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What Was the First Meal You Ate After Giving Birth? | A Cup of Jo

newborn toby

After Toby was born, my friend Abbey visited me in the hospital and brought…

…a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice. And I can confidently say, nothing has ever tasted as good in the history of the world. It was sweet, bright and completely restorative. I still remember every life-affirming sip.

After birth, all my senses were heightened, especially taste — plus, I was ravenous from the athleticism of delivering a human into the world! And this seems to be true of other women, too.

“The first bite of a massive sandwich eaten after giving birth is a bite that has not yet been topped,” says a reader named Amy.

In England, the nurses bring you buttered toast and tea, shares a reader named Pam: “Never has anything taste as good.”

Adds Rosalie: “One of my favorite pictures is of me holding my newborn daughter while taking a huge bite of a gigantic Italian sub.”

In her memoir about losing her mother, Michelle Zauner wrote about a Korean seaweed soup called miyeokguk, “a traditional dish for celebrating one’s mother that is also what women typically eat after giving birth.” When she would eat it, she said, “It soothed me, as if I were back in the womb, free floating.”

Elise Hu-Stiles-Motherhood-Around-the-World-South-Korea

And in her interview about parenting in South Korea, Elise Hu-Stiles remembers meals during labor: “Something I’d never imagined was the intense attention to making sure laboring women and their partners are well fed! For lunch, I got to eat a giant cheeseburger between contractions. They even served me an easy-to-digest chicken congee dish when I was in serious despair, about an hour before push time.”

Now I’m curious: If you’ve given birth, what was the first meal you ate afterward? Was it the most delicious? I’d love to hear…

P.S. 15 things I’d tell a new mother, and being a surrogate.

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