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Nourishing & Healing Foods

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For Breastfeeding & Postpartum Healing
By Anhoni Patel
The very best thing you can do for your milk supply is to nurse your baby on demand and do lots of skin to skin. These are essential to initially establish your supply. If you are pumping, then make sure to pump on a consistent schedule to get your body on a rhythm. Be patient and keep to your pump schedule as closely as you can. Empty your breasts - either through nursing or pumping - to signal to your body to produce more milk.

However, a lot of factors can affect milk supply including sleep, stress, hormones, hydration and diet. Getting enough calories is important for your body to be able to produce milk. To keep up your energy and caloric needs a balanced diet full of protein and healthy fats is important.

Food is not only nourishing but also healing. However, as a busy mother it can be difficult to find the time to nurture yourself while taking care of your little ones. A meal may entail eating your kids’ leftovers while standing over the sink or having a handful of candy for lunch. Or just not eating at all and running on empty.

Here are some quick and easy meals you can eat that can nourish, heal and help with your milk supply.

Nuts. These are a great, easy and healthy snack. Buy a couple packs and keep one in your car or purse (just make sure your child does not get to them if you don’t yet know whether or not they are allergic!). All nuts are excellent but we love almonds. These tree nuts are packed with nutrients, proteins and healthy fats. And just a handful make a satisfying - and convenient - snack.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Avocados. This green fruit has potassium, Vitamins B5, B6 & C, fiber and is loaded with healthy fats (to be specific, most of the fat in an avocado is oleic acid — a monounsaturated fatty acid). Having an avocado for breakfast can help you feel full for hours (or, if you’re a breastfeeding mom with the appetite of an entire football team, for at least a whole hour). For an extra added lactation boost, try our Breakfast Avocado recipe below.

Breakfast is considered by many nutritionists as the most important meal. It sets up a foundation for you for the rest of the day and fuels your activities. However, a bleary-eyed mom who’s been up all night might not be able to tell you what day it is much less whip up an nutritious first meal. But a good breakfast doesn’t have to be a fancy acai bowl with 12 different ingredients and an Instagram-worthy color profile.

It can be as simple as a bowl of instant oatmeal that you microwaved for 1-minute. You can also put some oats into a cup, pour milk in until they’re covered and let it sit in your fridge overnight. In the morning you can add a spoonful of honey and a dash of cinnamon or top with any fruit you may have around; bananas are a great option. If you want some lactation power try topping the oatmeal with a Mrs. Patel’s Lactation Treat.

Our Lactation Treats feature fenugreek to aid milk production, improve digestion and to ease inflammation. (Note: we use a culinary quantity of fenugreek not a concentrated dosage.) These treats have coconut, an excellent source of healthy fat which is also high in lauric acid, and almond meal sourced from a local family-run farm of 4th generation farmers. The bars also have two special ayurvedic herbs - peepramul for postpartum healing, gastric discomfort and joint pain and high-in-fiber acacia gum for lower back and pelvic pain. You can use the bar bites as toppings or have them on their own for a handy, nutritious and filling snack that can help with lactation.

For lunch or dinner, simple soups and stews are both healthy and good for postpartum digestion. You can prep and freeze a variety ahead of time. However, for an even quicker and simpler meal, try a porridge. We recommend the foundational Ayurvedic dish Khichari, which is the Queen of Porridges. This rice and mung bean dish is comforting, nourishing and features the superfoods turmeric and ghee. You can also add mild spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger and cumin for digestion and flavor. It takes less than 5 minutes to put together (no chopping!) and less than 30 min to cook (less if you have an instant pot or pressure cooker). See below for Mrs. Patel’s Khichari recipe.

There are meals you can prep and freeze ahead of time before you give birth, meal trains your friends and family may set-up for you after baby arrives and there are more and more healthy and delicious meal delivery options available. These all are great options as well.

Just make sure you don’t forget to feed YOU while you are feeding and nourishing your baby!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Mrs. Patel’s Khichari
The ultimate postpartum meal

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice (really any rice will do)
  • ½ Cup Split Mung Beans/Moong Dal (they will be yellow)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or Coconut Oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 3 whole Cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

Directions

  • Add rice and split mung beans to pot.
  • Rinse thoroughly, until water runs clear.
  • Add 3.5 cups of water and turmeric and salt. Stir.
  • Heat up ghee/coconut oil on medium-low heat in saucepan until melted.
  • Add spices and heat until mustard seeds begin popping.
  • Add this infusion to the pot with rice (be careful, it will start sizzling).
  • Cover pot and turn heat to high until water begins to boil.
  • Turn down heat to medium and boil until all water is visibly gone.
  • Lower heat and simmer until rice is cooked, approximately 20 min.
  • If the Khichari is still not done or not the right consistency, add a ½ cup more water and stir.
  • Pressure Cook: Let whistle blow for 4-5 minutes.

Mrs. Patel’s Breakfast Avocado

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt (or more, taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of Munch Crunch

Directions

  • Cut Avocado in half and de-seed.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and then sprinkle with salt, chili pepper and Munch Crunch.



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