vegan-postpartum-meal
  • Alyssa Fontaine, RD
  • Mar 22, 2024

Vegan postpartum meals 

You might be in the late stages of pregnancy, thinking about how to prepare for the period after childbirth. 

Over the course of nine months, women usually carefully monitor their dietary choices, lifestyle, vitamin intake, physical activity, attend medical check-ups, and consult with healthcare professionals. All in an effort to ensure the health of their future baby. 

They dedicate time to plan for the actual delivery, yet often overlook the postpartum phase.   

Upon returning home with your newborn baby, you are usually filled with emotions and excitement about embarking on a new life with your child and family. 

However, the reality can be quite challenging. Your body is typically fatigued and drained from the birthing process. You may find yourself with low energy and motivation for everyday tasks. 

In addition to caring for your newborn, a host of new challenges may emerge, including:

  • Household chores 
  • Caring for other children 
  • Managing your relationship with your partner 
  • Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding 
  • Dealing with neighbors and relatives

These added responsibilities can easily become overwhelming and may contribute to the postpartum depression, which is a common experience among new moms.

Proactively planning for the postpartum period can alleviate some of the burden and allow you to focus on caring for your baby and building a connection while also sitting aside time for yourself.

Being a new mom presents a set of nutritional challenges that can leave you with several questions: What are my dietary requirements post-birth? What should my diet as a vegan new mom consist of? How do I maintain my health while caring for a newborn? And how can I shed the pregnancy weight? 

This blog aims to provide you with insights to help you plan your postpartum meal plan, making your life after delivery more manageable.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and short in time to plan for your postpartum nutrition, you start by booking a free discovery call with one of our plant-based pregnancy and lactation dietitians. 

What vegan foods are good for postpartum?

It is crucial for vegan new moms to maintain a well-balanced vegan diet that ensures they receive all the necessary nutrients to support their overall health and sustain their energy levels.

Your postpartum vegan meal plan should be balanced and nourishing. 

Nutrition for vegan new mothers  

Good nutrition is critical during the postpartum period as it is during pregnancy. 

In case you are wondering whether you could be vegan while pregnant or breastfeeding, a well-planned balanced vegan diet could provide you adequate nutrition during different stages of life including pregnancy and postpartum period. 

When referring to a well-planned, nutritious, and balanced vegan diet, we are describing a dietary approach characterized by: 

A variety of plant-based food sources: 

Your postpartum vegan meals shouldn’t be restrictive. Instead, aim to include a wide variety of foods from each of the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins including legumes (lentils, beans, peas) and soy-based foods, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. 

Whole foods instead of processed ones:

Whole plant-based foods are nutrient dense. They are packed with many nutrients that are needed for the body to thrive and be in good health. When in the postpartum phase, your body will need to be nourished to recover, have energy, and produce enough milk for your newborn if you are breastfeeding. 

Including a variety of whole foods into your vegan postpartum meals will ensure you an adequate supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

By limiting processed foods, you are limiting empty-calorie foods that are not beneficial for one’s health and could be loaded with added sugars or salts.  

Healthy fats:

Healthy fats are essential to ensure the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K), and provide your body with energy and essential fats like omega 3 and 6. 

Try to limit or avoid tropical oils like coconut and palm oil when planning your vegan postpartum meals. 

Postpartum multivitamin and supplement intake

It’s recommended to continue taking the multivitamin or supplement you were taking during pregnancy after giving birth while breastfeeding. 

Continue taking the prenatal multivitamin or the individual supplements during lactation or at least for 4-6 weeks after giving birth

Plant-Based pregnancy & lactation dietitians could help determine your vitamins and minerals requirements and choose the best supplements that work best for your individualized needs. 

What not to eat right after giving birth? 

Vegan new mothers should pay close attention to the consumption of the following foods or substances. 

Junk food/ processed food/ soft drinks 

As mentioned previously, empty calorie foods like junk food and soft drinks are high in calories, sugar, salt, and fat, while being low in vitamins, minerals, and important nutrients. 

The recommendation is not to avoid them completely, but to limit these options to avoid excess weight gain during the postpartum period. 

In addition, the substitution of whole foods for junk foods will help you have the energy you need to care for your newborn. 

Alcohol 

Consuming alcohol while breastfeeding can potentially have adverse effects on breast milk. 

Alcohol ingested by the mother can pass into her breast milk and impact the infant. Furthermore, alcohol consumption may disrupt the production, volume, and release of breast milk. 

The most prudent advice for new mothers who are breastfeeding is to abstain from alcohol. However, if you are considering consuming alcohol in small quantities, it is essential to consult with your doctor or plant-based registered dietitians to ensure safe consumption to the greatest extent possible.

Caffeine 

During breastfeeding, it is advisable to moderate your caffeine consumption. Excessive caffeine intake can potentially affect infants by causing increased irritability and making it difficult for them to fall asleep. 

Nicotine

It is strongly discouraged to smoke while breastfeeding. Nicotine can pass to infants through breast milk, potentially leading to infections, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased irritability. 

