Every pregnancy is different, but most moms-to-be go through at least some sort of a strange craving experience that completely redefines hunger. Add to that the prenatal vitamins, a slew of doctor’s orders on what’s best to eat and what’s best to avoid, and it seems like it’s been a lifetime since you’ve been able to enjoy a glass of wine.
The incessant cravings might be gone, but new challenges arise as soon as you bring your baby into the world, and your belly begins to go back to normal.
Now, as your body is adapting to the role of a nurturer, a mom, you need to take excellent care of yourself. A balanced diet after giving birth is essential to your own health, healing, as well as the well being of that little earthling that you’ve made. So, let’s dive right in and tackle the dietary tips that can help ease the recovery and make your new momma days juicier and more nutritious!
Have healthy snacks at the ready
Being pregnant has been exhausting, but... being a mom will be even more so, hence the need for some wholesome, healthy snacks you can rely on during the day that won’t overburden your stomach, but that will keep you satisfied. Nutrient-dense snacks are the best way to go, and you should always stock up on long-lasting items that you can then allocate for every day during the week.
For example, nuts and seeds are your go-to energy-boosters, and they are brimming with healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are crucial to your recovery and strengthening your immune system. They are also packed with fiber, which will help you with digestion and normalize your bowel movements, which will be very helpful in the first weeks postpartum. Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and dried fruit are also great options to give you some immediate energy while providing you with ample vitamins and minerals.
Enrich your diet with superfoods
Now that you’re about to face sleepless nights, first fevers, ear infections, breastfeeding, and changing diapers, giving your nutrition that extra kick can be very helpful for restoring your energy, protecting your immune system, and of course, delivering the right balance of micronutrients you need in these sensitive times.
Since it’s very difficult and time-consuming to introduce many different foods to your diet every day, you can actually supplement with natural foods such as spirulina to reap all the nutritional rewards sans the effort. These potent algae are packed with everything your body needs: a wide spectrum of amino acids (18 of them to be precise), plenty of iron, B vitamins, but also zinc and magnesium, which are key to staying resilient.
Focus on hydration
If you are to breastfeed your little bundle of joy, then all the more reason to be very careful with your hydration habits. Although your own postpartum recovery depends on drinking plenty of water for your own good, your baby will also benefit from this simple habit. To make sure you’re drinking ample water every day, you can get an insulated water bottle made of stainless steel that will keep your water fresh for longer, and not exposed to any harmful plastics.
Producing breast milk will be much easier when you drink enough fluids during the day, but do make sure that you steer clear of coffee and caffeine in general, but stick to herbal teas, fresh water and juices that will support your breast milk production. When you and your doctor determine the time is right for you to go back to physical activity, proper hydration will be a pivotal factor to help you sustain your energy.
Details matter for a new mom
Macro and micronutrients are important for every single one of us, but new moms in particular need to mind their diet, since deficiencies can affect your ability to produce milk, your body’s natural ability to heal as well as the speed of regeneration. First of all, talk to your doctor to find out which particular nutrients you might benefit from. Most new moms need the following:
- Vitamin D – essential for bone formation and calcium absorption, this micronutrient is often deficient in our diets alone, as well as that of your baby’s. Good to add it to your list!
- Calcium – sometimes new moms use their bone-stored calcium through breast milk, hence the need to prevent the depletion of this mineral in your bones by upping your intake.
- Iron – for optimal energy levels, reducing fatigue and exhaustion, and a slew of relevant processes in your body, so pay attention to foods that contain plenty of this mineral.
Nutrient-dense over all else
Finally, as a mom, you should first and foremost keep an eye on the quality and diversity of the food you consume. Although this is a general rule that applies to all people, you in particular will benefit from focusing on eating fresh, whole foods that are nutrient-dense and that will ensure your body can recover fast. Of course, be mindful of your calories as well, since some new moms need to consume more calories to breastfeed properly, while others need to shed some postpartum weight gradually and in a controlled manner.
Talk to your physician, and prepare yourself for the first several months of momhood so that you can enjoy your time bonding with your bundle instead of worrying about your munchies. Use these tips to help you navigate these new dietary waters, and make the most of this beautiful new chapter in your life!
Thanks to this fab dad for sharing these tips for moms.