Here’s a statistic to get your noggin’ going: When you search the words “new baby nutrition” on Google, you are served with just shy of 700 million results. Search “new mom nutrition”? You’re met with 117 million.
It’s no secret that there’s a gaping hole in prioritizing the well-being of new mamas (and new parents in general) during the fourth trimester.
“You have zero time,” Hannah recalls from her first days postpartum. “You’re caring for an infant and are in your love bubble, but also, you’re completely overcome by so many different emotions. It can be a really intense time for a lot of women. Your hormones are doing something that they’ve never done before.” Even for Hannah, who has worked in the nutrition and wellness world for over a decade, IT. WAS. ROUGH.
“I did a lot of research on what pillars I should focus on during the fourth trimester to support healing my body with food. And I can count on one hand how many companies are trying to solve this problem.”
So Hannah teamed up with our friends at Territory Foods to fill the gap and help new parents prioritize their nutrition at arguably the most critical time for both baby and mama. Meet Meals for Mama.
On May 19th, Hannah gathered, along with members of the Territory Foods team and our HATCH community for a discussion with Registered Dietitian Danielle McAvoy on nutrition for new and expecting mamas. Here are some key takeaways.
Territory Foods offers countless options for meals including keto and low-carb deliciousness. But for Meals for Mamas, Hannah, alongside dietitian and pre-and postpartum nutrition expert, Lizzy Swick, excluded those options for moms. “Pregnancy and the Fourth Trimester are not the time to be restricting or dieting,” McAvoy said. “We set a minimum level of calories that we wanted to hit and aim for meals that have the right balance of carbs, protein, and fat.
Meals for Mama focuses on easily digestible foods that will help heal your gut postpartum. Things like stews, braised meats… “We stayed away from raw, cold foods like salads or slaws, which are both totally fine to eat when pregnant,” McAvoy explains. “But, In the first three months post-baby, you should really focus on warming foods.” Hannah, herself, credits a homemade Okra stew as her postpartum go-to after giving birth.
It’s All About the Protein Blend
We all know new mamas should be snacking on protein-rich foods as often as possible. “Protein is not only important for repairing physically the damage postpartum but it’s also important for balancing blood sugar,” McAvoy explains. Meals for Mama offers animal protein meals, but limited the portions and instead, included a lot of plant-based meals as well. A Mediterranean-style diet that heavily relies on plant-based proteins has been shown to support your thyroid and blood sugar.
Your Place is a Pie Chart
Postpartum, you may want to start thinking about your plate as a pie chart as an easy way to ensure you’re getting the right amount of the right stuff. “We make sure at least half of the plate is vegetables,” McAvoy says. “Ideally, half of mom’s plate is 1 or two nutrient-dense veggies, with ¼ being carbs and another ¼ coming from protein.”
For the month of May, Territory Foods’ Meals for Mama will be donating a percentage of all sales to Every Mother Counts in support of global maternal health and safety. To learn more and eat deliciously, visit Meals For Mama.