If you decide to smoke, it is crucial to consult with your physician to ensure you take measures to prevent any harm to your infant.

What are the best meals for postpartum moms?

As previously discussed, maintaining a healthy diet post-delivery is of utmost importance. Nevertheless, we understand that putting this into practice can be more challenging than it sounds.

As you strive to provide the best care for your newborn, it’s easy to unintentionally overlook your own well-being. 

The thought of planning nutritious vegan meals, grocery shopping, and meal preparation can be demanding in terms of time and energy. 

Vegan freezer meals for new moms are a good idea to make sure you are still eating healthy without spending so much time every day to achieve this goal. 

Plant-based vegan dietitians and nutritionists could provide you with all needed support and guidance to build well-balanced and nutritious postpartum vegan meal plans ahead of time. 

How many freezer meals should I make for postpartum?

While the first 6-8 weeks after birth are reported to be the hardest weeks for new moms, it could be hard to prepare enough meals to cover that period entirely. Therefore, we recommend preparing at least enough meals for the first 2-4 weeks after delivery. 

When thinking about the number of freezer meals to prepare for your postpartum period, consider the following factors:

Freezer capacity 

Since every household is unique, the capacity of your freezer can serve as a helpful guide for determining the number of freezer meals you can prepare. Keep in mind that freezer meals can typically remain good for consumption for approximately 3 months. However, it’s also wise not to prepare more meals than your freezer can accommodate comfortably.

Support from family and neighbors 

If you’re aware that family members or neighbors will be supplying meals after your delivery, you may find that you don’t need to prepare as many vegan freezer meals.

Time before birth 

The amount of time you have before your due date can also serve as a useful guideline when deciding how many freezer meals to prepare. Make the most of the time you have available. 

If you find yourself with limited time but still wish to stock up on freezer meals for your postpartum period, consider searching for quick-to-prepare vegan freezer meal options.

When should I make postpartum meals?

Given the potential shortage of time and energy after giving birth, we highly recommend preparing your postpartum vegan freezer meals in advance. 

One convenient time to do this is during the last four weeks of pregnancy, allowing you to store them in the freezer for easy access later.

What should I stock my freezer with before baby?

To get started with preparing your postpartum vegan freezer meals, here’s a two-step approach:

Meal Selection and Preparation:

Begin by deciding which meals you’d like to prepare for your postpartum period. These meals should be both nutritious and satisfying for you.

Consider your favorite vegan dishes and explore additional recipes that pique your interest. You can also use the recipes we provide below as a starting point.

Make batches of each selected meal to ensure you have a variety to choose from.

Freezing Methods and Organization:

Familiarize yourself with the freezing methods and equipment suitable for different types of foods. Simplicity is key.

Use freezer bags or containers to store the meals you’ve prepared. Make sure they are airtight to prevent freezer burn.

Label each container with the name of the recipe, the date it was made, and any important defrosting instructions you might need later. This will help you keep track of what’s in your freezer and how to prepare each meal when needed.

Vegan freezer meals for new moms 

The recipes are conveniently categorized by mealtime – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, each offering a variety of options. By selecting dishes from each category, you can easily create a balanced 5-day vegan postpartum meal plan. 

To ensure you have a sufficient supply of meals for your postpartum period, consider making 6-10 servings of each recipe and freezing them. This preparation will provide you with meals to cover your needs for 4-6 weeks following delivery, offering both convenience and nutrition during this crucial time.

Breakfast – vegan freezer meals for new moms

  1.  Peanut butter banana breakfast oatmeal bars (175 calories, 6g protein)
  1. Southwest vegan breakfast burrito (247 calories, 13 g of protein)

This recipe includes black beans and tofu as rich protein plant-based sources. Nutritional yeast is another interesting ingredient since it’s a good vitamin B12 plant-based source for vegans. 

This recipe yields approximately 6 burritos, but you have the flexibility to increase the ingredient quantities to make as much burritos as you want. This larger batch can provide you with convenient breakfasts, quick lunches, or snacks throughout your postpartum period.

  1. Fluffy Vegan Pancakes (397 calories, 10.6g protein)

Each serving of this recipe includes 3 pancakes. If you specify the number of servings you desire, the website will calculate the required quantities for each ingredient accordingly. 

These pancakes can be safely frozen for up to 2 months. For precise freezing instructions, you can refer to the details provided on the website. This makes it convenient to prepare a batch tailored to your needs and have them readily available during your postpartum period.

  1. Fabulously Healthy Buckwheat Pancakes (396 calories, 13.3g protein)

This is another pancakes recipe that is a bit higher in protein. These pancakes recipe include ground flaxseeds that are considered an excellent source of omega 3. 

  1. Hashbrown casserole (361 calories, 9.3g protein)

This casserole is not only simple to prepare but can also fulfill your cravings as a vegan new mom. Additionally, it can be frozen and stored for 3-4 months, ensuring you have a satisfying and convenient meal option available during your postpartum period.

