We get it. Baby’s needs are many, but so are Mama’s. That’s why we’ve got just the thing to help keep mama and baby happy and healthy. Two words: meal train.
It can happen in the blink of an eye. Your due date is quickly approaching, and your list of things to get done before your little one’s arrival keeps growing and growing.
The first 40 days after giving birth can welcome an abundance of precious moments and ups and downs, as you figure out new routines as well as a crucial period of rest and recovery for you and your babe.
At Expectful, we’re all about calling on our village of experts, friends, and family members to help expectant mamas prepare for the postpartum period as much as possible. Why? Because once your baby (or babies!) come, you’ll likely be forced into survival mode for a while!
Trust us on this one.
Perhaps investing in a postpartum doula to make you warm meals isn’t in your budget or comfort zone. That’s okay, that’s what a meal train is for. Meal trains are a great way to lean on your village for support. We’re talkin’ family, mom friends, and whoever else wants to help support you during your time of transition from pregnant to mom of a newborn.
A meal train allows you to:
Hearth Wellness’s Julie Vincent, is a mama, meal train expert, mom support guru, and holistic health coach for busy mamas. She so kindly gave us some insight into the details on meal trains, whether you’re looking to set one up for yourself (which is a-okay) or an expectant mom friend.
“Having a solid postpartum nutrition plan in place to nourish yourself back to health is important, and a meal train can be a big part of this!” — Julie
It’s best to start organizing your meal train during the last month of your pregnancy. You can organize the meals for any day of the week and for however long you want. It’s up to you!
“For most new parents, a month is a generous amount of meal coverage, but I have seen others that have stretched out longer as parents only wanted food a few times a week.” — Julie Vincent
You can ask as many people as you’d like to participate in your mom support team. It’s not a prerequisite that your meal train participants are experts in the kitchen. They don’t even have to prepare the meals for you! Gift cards or food delivery services are great alternatives, especially if you are a little wary of other peoples’ germs right now.
You can share a list of local restaurants, family meal caterers you like or use a food delivery service like UberEats, Caviar or DoorDash.
Consider designating one or two close mom friends or family members to be your “go-to meal train contact”. You want them to be well organized, readily available, and able to answer any questions that come up.
“Not everyone loves to cook, but they definitely want to support you.” — Julie
“Warming” foods like steamy broths, soups, herbal teas, and recipes with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger are ideal for post-birth recovery.
Here is a rough list of items you may want to consider incorporating into your meal train ideas ingredient list:
Healthy Fats – These can keep you full and enrich your breast milk with slightly higher fat content!
Important Meal Train Tips About the “What”:
“You might be surprised to learn that nutrient needs in the early postpartum phase—and especially while breastfeeding—are higher than while you were pregnant.” — Julie
Bonus Tip: If you’re making a meal for a new mom, you can always make more of the meal and feed it to your own family that night and save the rest for the meal train!
Simple Soy Salmon
One-Pot Mexican Quinoa
And there you have it! All the tools, tips, and tricks to set up your meal train and prepare for your postpartum period with ease and flow right at your fingertips.
For more information on meal trains and holistic health, you can follow Julie at @hearthwellness.