Food as Gifts for Expectant Parents

My baby’s impending birth has me thinking of those early days with our oldest child.  Even though everyone told me about the exhaustion I would experience, my husband and I were truly humbled by the fatigue we faced in those first few weeks.

The only thing that kept us going was food, provided by friends and family who knew more than we did about having a newborn baby.  I was amazed how much I needed to eat to keep up with nursing demands and also astonished by the immense challenge of showering, getting dressed or leaving the house, let alone shopping for groceries.  Cooking seemed entirely impossible. 

Luckily my mom loaded us up with fresh fruit, ready-made meals, and hand-held snacks that I could grab while nursing at 2 a.m.  Now, whenever a friend or family member is having a baby, I prepare food for them with or without being asked. 

So, if you’re expecting a baby, go ahead and ask for meals before your little one arrives.  Also, you might want to freeze some casseroles for future use.  If you know someone who will have a newborn, don’t hesitate to volunteer a meal or even set up a meal delivery schedule for them by contacting their family and friends. 

Did you have a similar experience in your first few weeks with baby?  How did you manage to stay fed?  Some of you may be far more resourceful and organized than we were!  

Comments

  1. Our former church has meal sign-ups for families welcoming little ones into their lives. Of course we got pregnant after we moved :(. Our neighbors provided a weeks worth of meals after we brought our DD home. It was wonderful! I was having a hard enough time adjusting to motherhood and all that entails. Having those meals provided was such a blessing! I also cooked meals before she was born and froze them. That saved us many nights from the temptation to eat out.

  2. I never asked if she followed through on this, but one of my friends who had her first child last year asked everyone to bring a recipe to the baby shower for casserole-type dishes she could prepare and freeze in the weeks before the baby came.

    I relied on takeout and frozen entrees a LOT those first few weeks. Also protein bars. Since I was recovering from a Ceasarean and was supposed to limit my use of stairs (and live in a typical bedrooms upstairs, kitchen downstairs house), my husband brought me breakfast in bed many days (he didn’t have to work for the first six weeks–that was a huge help as we have no family in town).

    Now, when visiting friends with newborns, I try to bring some healthy muffins for mom to snack on especially during night-time feedings.

  3. I think this is a great idea and it should be done for all new families!

    My LLL group was really great for me – I’d started attending my group while pregnant and after my baby was born we were brought quite a few meals. I really appreciated that.

    I also did a huge freezer cooking session before my baby was born and ended up putting about 40 entrees in my freezer. I wrote a big blog post on it here: http://blog.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/freezer-cooking-for-postpartum/

    My hubby thought I was going overboard with it but it was so incredibly helpful after he went back to work – I didn’t have worry about preparing any dishes for a few weeks!

  4. I was so thankful for the few folks who did this for me. For the second baby that was all I really wanted people to give. 😉

  5. I had a handful of people who offered to do this for me and it was wonderful. Due to some circumstances we ended up with a lot of pizza, but it wasn’t so bad. And thankfully my husband was much less tired than I and is good in the kitchen. I now do the same thing for people who just had babies. I try and ask them before they have their baby about it to get some ideas of foods they like.

  6. My church has a ministry where if someone has a baby or surgery, they provide meals for that family for a week after they get home from the hospital. This ministry was such a blessing for us (it helped us survive!), that now we make meals for everyone we know who has a baby, especially those who don’t go to church and therefore don’t have the opportunity to be ministered to in this way. When someone has a death in their close family, we do the same thing, we bring them meals. It was a HUGE blessing for us, and we want other people to experience what we experienced, so it is now our family ministry!

  7. My church family excels at serving new parents by providing meals. So many friends and families are eager to serve a new family in this way. A great resource for coordination of this kind of endeavor is http://www.foodtidings.com.

  8. Just another website to help coordinate getting meals to people in need… very cool and handy, makes things much easier for the coordinator.

    As a mom of 2 under 3… food is HUGE – even if you are far from the new parents you’d like to help, send them a gift card for take and bake pizza or something… anything! 🙂

  9. karalee says:

    oops… try this – http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com

  10. This is such a good idea. I WISH i had received food to sustain us. Those first few weeks i was starving for food but to tired to cook. We ate a lot of take out which did not help our budget.

  11. There is a fabulous meal-planning website I highly recommend for anyone organizing this type of thing.

    http://www.takethemameal.com

    Check it out! Way easier than the 200-email chain.

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