Chinese Medicine has a long tradition of supporting new parents with acupuncture, herbs, and nourishing foods.
One of the things I recommend to all of the expectant parents in my practice is to stock their freezers with homemade broth and soups to support postpartum healing.
In Chinese Medicine, chicken broth is considered the best healing food for new parents. Broth is easily digested medicine that is full of blood-building properties to restore the blood and fluid lost in giving birth. The broth contains minerals and nutrients to strengthen the body and it is deeply hydrating for breastfeeding moms who require extra fluid intake for breastmilk production.
Bone broth is different than chicken soup because it’s cooked much longer to extract all of the minerals and marrow from the bones. We add some vinegar to further extract the minerals. You can use bone broth as a base to easily make soups. And, although chicken broth is a specific recommendation for post-partum support, you can also make broth with beef, pork, lamb and fish bones.
In Chinese Medicine, we recommend for new parents to drink bone broth daily for at least the first month postpartum.
(And there’s no reason to stop after a month either. In fact, bone broth is a nutritious food for everyone. It’s the number one food I recommend to my patients for all kinds of healing and health support.)
I recommend at least one cup of bone broth per day. You can sip on it with a pinch of sea salt. And you can cook it into soups and stews, grains and beans. Some wonderful soups and stews that easily freeze are beef stew, chicken soup, butternut squash soup, and various vegetable soups.
Many new families find that they are too busy with their little ones to cook, so making and freezing soups and stews ahead of time is a wonderful way to be prepared for this busy time. Another recommendation is to reach out to friends and loved ones by having them contribute nourishing foods to support new families while their attention is focused on caring for their babies..
It’s amazing how good new parents feel when they drink soup and broth – many of my patients report feeling revived, nourished, and comforted with drinking broth.
Here’s my recipe: Traditional Bone Broths for Healing.