Labor & Delivery

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22 Moms Share Their First Meal After Giving Birth

Turkey sandwiches, sushi, and fast food chicken were big themes.

I will always remember the first meal I ate after giving birth. It was simple hospital food, yet I swear to God it was the most delicious meal I had ever eaten in my entire life — scrambled eggs, bacon, a bagel with cream cheese, coffee, and a bowl of blueberries. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t eaten in 30 hours. Maybe it was because the hospital food at Emory University Hospital was just that d*mn good (doubtful). I will say, however, that a mere three hours later my husband brought me a double quarter pounder with cheese, a large fry, and a large sweet tea, and that also was the best burger I had ever tasted. And we all know McDonald’s isn’t the place to get the best burger of all time. But at that moment, it was to me.

Labor will either make you the most ravenous that you’ve ever been in your entire life — that’s some hard work, y’all — or for some moms, it will make you feel sick and scared your uterus is going to fall out if you eat and then throw up. Either way, that first meal is one of legends, and most moms definitely remember it, whether it was a positive experience or not. These 22 moms reminisced about their first meals post-delivery and they share all — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the super, super gross.

1

A Massive Sandwich With All The Trimmings

"I had Subway after each of my son’s births," mom Amanda tells Romper. "I was starving, and I literally traded holding my babies to hold — and eat — the sandwiches. The one after my first child was like 10 hours old, so it wasn’t very good. My husband and mother-in-law got it when they went to lunch thinking it wouldn’t be much longer until I had the baby. The second one was awesome, though. Both times it was a footlong turkey and bacon with American cheese, lettuce, pickles, banana peppers, green peppers, and one line of regular mustard, on Italian herbs and cheese. Toasted."

2

The Extra Fancy Sushi

"I ate sushi — the rawest I could find, including clams. It was heavenly. I made my hubs get it from the bougie joint uptown. Specifically akagai — surf clam sushi. I washed it down with a Sapporo he put in a coffee cup literally one hour after they stitched up my vag," mom of two Cat tells Romper.

3

A Plate Of Soul Food

The overwhelming consensus of most post-delivery meals is that it's just the best thing you've ever had in your life. Mom Ashly agrees, telling Romper, "My in-laws brought me some soul food — stewed chicken with rice, squash and zucchini succotash, and yams. I do remember salivating over that. It was the best meal I had ever eaten."

4

A Fast Food Classic

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And the food doesn't even have to be that extra or fancy. It's just the nourishment and food endorphins you need. "I had a big chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A and a cookies and cream milkshake," Sarah tells Romper. "It was delicious, and I felt relief."

5

All Of The Forbidden Foods You Missed During Pregnancy

For many moms, that post-delivery meal is a chance to eat all the things you were missing during pregnancy. "So I was very diligent about not eating any soft cheeses during pregnancy or deli meat per guidelines, but I missed it the absolute most. My husband asked my sister-in-law to bring me the following from Trader Joe’s: Baguette, some deli turkey, and some St. Andre Triple Cream Brie," Wendy tells Romper. "I had a delirious pain killer-laden picnic in my hospital bed and it was wonderful. After that, during my three-day stay for the C-section, every time the hospital had the option of the club sandwich I always got it and devoured it — I wonder if it would taste so good now." (Probably not.)

6

That Home-Cooked Meal

Not everybody gets a super memorable post-delivery meal, but they still remember the first time something tasted amazing. "I did get fed at the hospital, and it was dinner, I believe, because my son was born in the early evening. My husband seems to remember it being some sort of spaghetti dish that wasn’t very memorable," Jennifer K. tells Romper. "However! My mom made chicken and dumplings for us when I got home and that was super delicious."

7

That's Two For Fast Food Comfort

OK, so far, fast food classics seem to be the most common. "I immediately asked for a Chick-fil-A sandwich with a large sweet tea. It felt like heaven — slurping on that sweet tea while holding all three of my babies. I asked for the same meal all three times," Holly tells Romper. Y'all. There is something about that tea.

8

There Are Also Bummer Meals

Food restrictions can go into those postpartum days, and some moms still have to abide by things like low sugar in order to keep their health in check. Still memorable, in the worst kind of way. "Mine is a bummer. My daughter was born the day before Thanksgiving and because I had gestational diabetes, they had to watch my sugar postpartum so I had bland hospital food on Thanksgiving Day," Rayden tells Romper. "So depressing. I had literal dreams about sushi the two and a half weeks I was locked away in that dingy room."

9

Another Check For A Sub

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"I had a Jimmy John's Vito Italian sandwich... all the fixins," Jennifer C. tells Romper. "Literally the best sandwich I’ve ever had! I don’t even like sandwiches that much, but after 10 months without it, it was all I wanted."

10

Indulging In Your Secret Cravings

And sometimes the food tastes so good because you no longer have to eat it in secret. Natalia tells Romper that she secretly ate raw sushi throughout pregnancy, but only in front of her husband. Rather than have someone judge her, she decided to only eat it at home with the advice of her doctor, who asked her to stay away from white fish. "My first meal I had laying in my hospital bed just hours after giving birth was a big ol’ raw sushi roll in front of people! I laughed because if they only knew I had been eating this my entire pregnancy. But it was liberating being able to eat it freely. It’s amazing how liberated you feel after pregnancy in general —you regain a sense of freedom, even if it’s just food or beer," she says. Amen.

11

A Hospital Sandwich Can Be Worth It

And sometimes it's not so much what you eat, but just that you're eating. "I gave birth at like 10:30 at night, and finally got some food a nurse had snagged for me around midnight when they moved me to the recovery floor," Danielle tells Romper. "It was a turkey sandwich with a Sprite to drink, and it was honestly the best d*mn sandwich I had ever had in my life since I hadn't had any solid food in over 24 hours. I literally moaned as I ate it."

