5 Ayurvedic Postpartum Recipes to Balance Your Body
According to Ayurveda, the body has three different doshas—vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (water and earth). When we’re healthy and feeling good, these doshas are in balance. Imbalanced doshas make us feel tired, sluggish, and out-of-sorts.
This is why Ayurveda is needed in the postpartum period. During childbirth, vata becomes dominant, while kapha and pitta are depleted. An ayurvedic postpartum diet can restore equilibrium to the body.
I asked my postpartum doula, Claudia Lizzani, to share some of the Ayurvedic postpartum recipes she made for me as I recovered from childbirth. If family and friends are asking what they can do to support you as a new mama, print these recipes and ask them to cook for you. (While they’re over, they could totally wash some dishes or do a load of laundry for you too—don’t ever be too proud to accept help when it’s offered. It takes a village, as they say.)
Sweet Nepali Rice Pudding
An easy-to-digest and nutritious rice porridge, adapted from Julia Jones’s Nourishing Newborn Mothers. Claudia says, “The pudding aids digestion, has instantly accessible energy, and builds blood. Serve all day, as often as you enjoy it, for the first few days after the birth. This is a wonderful food for friends and family to bring you in hospital in a thermos.”
3 cups water
½ cup basmati rice
¼ cup ghee
¼ tsp jaggery or Sucanat
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
⅔ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
⅛ tsp Countertop Chai spices
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 cup plant-based milk
- Wash rice under running water until water is clear. In a medium saucepan bring water and rice to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until it begins to thicken, about 30 minutes.
- Add jaggery, spices, ghee, and salt; stir and continue cooking. If porridge is too thick you might need to add 1 cup of water at this point.
- Continue to cook slowly, stirring when needed; when porridge has a gelatinous consistency add milk. Cook a few more minutes to thicken, then serve warm with extra ghee and jaggery or with a couple of dates.
Mama’s Golden Milk
Claudia adapted this nourishing sweet drink from Julie Bernier’s Postpartum Elixir Recipe. She says, “The sweetness of dates is sattvic or peaceful, unlike white sugar which is rajasic or active. Nutmeg helps you sleep, so this drink makes a lovely part of a bedtime routine when taken an hour or two after dinner. This is a sweet high-energy drink, designed to keep you going through long nights of breastfeeding, but you can use fewer dates if you prefer. Fruit and milk are considered hard to digest together, so are usually eaten separately. This is the exception to the rule because dried dates and milk have exactly the same taste at all stages of digestion.”
1 cup almond milk
2 pitted dates
1 tsp ghee
Pinch of nutmeg
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp fresh grated ginger (⅛ tsp if using dry ginger)
2-3 strands saffron
- Combine spices (without the saffron) and ghee in a small saucepan and cook for 2 minutes until the spices release their aroma.
- Add the milk and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 minute, add saffron and turn heat off.
- Add dates and blend in a blender until smooth.
- Drink warm, as many servings as you desire.
Dates Soaked in Ghee
10 pitted dried dates
1 cup ghee
1 tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of saffron
- Place dates in a mason jar.
- Melt ghee over low heat until liquid—do not boil!
- Add spices to ghee and stir.
- Pour ghee over dates and let it cool to room temperature.
- Close jar and store in a warm place for 1 week.
A delicious and nourishing soup adapted from the traditional Italian stracciatella (a bone broth soup with egg and Parmesan cheese), served during the first 40 days.
1 cup organic grass-fed bone broth
Pinch of turmeric
½ tsp fresh grated ginger (¼ tsp if using dry ginger)
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ghee
2-3 strands saffron
- Combine spices (without the saffron) and bone broth in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add saffron and turn heat off.
- Add egg and ghee and blend in a blender until smooth.
- Add a pinch of salt and drink warm.
Claudia says, “This warm, thick prune water is a healthy and homemade version to stool softener. Only drink the water; do not eat the prunes because they will increase air.”
2 cups water
- In a small sauce bring water and prunes to low boiling. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain prune water, discard prunes, and drink the juice.
- Drink half a cup warm every day to regulate bowel movements.