Most breastfeeding moms are hungry in the early weeks, maybe just a little bit extra hungry or maybe absolutely starving! When you think about all the work a new mom’s body is doing, this makes sense. A new mom’s body is working hard to establish a breastmilk supply while at the same time healing from pregnancy and birth. Exclusive breastfeeding takes an extra 500 calories so your nutritional needs are actually greater than they were during pregnancy.
During this time you will be spending most of your time breastfeeding or simply holding your baby. While many moms learn to do anything and everything with a baby in one arm, this skill usually evolves after those first few weeks when you will want to spend more time resting and healing than trying to juggle one handed tasks. Staying well-nourished and hydrated will help with energy, healing, and satisfy your newly increased appetite. One handed snacks can be the best way to ensure that you actually eat. Even partners and other family helping to care for you and the baby will love having some quick, healthy snacks that don’t need 2 hands to eat.
Things you can stock up on ahead of time:
- Dried Fruit
- Banana chips
- Dried edamame
- Dried chick peas
- Whole wheat pretzels
- Whole wheat crackers
- Trail mix
- Granola bars (though check how much sugar is added if you are trying for a healthy snack)
- Fruit/nut bars like Lara or Kind
- Beef jerky
- Cheese (by cheese sticks or sliced cheese or just get someone to cut up a larger block of cheese)
- Hard boiled eggs (get someone to peel several at a time for you)
- Carrots (or other cut up veggies) and hummus
- Fresh fruit
While keeping the majority of what you eat healthy is just better for you over-all, there’s nothing wrong with some treat snacks mixed in either. I’m pretty sure at least some of these were part of my snack rotation after my son was born:
- Peanut M&Ms
- Dark chocolate covered almonds
- Chocolate covered pretzels
- Anything dark chocolate really
- Yogurt covered pretzels
- Animal crackers
Having someone buy snacks at the grocery store for you or help prep them can be great ways for friends or family to help out. They will feel useful and you will stay well fed. It’s a win win situation.
If you end up being someone who is absolutely starving, like I was, keeping some snacks as well as water on your bedside table will be a life saver. Each evening, my husband made me a little nibble bowl of several different snack options so I could eat during or after a feed. He also took the opportunity to try and eat nighttime snacks when he got up to keep me company. While it was very sweet and appreciated that he was getting up with me for support, I still didn’t want to share my snacks!
A note to partners – don’t try and eat a new mom’s food. If you find yourself doing this, maybe bring up your own snacks. I’m pretty sure I smacked my husband’s hand away once or twice when he tried to eat some of my food. ;) Postpartum hormones paired with a starving breastfeeding appetite are nothing to
I’d love to hear some of your favorite easy to eat snacks for the early weeks in the comments.