Bone Broth: Postpartum Benefits & Easy How-To
I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I make my bone broth and why it's so beneficial for postpartum (and beyond), so I wanted to write a post about it. I’ll briefly discuss the benefits and share how I make mine (it’s super easy!)
Benefits of bone broth
Bone broth is different from regular beef or chicken stock because it cooked for a longer length of time (or pressure cooked) to extract all the nutrient-goodness from the bones and connective tissue.
Animal bones are rich in minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and collagen- all things that help strengthen our own bones. Collagen alone is the building block for so many things in our body, and bone broth is a great way to get that in. By cooking long and slow (or high pressure), all these nutrients are released into the water in a form that is easily absorbed by the body- making bone broth easy on the digestive system.
Bone broth helps promote wound healing, bone and joint health, skin/nail health, soft tissue health, gut health, helps decrease inflammation, and more.
Basically it’s amazing!
Bone broth for postpartum recovery
In the days and weeks following birth, your body needs a lot of nutrients to promote healing, and to help your milk supply if breast/chest-feeding. All those nutrients mentioned above will help your body in the recovery process after birth.
You also need foods that are easy on the digestive system. Ever wonder why it can be so difficult to take a poop in the days following birth? Your body just went through a massive event (vaginal or c-section) and its common for your digestive system to slow down as a result. Therefore, things like bone broth, warming soups, and healing herbal teas are great because they are easy to digest and help promote healing.
The hormone relaxin relaxes your joints/ligaments during pregnancy and birth, and that hormone can linger in your body for many months after birth. This can sometimes make people more prone to aches, pains, and injuries in the postpartum period. Bone broth helps promote stronger joints and connective tissue- a huge help for any athletic moms!
Personally, I like to drink a cup of bone broth with an added scoop of collagen just so I get an extra collagen boost. I have been drinking this regularly through pregnancy and will continue to during postpartum. I drank a lot of bone broth after my miscarriage as well- your body still has healing to do when you miscarry.
*If you are dealing with any type of musculoskeletal aches or pains you would benefit from extra collagen!
My easy instant pot (or crockpot) bone broth
I make my bone broth two ways: a whole chicken or beef bone
Beef bones: Can find meat bones from a local butcher, local farm, or ask at the meat counter at the grocery store. I like to have some extra meat on the bones because it gives added flavor and nutrients to the broth, but as long as you have some good bones, it will be fine. The more marrow, the better.
Put the bones into the instant pot and fill the pot up to the maximum fill line (or less depending on how much broth you want) with water. Add whatever spices you like (garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, etc.). Some people like to throw in some root vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots for more flavor- totally up to your taste preference! Then pressure cook on MORE HIGH for 90 minutes. Strain the broth and you’re done!
Whole chicken: Place vegetables in the bottom of the instant pot first if desired, add 2 cups of water, season the chicken however you like, then stick the whole chicken on top of the veggies. The chicken will create more broth as it cooks so that's why I start with 2 cups.
Cook the chicken according to normal instant pot directions (approximately 6 minutes for every pound of meat). You can use the poultry button or NORMAL HIGH pressure cook. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, take the meat off the bones and take the vegetables out of the pot. Put the bones and whatever is left of the chicken back in the pot with the broth. Add more water and salt/spices if desired. Cook the bones for 45 minutes on MORE HIGH pressure cook. Strain the broth and it’s ready to go!
Hint: If you have an Aldi grocery store near you, they tend to have the cheapest free-range, hormone/antibiotic free whole chickens.
Crockpot: You can easily follow the same instructions above with a crockpot. You will just want to cook your bones on low for a minimum of 12 hours (18-24 hours is even better for more nutrient-dense broth).
I like to store my broth in Mason jars. It freezes well and can easily use as needed. I will be prepping a lot of this prior to the birth of my next baby!
You can drink bone broth straight or use it to make stews and soups. I personally like to drink it with plenty of salt. It’s very soothing to the gut and I enjoy the taste.
I hope you find this useful! I'd love to hear your comments or thoughts!