We’re still nursing a sick little one, who now has conjunctivitis on top of his cold. Quite the induction to daycare! Which has meant staying close to home for most of the day in the warmth and going about things quietly. DS1 is all rugged up and snug in his off-road pram and DH has taken him for a bush walk to get some fresh air before the evening routine begins.
My home is smelling amazing – I have a leg of lamb roasting in the oven with medicinal amounts of garlic and thyme smothered over it. And I’ve finished baking a batch of new-mama cookies as we have a very new member to our circle who arrived this week. So while DS1 was napping today and set about making a care pack.
From my own experience of post-partum, I know I was so grateful for the gifts that were for my recovery. While getting a shower of baby clothes, rugs and soft toys is beautiful, I do think as a culture we should focus on the new mum just as much, if not more. She’s just done one of the most incredible, arduous and magical things a human can do…give birth to another human!
Anyhow, in my commitment to send gifts to the mother (and trust that there will be plenty of other gifts for the baby) I pottered about the garden, apothecary and kitchen today to blend up some favourite post-partum recipes.
New-Mama Cookies (Oat, Walnut & Raisin Cookies)
These cookies are an Aviva Romm recipe, with a few tweaks.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raisins or sultanas
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 180C/350F degrees. Cream butter, oil and sugar together. Beat through egg and add vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Thoroughly combine the rest of the ingredients. Spoon onto a baking paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Keep in an airtight container. Makes 36.
Post-Partum Herbal Healing Bath Salts
There are so many herbs that are beautiful at helping repair swollen, bruised tissues, prevent infection and ease discomfort. It’s also a great one for mama and baby to take a bath together as the herbs help seal off the umbilicus. In combination, I’ve got Calendula, Yarrow, Plantain and Sage, all from my garden. They’ve all gone in the dehydrator, and once nice and dry, I’ll combine them with Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender.
Jujube Date & Goji Berry Tea
I drank copious amounts of this combination (just equal parts of each herb) during my postpartum. I steep it like I would a tea, but a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner would probably advise you to simmer it on the stove. I found the taste too sweet when I did that, and also more labour intensive. So I’m happy with the ease and lovely taste of steeping a generous tablespoon in 1 cup of boiled water and allowing it to cool and then drinking. It’s helpful for building blood and keeping your heart-mind calm.
Mother’s Milk Tea
I’ve made so many different variations on this one – it’s a combination of herbal galactagogues (a very snazzy name for herbs that support lactation) and nervines (herbs that calm the nervous system, which is important for producing milk). Today’s variation is:
1 part Catnip
1 part Chamomile
1 part Melissa
2 parts Goat’s Rue
1 tablespoon per cup of water, allow steeping for 5–10 minutes. Drink 2–3 a day.