Lunch – vegan freezer meals for new moms 

  1. Vegan Chili Sin Carne (437 calories, 20 g protein)

This is a nutrient dense recipe including beans, chickpeas, and a variety of different vegetables like zucchinis, tomatoes, bell peppers and carrots. You can customize it by adding your favorite vegetables to the recipe. 

This recipe only requires 10 min of preparation and could make up to 4 servings. Feel free to adjust the recipe by doubling, tripling, or preparing as many servings as you need, and then freeze them for later use.

  1. Freezer Friendly Homemade Vegan Veggie Burgers (195 calories, 7.4g protein)

These vegan burgers are crafted from a mix of vegetables, seeds, and chickpeas. Since they don’t require much freezer space, you can prepare as many patties as you desire. This ensures you have a convenient and nutritious option readily available to support you during your postpartum phase.

  1. Mind-blowing vegan mac and cheese (250 calories, 10g protein)

Nutritional yeast, one of the main ingredients of this recipe, is one of the few sources of vitamin B12 in a vegan diet. 

  1. Black beans and rice (260 calories, 10.5g protein)

This dish is abundant in protein and a variety of vegetables. Feel free to select the vegetables that you enjoy the most to tailor it to your taste preferences. This customization ensures the dish is appealing and satisfying for you during your postpartum period.

  1. Vegan shepherd’s pie (582 calories, 17.3 g protein)

While this recipe may require slightly more preparation time compared to others, it can still be completed in under an hour. The time-consuming aspect is often in preparing the mashed potatoes. 

If you opt to make a larger batch of mashed potatoes in advance, it can significantly speed up the process of assembling the casserole when you decide to prepare it. 

Dinner – vegan freezer meals for new moms 

  1. The Best Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup (319 calories, 10.8g protein)

Lentils serve as an excellent source of vegan protein in this recipe, complemented by an array of vegetables and potatoes. You can extend the shelf life of this dish by freezing it for up to 3 months. Detailed instructions on how to freeze the recipe correctly can be found in a dedicated section on the webpage. 

  1. Vegan enchiladas with pumpkin and black beans (534 calories, 18g protein)

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, making it convenient for you to whip up a batch without investing too much time. You can serve this dish with rice or explore other serving suggestions as outlined in the recipe. This versatility allows you to tailor it to your preferences and dietary needs.

  1. The best vegan lasagna (497 calories, 25g protein)

Lasagna is a comforting and satisfying dish, making it an excellent choice for the postpartum period. This recipe is not only delicious but also packed with protein and a variety of beneficial nutrients, making it a nourishing option during this time.

  1. Split pea pesto stuffed shells (82 calories, 6g protein)

This comforting dinner could be a great option for a vegan postpartum meal. Green split peas are a good plant-based protein source. 

  1. Vegan meatballs (173 calories, 5g protein)

These vegan meatballs are easy and quick to prepare. You also have the flexibility to make as many as you desire and freeze them either raw or cooked, following the instructions in the recipe. When it comes to serving, pairing them with freshly cooked pasta can be a convenient and straightforward option, especially for new moms.

Snacks – vegan freezer meals for new moms

  1. One-Bowl Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cookies (166 calories, 5.2g protein)

These vegan freezable cookies recipe include healthy fats like chia seeds and ground flaxseeds. These seeds are excellent vegan sources of omega 3.  

  1. Almond Butter Protein Bites (510 calories, 21g protein)

These energy protein-rich bites also provide you with omega 3. No cooking is required, and you can make as many as you want and freeze it for later. 

  1. One-Bowl Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins (190 calories, 3.5g protein)

These easy-to-make vegan delicious muffins could last in the freezer for 2 months making it perfect for postpartum busy moms. 

  1. Orange High-Energy Oat Bars (450 calories, 12.6g protein)

Another easy-to-make snack that could be stored in the freezer for 2 months for postpartum time. 

  1. Vegan Blondies with Blueberry (225 calories, 5g protein)

How to lose weight after pregnancy?

As a new mom, you may be worried about weight loss now that you gave birth to your baby. It’s important to not starve yourself or go on very restrictive vegan diets for the goal of shedding the extra weight you gained during pregnancy. 

During the postpartum period, your body is still healing and needs adequate nutrition to recover properly. In addition, nutrition restriction could impact the quantity of breast milk your body produces.  

Opting for vegan freezer meals can be beneficial for a new mother in gradually shedding post-pregnancy weight. This is because, as a new mom, you’ll be properly nourished. 

This will reduce the likelihood of turning to fast-food and processed options that may be high in sugar, unhealthy fats, or sodium, and can lead to overeating.

How much weight loss post pregnancy?

It’s recommended to be patient and not try to lose so much weight in a short amount of time. A gradual weight loss of about half a kilogram (around 1 pound) per week is considered healthy and will not impact breast milk production. 

Plant-based weight loss dietitians could help you achieve your goal in a healthy way. 

Do you feel like you need more support with your vegan diet, postpartum meal planning, or infant feeding? Contact our team and book a free discovery call.

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