Bliss Baby Yoga Senior Course Facilitator, Mari Notaras, shares a nourishing chicken soup recipe for new mums.
“Birth was a time of honor for most tribal mothers. A woman in childbirth was treated with the same respect as a man in battle. In fact, in the tribal mind, there was a metaphysical equation between the two acts.”
– Judith Goldsmith, ‘Childbirth Wisdom’
Practices around the transition of a woman back into her community and family after childbirth vary around the world. Some cultures keep the woman and her baby isolated from society where she is cared for, bathed, massaged and pampered for weeks. For others, the extreme opposite occurs and often in our modern medicalised birth culture, women are expected to return back to their duties with limited care or help – often in isolation. A woman’s ability to integrate her birth experience and adapt to her new role as a mother as well as her physical recovery is often compromised.
Family and friends may have good intentions of supporting the new mother during this transition time, but frequently the woman can feel overwhelmed by the endless visitors and calls of good will in those early days.
Essentially, new mums need to be taken care of. They need to feel safe and secure so they can do the most important thing in the world, care for their new baby. The reassuring message that we can send to these new mothers is to encourage them to practice the art of receiving care.
One way we can help a new mother with this transition is to nourish her.
By the time a mother has juggled taking care of her newborn, completed basic chores and various household and personal tasks, the preparation of meals may be at the bottom of her priorities and she may take unhealthy shortcuts.
Eating well is essential to producing adequate breast milk and for her overall sense of well-being. One of the easiest and most delicious foods that can support the nourishment of a new mother is Chicken Soup prepared with homemade healing broth.
You’ve probably heard about how good bone broth is for you. Traditional, slow cooked broth (or stock) contains many minerals in a form that the body can easily absorb. The gelatine in the broth protects and heals the lining of the digestive tract, and is very high in amino acids like glycine, which are anti-inflammatory and calming. The most beautiful thing about broth is the fact that it is so easily assimilated in the body —the body naturally absorbs all the goodness found in broth without working to absorb it. Broth contains loads of blood-building properties to restore the blood and fluid during childbirth. The broth contains minerals and nutrients to strengthen the body and it is deeply hydrating for breastfeeding and the extra fluid intake for breast milk production. The cartilage found in broth helps with strengthening the bones and supporting tendons and joints postpartum. This is great news for a postnatal mother who has literally given most of herself to form the baby and now has to nourish baby through breastfeeding.
Postnatal Nourishing Chicken Soup Recipe
Slow cooked broth ingredients:
- 1 fresh organic whole chicken
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbsp. of raw organic apple cider vinegar
- 3 – 4L of filtered water
- Place the whole chicken in a slow cooker.
- Add the vegetables, cover with filtered water and add the apple cider vinegar.
- Cover and cook on high for four hours (depending on size of the chicken).
- Add the parsley for the final hour or so of cooking.
- Strain the broth to use for the soup below.
- Place aside the poached chicken and shred or cut the meat off the bones.
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 2 red potatoes or 1 small sweet potato, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 fresh corn on the cobs
- 2 Tbsp Ghee (Oil of Milk – Ayurvedic food that strengthens and aids digestion) or olive oil
- 1 tsp. Himalayan Pink salt (rich in mineral content)
- Meat from the poached chicken (ideally, diced)
- 4 – 6 cups of chicken broth
- 1 Tsp. Organic Dulse Flakes (optional – excellent sournce of Vitamin A, B’s, magnesium and zinc)
- Black pepper and Italian parsley (for garnish)
- In a large soup pot, heat the ghee or olive oil on medium and sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery for 3-5 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
- Add the potatoes, corn, chicken, salt and pepper, dulse flakes and parsley. Stir well.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes.