Recovery and Nutrition Tips for Postpartum Mothers
It can take your body up to a year to fully recover from the effects of childbirth. Taking care of yourself in the postpartum window is critical to kickstart the healing process the right way. This 6-week period after the delivery requires dedication to your health.
In this post, we'll look at recovery and nutrition tips to help new mothers find their feet faster postpartum.
Healthy Nutrition Tips for New Moms
What you eat makes a huge difference in your rate of recovery. People don't understand how much of a difference food makes on our state of well-being. When you eat well, you feel well, and the body recovers from the stress and trauma of childbirth faster. Here are a few top postpartum nutrition tips.
Eat a variety of whole foods – Eat a balanced diet that focuses on healthy fats, whole grain carbohydrate sources, and high-quality proteins. The fat and carbs give you energy while the protein helps with tissue repair.
Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water each day. Being dehydrate interferes with cellular communication, slowing the healing process. We recommend drinking six to eight glasses of alkaline water every day. Add green tea to your diet to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effect of the tea leaves' catechins. Matcha is the best source of green tea.
Eat fermented foods and probiotics – Foods like kefir, cultured dairy, and sauerkraut all contain prebiotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms. These foods help to provide optimal gut health, reducing systemic inflammation in the body.
Eat more fruits and veggies – Get as many fruits and vegetables into your diet as possible. You need plenty of fiber, and you'll benefit from the additional polyphenols and nutrients in plants and fruits. Always buy organic, and make sure you wash your fruit and vegetables before cooking and eating.
Lose weight slowly – After giving birth, your weight will come down slowly. Don't expect a massive drop on the scale the first week after the delivery. Speak to your doctor about losing weight safely. Aim to lose 2 to 3-lbs a week until you return to your pre-pregnancy weight. Losing too much weight too fast can adversely affect your milk production.
Don't use diet pills – These weight-loss aids contain harmful ingredients that might end up in your breast milk, adversely affecting your baby's development. Think twice before you eat or drink anything while pregnant – could what you're eating or drinking harm your child? Speak to your doctor if you're unsure about using any supplements.
Cut out the junk food as much as possible – We're not telling you that you can't have the occasional slice of pizza, burger – or a pint of Ben and Jerry's. We understand that cravings come, and they can set your mind on fire. Use your will power to avoid eating junk food, but it's fine to indulge from time to time.
The Ultimate Prenatal Vitamin Stack
If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you'll want to keep up with your prenatal vitamin stack. What's in the best prenatal blend? Make sure yours has the following ingredients.
Iron – You lose iron during childbirth, so top up your levels. You get iron through eating foods like red meat, clams, liver, oysters, and veggies like leafy greens. If you're a vegetarian, you're going to need an iron supplement in your diet.
Vitamin B12 – Vegetarians also need this vital B-vitamin. B12 is crucial for optimal red blood cell development, producing energy, and for forming DNA. Babies that don't get enough B12 in their diet are often more irritable, and they may also experience developmental delays.
DHA – This omega-3 essential fatty acid is critical for the baby's development. High DHA concentrations in breast milk improve the development of your baby's vision and brain. Food sources of DHA include cold-water fish like salmon and sardines, as well as dairy and free-range eggs. You can also include DHA supplements in your diet if you're vegan or vegetarian.
Choline – Choline and folic acid are critical for brain development in your baby. This nutrient is vital during breastfeeding, and all new moms need it in their diet. A choline and folic acid supplement is your best option, but you can find it in foods like organ meats and eggs.
Vitamin D – This nutrient is critical for immune health and the development of the nervous system and brain. This vitamin also reduces anxiety and the risk of postpartum depression (PPD). Vitamin D is challenging to get from whole food sources.
The best way to get enough of this nutrient is to stand in the sun for 15-minutes each day. Or use a supplement that offers between 1,000 to 3,000IU of vitamin D per dose. Take your supplement with a fatty meal for best absorption.
If You're Breastfeeding, Avoid these Foods
There are a few foods and beverages you need to steer clear of when breastfeeding. Limit or eliminate your use of the following.
Alcohol – Any form of alcoholic beverage is off-limits until you stop breastfeeding. If you really feel like you're craving a drink, go with a non-alcoholic beer or cider.
Caffeine – This stimulant in your morning coffee passes through to your baby, keeping them awake and restless. Overstimulating a newborn with caffeine is not ideal for the development of their brain and nervous system.
Deepwater fish – Large deepwater fish are a no-no for the dinner table. The following species have large deposits of mercury, which damages the development of your child's nervous system and brain.
- Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna
- King Mackerel
Canned tuna and sardines will also contain high doses of mercury, so avoid these fish and get your omega-3 fatty acids from supplements instead.
What Else Can I Do to Fast-Track My Postpartum Recovery?
Other physical treatments can accelerate your postpartum healing. Red light therapy is beneficial to healing the damage from childbirth.
What is red light therapy good for? It stimulates cellular communication and new cell growth while boosting collagen production, a vital protein for healing the damaged tissues i8n your vagina and pelvis.