Nothing perks up a person’s attention to their diet like being pregnant, planning for labor, and living through the ravenous period that often comes during postpartum and when you are nursing a young infant. During these times, it is important to choose foods and beverages that give you a lot of bang for your buck in the nutrition department and maybe even provide a little something special to boot. Here are some suggestions for easy to make recipes for each stage of the childbearing year that will do just that!
Dates Do the Job When You are Close to Being Due
In recent years, there have been some studies that have demonstrated that eating 5-6 dates a day starting at 36 weeks can help ripen the cervix and reduce the necessity for a post-term induction. An amazing way to consume dates is this vegan shake that tastes just like your favorite salted caramel milkshake! Cold and frosty, this quick to make drink helps the dates to go down smooth and tasty! Dates do have a lot of sugar, so if you are dealing with gestational diabetes, remember to check in with your provider or a nutritionist before giving it a go.
Early Labor Baking Makes for a Great Birth Day Cake
There is an awesome book called “The Birth House” by Ami McKay that takes place in Nova Scotia in the early 1900s. The storyline focuses on the life of a midwife. The author includes the tradition of a person in early labor baking a “groaning cake” to distract themselves from the discomfort of the contractions. This loaf-like cake has lots of “warm” spices as the ingredients, which make a person feel nurtured and taken care of and makes a lovely snack for the birth team too! Easy to make, the smells during baking offer comfort to anyone nearby.
Pack a Punch Filled with Energy for Labor
Labor is hard work. It is a lot like running a marathon, but you don’t know exactly how far you need to run nor do you know how long it will take you. That is why every bite of food that goes into your mouth during labor should be nutritious and impactful. This “Coco Monkey Labor Smoothie” fits the bill in both departments. Tasty, refreshing and full of good fats and proteins, it is easy to make and even easier to eat! Have the ingredients on hand, and keep yourself strong and energized with frequent sips of this power smoothie throughout your labor.
Lactation Cookies That Make Making Milk Fun
When a person is nursing a new baby, they often find themselves more ravenous than they ever thought possible. With the lack of a schedule and the sleep deprivation that comes from having a newborn in the house, having a nutritious snack nearby that is both easy to eat as well as yummy is critically important. These lactation cookies, filled with healthy ingredients like oatmeal, flax seed, brewer’s yeast and more, are easy to eat one-handed while juggling a ravenous baby! The dark chocolate will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth and the best thing is they can be made in advance and stored in the freezer until baby arrives. Consider popping one or two in the microwave for that “just-baked” warmth just before you sit down for a marathon nursing session.
It is important to make every mouthful count when you are growing, birthing and feeding a young baby! These nutritious and tasty snacks will help you to get the fuel, calories and nutrition you need for every part of the process of welcoming a baby into your family. What are your favorite snacks for the childbearing year?