Nourishing Postpartum: Insights from Western and Eastern Traditions
On October 4th, Laroot hosted an event at Boram, a postpartum and postnatal care facility in New York City, to explore postpartum nutrition and holistic well-being. Our goal was to emphasize the importance of postpartum nutrition in supporting new mothers. We were privileged to have two esteemed medical advisors share their insights: Molly Knauer, a dietitian, nutrition consultant, and co-founder of The Motherhood Method App, and Naria Diaz Chi, a specialist in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with a focus on fertility and pregnancy.
Molly: Postpartum nutrition plays a significant role in helping a mother recover and regain her strength. Proper nutrition can aid in healing, stabilizing energy levels, and supporting mood and emotional well-being during this crucial period.
Naria: In TCM, we believe that postpartum nutrition is the foundation for long-term health. It not only aids in physical recovery but also in balancing the body's energy channels. It's essential for a mother to restore her body's balance to face the demands of motherhood.
Molly: In Western cultures, there's often an emphasis on convenience and quick meals. However, this can lead to missing out on important nutrients. It's essential to find a balance between convenience and nutritional value.
Naria: Traditional practices in many Asian cultures, including Korea and China, have a deep-rooted focus on postpartum nutrition. These practices prioritize warming and nourishing the body, allowing mothers to recover fully.
Naria: TCM emphasizes foods that nourish the kidneys, liver, and spleen. This includes ingredients like dry-fried ginger, seaweed, mulberries, and red dates, as they promote warmth and balance within the body.
Molly: From a Western perspective, foods rich in essential nutrients like iron, choline, and iodine are recommended. These can be found in whole foods such as lean meats, fish, leafy greens, and eggs.
Molly: Convenience is key. Preparing nutrient-dense snacks and meals in advance can make it easier for mothers to access nourishing foods while caring for their newborns. Having a support system in place to help with meal preparation can also be incredibly beneficial.
Naria: From a TCM perspective, it's about planning ahead and being mindful of the restorative properties of foods. Cooking meals in a way that promotes warmth and balance can go a long way in supporting a new mother's well-being.
Molly: A healthy postpartum diet can set the foundation for better long-term health. It can help mothers maintain a stable weight, manage nutrient deficiencies, and reduce the risk of health issues down the line.
Naria: In TCM, we believe that proper postpartum nutrition can prevent health issues that may arise later in life. It's about building a strong foundation for overall well-being and balance.
Molly: Nutrient-dense snacks providing fiber, protein, and healthy fats are essential. Options include nut and seed mixes with fruits, or simple choices like sliced avocado with a pinch of sea salt or lemon.
Naria: Gooseberries and Hawthorn berry are excellent options from a TCM perspective, promoting warmth and balance in a new mother's system.
Molly: Staying hydrated is crucial, and I recommend using large water bottles to track daily intake. Broths, coconut water, and herbal teas can also provide essential nutrients.
Naria: Fluids like soups and teas, particularly those with healing herbs, support postpartum recovery by promoting circulation and restoring balance.
Molly: My advice is to have a variety of nutrient-dense snacks readily available. Prepare whole food snacks like energy balls, nut and seed mixes, or sliced avocado with sea salt to meet your nutritional needs without sacrificing convenience.
Naria: Focus on foods that stimulate and restore your body's energy channels. Incorporate warming ingredients and nourishing herbs into your meals, like ginger and goji berries, to support postpartum recovery.
We hope that this glimpse into postpartum nutrition from both Western and Eastern perspectives has shed light on the critical role it plays in supporting new mothers on their postpartum journey. Remember that proper nourishment is a fundamental aspect of a healthy and balanced life, applicable not only to new mothers but to every individual!