We’re a month and a half (a little over!) into having a newborn and things are becoming more predictable. That’s my favorite word that Steve used to describe what it’s like right now. We don’t want to say “routine” and jinx ourselves! Little Man or LP as we call him (or Linc, baby boy, or the million other nicknames we have) is doing well, sleeping longer stretches overnight and nursing is going much better.
We’re just nursing and no longer needing to supplement with formula and I’ve found out how hungry you can get while nursing. I’ve also watched both Steve and I try to hold Lincoln in one arm and eat in the other. I never knew I could eat left handed! But before I get into that, I want to make one thing clear. Breastfeeding is hard. It’s rewarding, sure, and I’m glad that I’m doing it now…but in the beginning I wanted to quit. I felt like it was an all-or-nothing type of thing that if you messed it up once your boobs would dry up immediately.
I also want anyone out there reading this to know that it is okay not to breast feed. No matter what, all that matters is baby is being fed (ALL ways are fine). There is so much shame in a lot of the messaging that states, “breast is best.” I think that phrase is potentially a leading factor in why moms start motherhood with guilt. There’s already enough stress and questioning going on in a new mom’s head, no one should be made to feel guilty if they choose not to breastfeed. I’m here for all mamas no matter how they feed their littles.
New baby? Are you having lots of guests come over?
Okay, this post was meant to be about the hunger you get while nursing and what snacks are helpful to have on hand…but I have one more piece of advice for you. People want to help, bring food and visit. If you struggle with asking for help in the moment (as I do) making a list can be really…for lack of a better word, helpful! Write down chores or tasks around the house that would be helpful, favorite take-out places, snacks (see my suggestions below!) or meals you both like. Be sure to include any allergies or strong food dislikes. We haven’t had a lot of visitors due to the pandemic, but I know having a parade of people coming to meet the baby is more the “norm.”
Accepting help from our family and friends made (and continues to make) all the difference our first few weeks. Having food made and ready to go or having friends order us take out gave us a ton of relief. What also helped us was having lots of snacks and things ready to go. This was especially helpful for me when I’d be nursing all night and needing to eat right alongside with Lincoln!
I also recommend prepping your night time snacks ahead of time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to nurse Lincoln and realized my snack was in the other room or impossible to open one handed. Often, I will cut an apple or peel a clementine before I go to get my longest stretch of sleep (insert a prayer here for more sleep hehe) so that it’s ready when I wake up.
Here’s what has been great for our first two months with baby:
- Make muffins ahead of time and freeze.
- Energy bites! Also can be made ahead and frozen. I take about 10 bites out of the freezer each week. Try any one of these recipes
- Other snacks to have on hand that you don’t have to make:
- Cheese sticks
- Yogurts/drinkable yogurt
- Granola or protein bars
- Dried fruit (try to find low or no added sugar)
- Fresh produce
- Hardboiled eggs
- Peanut / almond / any kind of nut butter
- Oatmeal – one of the foods that is said to naturally help boost breast milk supply
- Trail mix
- Cereal / make your own trail mix – I love those oatmeal square cereals
If you have followed me for a while you’ll know I often recommend having at least two food groups at once for a snack. It helps it feel more filling and you’ll be satiated for a longer amount of time. Protein is especially important to include in your meals and snacks to help you recover from childbirth and keep you fueled while breastfeeding.
One last thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re nursing, have water with you at all times. That means filling it up before you go to sleep (for a few hours or more I hope!) so that you don’t sit down, start nursing and realize you’re parched. I must have asked Steve for more water about a million times during Lincoln’s birth and I continue to ask him to fill my water bottle all the time.
Did I miss any of your favorite snacks? I lived on figbars from Sam’s Club for the first few weeks. I hope this list is helpful for you as a new or seasoned parent.