12

A Word Of Advice About Eating Right After Delivery

"I ate takeout and almost threw up, and then I got scared that if I did throw up, I was gonna push my vagina right out of my body," Carly tells Romper. "So now I tell everyone to bring Zofran to the hospital with them."

13

When You Get To Eat All The Things You Avoided

"I ate pizza and Mike and Ikes. I had gestational diabetes, so I had not had them for two months and was craving them so much. They were amazing, especially after not eating for over 24 hours," Katherine R. tells Romper.

14

Why Not Have Two Delicious Meals

"It was either an Italian sub from Jersey Mike’s or French toast with coffee and eggs from the hospital room service. Either way they were delicious. I couldn’t eat after my C-section surgery for about a day and a half," Sydney tells Romper. I'm telling you, sometimes it's just the fact that you're eating at all that makes it memorable.

15

Sometimes You Have To Wait For A Good One

Again, your first post-delivery meal might just be memorable because it's the first... and not because it's all that great. "My first meal was something like hospital pot roast and I vomited everything up because I still had some anesthesia or whatever from my C-section," Jennifer A. tells Romper. "Then my first chosen meal was a quinoa bowl from a place across the street, which wasn’t very good. To make it up to me though, my husband took me to Sotto Sotto about a month after the baby was born, and I ordered anything and everything I wanted, plus like two bottles of wine." 'Atta girl.

16

The Chicken Biscuit No One Could Touch

Sometimes your big plans go sideways during pregnancy, including that post-birth meal. Mary tells Romper she had big plans for that first meal because she had been good at following the "don't eat" list. She wanted a Publix turkey sub or fettucine alfredo, but after a long labor and not getting to her recovery room until after 3 a.m., she could only chow down on the hospital snacks she usually hated. "But those were the best peanut butter sandwich crackers I've ever had in my life."

But for her second child, she decided she wanted a Chick-fil-A biscuit at 6:30 a.m. before an epidural was administered. "My husband was willing to get it delivered, but I insisted he should just do a quick run. He asked, 'What if you have to start pushing before I get back?' I assured him that if this baby came in the 20 minutes before he got back that we would consider it a miracle." But, you know how these stories go. She ended up hitting 8 centimeters before her husband got back, and he showed up about 5 minutes before the epidural did.

"I asked him to go get a sharpie from the nurses' station so he could put my name on the chicken biscuit and put it in the fridge, because if someone ate my chicken biscuit before I got to it after labor I was going to be mad. My son was born not terribly long after that and needed to go for some extra tests, and as I'm laying there recovering, my nurse looks at me and says, 'You want your chicken biscuit?' I didn't even want it warmed up. It was the most amazing chicken biscuit I've ever had, and I absolutely felt like I'd earned it. Afterward at some point, one of the doctors joked, 'Oh! You were the chicken biscuit lady!' I guess word had gotten around about the crazy lady who was very territorial of her chicken biscuit."

I mean, same.

17

A Burrito Bowl To Make You Cry

"I had my son at 7:30 p.m. and hadn't eaten anything since lunch. My sisters brought us my requested meal of Qdoba to the hospital for dinner around 9. I remember not noticing I was hungry until I started eating," Leslie tells Romper. "I seriously destroyed that burrito bowl! Giving birth to me felt like I had had the most intense workout of my life, and I honestly could have cried at how good the food tasted."

18

Subs Are The Clear Winner Here

Another vote for a cold deli sandwich, you guys. (Everybody remembers their first non-toasted postpartum sub.) "All I wanted was a cold Turkey sandwich," Ellen tells Romper. "I whined for one all during my pregnancy. So once my son was born, my friends purchased me a large turkey sandwich from Jersey Mike’s just the way I liked it and man, I devoured it faster than anything else I’ve eaten in my life. I hadn’t eaten in about 20 hours and it was downright amazing."

19

Special Hospital Food & A Surprise

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Living like a queen, Christina tells Romper that her hospital offered a special post-birth celebration menu, and she chose filet mignon with mashed potatoes and veggies, which was "surprisingly decent." She had been in labor for three days, and it had been two days since her last meal. "So that special dinner was my first meal post-birth. I remember it was incredible! I ate every last bite... and about 10 minutes after I finished it, I threw it all up in front of a room full of people. I was still exhausted and my body was not ready for all of that food, but I do remember I enjoyed every last bite."

20

More Forbidden Foods Please

"First meal I had after my daughter was born was a really juicy 'medium' burger from a takeout place in NYC that was close to the hospital," Kathryn O. tells Romper. "It was so delicious. I had missed eating undercooked meat the whole pregnancy and wanted a steak, but figured I should wait to eat that until I got home — my husband cooks a sublime cast-iron steak and I didn’t trust a takeout place to get it right for my first medium rare steak in nine months. I’m pretty sure that was my second meal."

21

A Flavor Bomb

"My family brought Taqueria del Sol after my first was born and it was the best! Something about having such a tasty flavor bomb brought me back to life after the exhaustion of labor," Jen M. tells Romper. "We go there every year on his birthday now because it was such a good memory. With my second son, it was during the COVID-era and we couldn't have visitors, so it was such a letdown to have to just eat the hospital food. I wanted my food reward!"

22

A Meal To Replenish Your Energy

"I ordered a steak meal with baked potato and salad after each delivery. I wanted something very hearty. I felt so worn out and like I had ran a marathon so I needed something with a lot of iron," Jennie R. tells Romper, and I agree. Girl, you basically did a marathon.