15+ Nourishing Ways to Support Your (or a Friend’s) Recovery After Giving Birth

During these first weeks of motherhood, you are in the middle of an evolution. And it can’t be rushed. As much as you might want to hit fast forward on the sleepless nights, endless feedings, and the hormonal tsunami, the only way out is through. 

Here’s how to support yourself as this new version of you emerges.

Allow yourself to feel proud of what you’re doing now. 

Especially the things that go unnoticed and aren’t glorified. These small, almost invisible things that allow your child to become who they’re meant to be. 

Allow yourself to be with the discomfort of changing relationships.

You and your partner may bond over your love for this new person you created together. This newborn family. AND that love may not be the balm for the strain it puts on your relationship. It won’t always be this way. 

Allow yourself to mourn your former self.

You’ll crave the old you for sure. Her body, her freedom, her ease. This is where you let go. Where you surrender. You will find comfort in your skin again.

Allow people to love and support you through it.

By reminding ourselves and each other that this transition is huge, we can receive the care we need and create space for rest and healing. As the person who just had a baby, you are a new person too.

Here’s a detailed guide to send your friends, family, and partner pre-birth and after so that they can respect and honor this transition and care for you with intention during this tender time.

When visiting a new mom…

Nourish Her

If you are a friend who has been forwarded this as a resource, understand that your friend is getting to know her baby, herself, and her place in the world. She’s also adjusting to her relationships. Including her friendships. 

Here’s how you can make her feel nourished:

Imagine yourself in a comfortable house. Maybe it’s the one you grew up in or one you’ve visited at some point and just loved. It’s cozy and has something about it that feels…good. Someone is cooking for you. She’s making you something with love and intention, something to fill you up in more than just your belly. The soft sounds of the kitchen reach your ears. The smell of food cooking on the stove or in the oven. If you close your eyes, that experience has a feeling, right? 

This is what you want to recreate for your friend who’s just had a baby. The feeling of being cared for in this way. By someone who is asking nothing of you, who’s not even in your immediate space, who’s providing you something that you don’t have to think about but that your body will thank you for. 

Check out this list of foods to favor and avoid postpartum and bring her appropriate snacks, meals, groceries. BONUS POINTS: for making everything for her ahead of time. You can also bring ingredients for this Iron Building Smoothie to support her recovery. Make her an herbal tea. And if she’s nursing, you can make it ahead of time and bring these lactation bites, or buy some from a trusted health food store.

BE With Her

Ask about her. Not the baby, her. How is she doing? Is she sleeping? How many times a day is she crying? Does she need to be held, rocked, soothed? 

  • Listen without comment unless to soothe her, validate her feelings, or make sure she feels seen and heard. 
  • Rub her feet. We retain a lot of fluid in our feet right after birth. Plus it feels amazing anytime.
  • Offer to make a bath for her. Add Epsom salt so that magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed into her body to trigger relaxation. Ahhhh.
  • Offer to sit with the baby while she showers or naps. Promise you will let her know if they start crying or fussing. 
  • Remind her you are there to support her. She is NOT entertaining a guest right now.

Do Something to Make Her Life Easier

Don’t wait for her to ask you. She may feel awkward or not know how to ask for help right now.

  • Move her laundry into the dryer for her. Or fold the clean clothes sitting in a basket on her bed. 
  • Take her dog for a quick walk. Refill any pet’s water bowl. 
  • Load, run, or unload the dishwasher. Or do dishes that are in the sink and put away what’s in the drying rack. 
  • Vacuum.
  • Before you leave, switch her iPhone settings to night time (settings → display & brightness → check “dark”) so she doesn’t get the glare of the harsh light if she opens up her phone during a late night feed to read a pstprtm article.
  • Take out the trash on your way out.

If you’re far away, there is still so much you can do for the new mama in your life…

Set Up a Postpartum Doula

It’s the best gift you can give when you can’t care for her yourself. A postpartum doula is there to mother the mother. She can help with lactation, sleep, newborn care, but her main focus is supporting the birthing person. However they need it. 

This gift is life changing and is perfect as a group gift.

Put Together a Care Package

This is your chance to put together a seriously thoughtful care package. Not one full of onesies and stuff that’ll just crowd her bathroom counter. This gift basket is perfect for someone close to you or a coworker. Anyone who just had a baby. 

Because we know how hard it is. And we want to welcome all new mamas to this season of life with reverence, intention, and love.

Suggestions of what to include:

  • Giant water bottle (you know how we feel about hydration here at pstprtm)
  • Print out recipes like iron building smoothie, hash bowls, or any in our nutrition articles.
  • Nipple cream (we love Mother Love’s nipple cream or pure lanolin)
  • Reusable nursing pads
  • Earth Mama Belly Oil
  • Earth Mama Herbal Postpartum Perineal Spray
  • Tea (Mother’s Milk Tea is great, as is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea)
  • A book! Light, easy, entertaining reading. 

This is the kind of care, attention, and thoughtfulness every birthing person deserves after the marathon of pregnancy and bringing a human being into the world. You are deserving of this. So, right now, send this article to the people in your circle so that they can show up for you in a nourishing way. Allow yourself to be supported. Because in that support, you find relief, you can relax a little, and give your whole being a moment to be held.

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