Written by a newly flu recovered breast feeding mama
The cold season is official upon us. I woke one morning without a voice and spent the next few days putting up a strong fight to get through without seeing even more depletion as a new mom (considering the lack of sleep that tends to go along with that already). The great news is I got through it - and without a resorting to a visit with the doctor and 10 days on pharmaceutical meds for the annual respiratory infection that I my body knows pretty well at this point.
When I felt the throat start to scratch and ache, my mind went almost immediately to, “How am I going to get through this without putting anything in my body that will interfere with lactation or breastfeeding?!” I spent the better part of a week determined to get the answers to this very question, and now I’m passing it along to you.
Throughout the next few days, I went from one voiceless morning through sinus pressure and an abundance of drainage, headache and cough, tight chest and mild fever... Oh it was good times! These were the symptoms that came my way in the week. In addition, I should note that our part-time nanny who is here with my 5 month old son 3 days per week, was away on holiday. So with that in mind, the number one tip I followed each day - was sleep when the baby sleeps. Yes, it was true in the first few months, but the urgency behind this tip came back to life in a big way as my body worked to support not only him, but rejuvenate and restore my own health as this nasty flu settled (temporarily) in our home.
In the next week (while you’re health is at its prime), spend some time stocking the freezer with a couple of the following recipes. The potassium broth was my favorite, and worked so wonderfully for me, relieving my throat and restoring my gut. This is an incredible rejuvenator for illness AND just after childbirth! Use all organic veggies if possible.
3-5 stalks Celery, roughly chopped
6-8 Potato peelings (make sure these are organic)
1 Medium Onion, roughly chopped
½ bunch Parsley
3-4 cloves Garlic
3 medium Carrots (chopped into large pieces)
1 bunch Collard greens or chard (chopped)
¼ stick Kombu seaweed (or any other variety you have to hand
10 cups water
Gently wash the produce so as not to remove minerals with scrubbing. Meanwhile, place the water in a covered pot and bring to a boil. Peel the skins off the potatoes and place these along with the rest of the chopped vegetables into the boiling water. Place the lid back on, bring back to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Continue to cook for 1.5 hours. Remove the vegetable matter and store the broth in canning jars. The veggies can be saved and used in other recipes if you’d like, or composted. The broth will be good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, otherwise store in the freezer.
This is another soup you can prepare for yourself in advance and leave in the freezer for when its needed. Ayurveda is big on eating food that is prepared fresh, though in our modern times and the busy lifestyles so many of us follow (especially when there’s a precious 5 month old in toe), we do the best we can. And when we’re sick, that usually means we won’t be up for spending extended amounts of time on our feet in the kitchen. We can save that for a brighter day!
Another option of course, is having a loved one prepare the fresh soup and/or broth for you. If someone in your life has made themselves available to support you while this seasonal flu bug has you down, lucky you! Whether these recipes are followed beforehand and kept in the freezer for when needed, or made the day of - enjoy!!
Here is a link to one of my favorite chicken soup recipes!
6-8 cups water
4 cloves garlic
Press the garlic cloves enough to break them open. In a large pot bring the water and the garlic cloves to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil turn off the heat. Once your garlic tea has reached a sipping temperature, add a bit of fresh squeezed lemon and honey. Sip throughout the day. Keep a lid over the pot of tea. It can be kept in the refrigerator and warmed on the stove when ready to drink.
Honey and Lemon Tea
Boil water and add fresh juice from a quarter lemon along with a tsp of honey. Stir gently and sip to bring throat comfort. Wonderful morning and night.
Health Supplements, found at local health food store:
This one is great for fighting respiratory infections and colds. Make sure you check the label to unsure its ok during pregnancy and/or lactation. A dropper full can be added to water and an earthy, tingly mouth taste (that passes quickly) can be expected.
Incredibly soothing for the throat. When shopping, make sure the original is what you grab and not one of the other versions.
While taking vitamin C during pregnancy and breastfeeding has many benefits (such as enhancing iron absorption), it’s a good one to not pass up when sick. Our bodies are not able to make vitami