartum transition feel smoother, set up a way to have convenient meals and snacks.
Eating small meals throughout the day helps stabilize your mood and energy. You can use a baby carrier to keep your hands free to snack.
Here are my favorite tools for mamas to help make meals easy: