Posts Tagged ‘dense foods’

Tips for Delivering a Post Partum Meal to a New Mama!

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Post partum food ready for delivery

A great way to shower a mama of a newborn with love and support is to bring her family a meal. Food is always a great way to nurture others and nursing mamas are certainly in need of extra nourishment. Did you know a your body burns hundreds of calories a day simply by making milk? Lactation is hard work! Nursing mamas need to consume extra calories (general recommendation is 300 to 500 extra calories to maintain pre-pregnancy weight) and stay well hydrated. Of course you want to get the extra calories through nutritionally dense foods (it is surprisingly easy to consume 300 – 500 calories of junk food!).

Moms of newborns are focused on establishing breastfeeding, recovering from birth, and bonding with their newest family member. Therefore even though staying well nourished is a necessity, it is often hard to manage, particularly in the first several weeks of baby’s life.

Here are a few tips to consider when delivering a post part meal to a new mama:

  • Ask in advance what her family’s food preferences are and if there are any allergies in the family.
  • A few days after baby has arrived let the mother know you are ready to deliver meal when she is ready to receive it
  • Set up a time with the mother for meal delivery. Be sure to clarify in advance if you plan to bring your own child(ren) with you. Be understanding that some mothers of newborns might want to limit germ exposure and be hesitant about having other little ones around their new baby.  For example you can say “I am available to deliver a meal on Friday afternoon, although would have the kids with me. Or I can bring a meal over the weekend and kids can stay with my hubby”. This gives the mom the opportunity to select what works best for her family.

Fresh fruit, all washed and ready for snacking!

  • The day of delivery check in with the mama to be sure that the day and time still works for meal delivery. Be understanding and flexible if she needs to re-schedule for whatever reason.
  • Pack meal in containers that do not need to be returned so the mom doesn’t have to keep track of washing and returning to the right person. You can use disposable containers or inexpensive re-usable containers. Generally I use a disposable container for the main dish and then re-usable plastic containers from the dollar store for all other food. Let the mother know in advance that you do not expect containers back. I find that when a mom insists on returning containers if I say something along the lines of “oh just to circle them around to the next mama in our group who has a baby” she will relax about it.
  • Clearly label containers and include any heating instructions as needed. I find some sort of casserole generally works best as a main dish. Something that she can pop right into the oven or freeze for a later day is easiest for the mom to manage.

Super simple heating instructions

  • Consider the size of the family and age of children. If possible make meal large enough so there will be leftovers.
  • Along with main dish include some healthy snacks. I usually do some washed and cut fruit as well as lactation bars. The lactation bars are always a big hit with new mamas. They are super yummy and easy to munch on.
  • When you arrive at the house, be sure to send the message that the mother does not have to play hostess. Ask her if she needs anything such as a glass of water. Ask her where she would like you to put the food instead of just leaving it on the counter.

Lactation Bars are always a hit with nursing mamas!

  • Plan on a short visit. New mamas need lots of rest and opportunity to connect with baby. Generally about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes seems to be a good length of time to visit with a new mama.
  • If there are older siblings in the house, give them attention and be sure to attend to any needs they have during your visit. I usually like to pack along something small for the siblings when delivering a post partum meal such as a coloring book, hot wheel car, board book, puzzle, etc. It doesn’t have to be something expensive or even new, but a small gift can go a long way with older siblings when a new baby is in the house. When my second son was born someone gifted us their collection of hot wheel cars that their son had outgrown. What a blessing those little cars turned out to be! My then two year old played with them constantly allowing me to focus my attention on nursing baby. Books make nice gifts as reading to an older child is generally easy to do while nursing new baby. Avoid bringing toys that are loud, require supervision, or will cause older siblings to fight/argue (ie- 3 older siblings trying to share one really cool toy just causes more stress).

Gifts for a new big brother purchased at thrift store for $3

Lastly I know we are all busy as moms and sometimes just struggle to get a meal prepared for our own family, let alone trying to cook a meal for another family. I find that if I simply double a recipe so I am preparing two meals at once (one for my family and one for my mama friend)delivering post partum meals is much easier to do. It usually just entails a little extra chopping of veggies! Such a simple thing I can do to spread some loving to a new mama!