Postpartum Nutrition & Nurturing – Why They’re So Important
One of my favourite responsibilities in my role as a doula is providing nutrition and nurturing to new mamas in the postpartum period. Helping them transition from woman to mother in a way that feeds their soul and strengthens their body. This is what led me to undertake the Milk & Seed Apprenticeship. I consider myself a bit of a food alchemist, for me alchemy is creating from individual ingredients something that, when combined in a certain way, makes something wonderful. Something far superior and energetically valuable.
What is the Postpartum Period?
Before we get into why nurturing and nutrition during this period is so important, let’s be clear about what the postpartum period is.
Most maternal health practitioners, whether they be doctors, midwives, or doulas, consider the postpartum period to be 6-8 weeks post-birth, although some argue it may be as long as 12 weeks.
This is the period of time it takes for most of the major organ systems of the body to largely return to their pre-pregnancy state. This includes the hormones, metabolism, the genitourinary organs, and the circulatory system.
That said, full recovery of a woman’s body can take 6-12 months, particularly the restoration of muscle and connective tissue.
Why Mama’s Need Nurturing and Nutrition
Over the past 100 years or so Western culture has created an expectation that a woman will give birth and go right back to business as usual. But carrying and birthing a baby, then learning to be a mother, is an enormous undertaking. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. And culturally. As a mama we are now responsible for keeping a life other than our own safe, happy, and thriving until they are able to do so for themselves. That is no small undertaking.
But you cannot pour from an empty cup, so taking care of the mamas, ensuring they have the nutrition and nurturing they need to step into their new role is vitally important.
What is Milk & Seed?
Milk & Seed is all about using food as medicine. Their philosophy takes modern superfoods, combined with ancient, traditional healing foods and practices from around the globe, to help new mothers replenish their vital life force.
Their Apprenticeship taught me how to cook nutritious comfort food for mamas, using ingredients specifically chosen to address their postpartum needs, as well as the practice of healing rituals which have been used for centuries to nurture and restore.
The philosophy at Milk & Seed is simple – when women are well, the world is well.
Why I Did the Milk & Seed Apprenticeship
I am passionate about nurturing and supporting mamas during the postpartum period. Not only to help them become the best mama they can be, but also helping them recover their pre-pregnancy health and vitality.
The knowledge I gained through this course has helped me develop recipes for comforting food that is nutritionally designed to provide mamas with everything they need for:
- healing the body
- balancing the hormones
- increasing the quality and quantity of milk production
- returning energy and strength
Healing and nurturing rituals also provide an antidote to our rushed modern lifestyle, helping women to ease into the joy of motherhood with grace and love.
I want to share with you a wonderfully indulgent recipe I learned at Milk & Seed, which is easy to make, keeps well in the fridge, and provides that comfort we all seek from time to time – chocolate – but in a healthy and nourishing way.
Chocolate Reishi Gheenache*
This decadent yet medicinal chocolate “gheenache" can be eaten with a spoon, used to frost cupcakes, cakes, or spread on toast as a healthier and incredibly nourishing version of Nutella. Any you can make it before baby comes, so it’s ready and waiting for you when you need it.
2 cups ghee
1 cup cacao
½ cup maple syrup (or to taste)
1 tbsp reishi powder (optional)
1 tbsp cordyceps powder (optional)
1 tbsp shatavari powder (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Gently melt the ghee until it is a golden liquid. Then sift in the cacao and remaining powders (if using) as well as the maple syrup and vanilla extract before mixing well. If there are lumps, you can blend with a stick blender until smooth. Pour into a 16 oz mason jar and refrigerate until set. To use as a frosting, let gheenache come to room temperature after it is set for a spreadable consistency, and let your cake or cupcakes cool before frosting.
This Gheenache is so good everyone in the house will want to try it – so don’t be afraid to double the recipe!
If you feel you, or someone you know, would like the support of an experienced and knowledgeable Doula who is qualified in providing nourishing and replenishing meals during the postpartum period, please give me a call for a chat on 0422 258 771, or contact me:
*Recipe courtesy of Milk & Seed