8 Things No One Will Tell You About That First Postpartum Meal, But I Will

Ad failed to load

On the long, long list of things I was thinking about when it came to giving birth, “What I will eat after the baby arrives?” was not high on the list. In fact, I don’t remember thinking about it at all until after my son was born and enough time had passed (an hour or two, maybe?) that I was able to form semi-complete thoughts. So, allow me to share some things no one tells you about your postpartum meal, in case you are ahead of me and already thinking about it. Or, in case you’re not, but just now realizing that it’s kind of a thing (and a big deal, if I do say so myself).

In my case, some of my family members went to the fresh Mexican chain restaurant across the street from the hospital (which also happens to be one of my favorites) and got a whole spread that was shared between me, my spouse, and the new grandparents, who’d all been hanging out at the hospital for a few hours. It was glorious. What was especially great about that meal was that one of the nurses joked that she always knew which rooms had new babies because she could smell their food.

Based on what other moms have said about their own postpartum meals, and my own experience, I think the following is also true:

Ad failed to load

Forget Every Other Meal You’ve Ever Had In Your Life. This Will Be The Most Amazing.


The dinner you enjoyed on vacation with your family five years ago? Nope. Your wedding meal? That's a false. Someone else’s wedding meal at that super-expensive venue? I don't think so. Your favorite food, prepared by a loved one? Not even close, my friend. Whatever you eat from that bed in that labor and delivery room (or recovery room, depending) is going to be tops.

You May Or May Not Be Limited To Hospital Food (If You Give Birth In A Hospital)


Depending on hours and location and varying hospital policies that I’m not even aware of, I imagine the type of food you have access to could be pretty limited. Not to fear if you find yourself with only hospital cafeteria food to choose from, I’ve seen plenty of women say that it still did the trick.

Your Loved Ones Will Probably Pass By Lots Of Grocery Stores And Restaurants On Their Way To See You. Just Saying.


Not only that, but I’ve heard people like bringing things to new moms and new babies and that they like to feel helpful. I mean, in my own life, I brought my friend some carbonated water on her wedding day to help soothe her stomach, and it made me feel involved, which is a special, awesome feeling. If I should find myself in need of food after my next delivery, I would not hesitate to ask someone to bring me some.

Ad failed to load

Excitement May Affect Your Appetite...


I didn't eat nearly as much of the meal as I thought I was going to because my exhaustion and my excitement were combining to make my stomach feel pretty jumpy.

...Actually, A Whole Lot Of Feelings May Affect Your Appetite


OK, this is going to give away the fact that I have zero chill, but you guys, the fact is that it’s hard to focus on eating when your life has completely changed (and your body feels like it’s turned itself inside out even if it's been 20 (more or less) hours since you’ve last eaten.

It May Not Even Matter What You’re Eating


I would imagine that a few people reading this might think, “Ugh, take-out from a chain fast food restaurant? No, thanks,” which is totally fine and my feelings aren’t hurt. If I’m going to be completely honest, it's not my first choice for a special occasion meal, either.

Still, in that moment? It was absolutely perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Ad failed to load

It Probably Won’t Matter What Time Of Day It Is


My own son was born in the early afternoon so I found myself eating a late lunch/early dinner, which really isn’t that strange. However, I wanted to give a shout-out to women whose babies were born in the middle of the night and had limited options. I see you.

You Have Permission To Indulge


I’m already excited for the birth of my second child for many reasons, including the tacos. You probably already know this, but just in case it helps to hear it again: you just carried a baby for 40 or so weeks. You just birthed a baby for what may have taken hours and hours of excruciating pain. You should be welcome to eat whatever you want, and as much of it as you want, full stop.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills