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Can You Eat Right After Giving Birth?

The First Thing I Did After Giving Birth Was Not What I Expected, but OMG, Was It Amazing

After women endure the marathon of labor and delivery, some of us tend to do some unusual things. Whether it's checking our phones, taking a long, hot shower, going right to sleep, or doing our hair and makeup to feel somewhat human again, no ask is weird or bad. We did just perform a miracle, for crying out loud, so whatever it is we choose to do, get us a break. For me, after I labored for two straight days, all I wanted to do was eat . . . a LOT.

Shouldn't hospitals have indulgent, five-star meals for women who just pushed a human out of their vaginas? Didn't I deserve the best?

The labor of my daughter seemed to never end. I remember my midwife telling me, "Angela, no one has been pregnant forever." I didn't believe her. I pushed for three-and-a-half hours until I finally had my beautiful baby girl laying on my chest. We sat together in euphoria, me stroking her thick black hair. And after those first glorious moments of bonding, the nurses stitched and cleaned my daughter and I up. Once things finally quieted down in the room, my nurse asked me, "Can I get you something to eat?" To be honest, eating hadn't even occurred to me. I had a terrible case of dry-heaving during labor, and now I was so distracted by what I had just created that food was pushed to the back of my mind. But when I finally thought about it (and realized how freakin' hungry I actually was), the heavens opened and a light shined down on my nurse. She was my actual angel.

"Hell, yes," I said. My daughter was born at 3:30 a.m., so the downstairs cafeteria and restaurants weren't open. "Because it's the middle of the night, all we have are some sub sandwiches in our refrigerator. How does that sound?" she asked. "Sounds like perfection," I told her.

Honestly, the turkey sandwich and small bag of potato chips she brought me soon after didn't look that great, and I'll admit I was a little disappointed. Shouldn't hospitals have indulgent, five-star meals for women who just pushed a human out of their vaginas? Didn't I deserve the best? But I quickly realized that no, there was no after-labor prize meal. But I graciously accepted the food and inhaled it in about 20 seconds. Despite not looking like anything special, it was the most delicious sandwich and bag of chips I'd ever had. But I was still hungry. I mean, I hadn't eaten in days.

"Um, can I have another one?" I asked. The nurse laughed and said, "Absolutely!" She strolled in and brought me another sandwich and bag of chips, and again, I devoured it like a ravenous lion. And you better believe I didn't even leave one potato chip crumb for my likely starving husband (sorry, babe).

I pretty much pigged out in the hours after my daughter was born, so I certainly don't judge other mothers for whatever it is they choose to do after delivery. You're tired, happy, sore, and so many other things all rolled into one, so if you want to eat a feast of mediocre hospital sandwiches or look at social media, you do you, mama. You deserve it all.

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