Postpartum Diet & Nutrition
After giving birth, it is important to quickly regain strength. There are possible nutritional deficiencies due to pregnancy that have to be compensated, because you’ll need a lot of energy in the coming days to take care of your newborn.
Your body is weakened after birth and you need rest. However, a young mother’s responsibilities await you. Caring for your newborn around the clock can exhaust you easily. But do not worry – with proper diet, you can have enough energy to spend the first special days with your little one.
What you should eat post-birth
To compensate for blood loss during birth, your diet should now come with a lot of iron on your table: meat, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
Essential fatty acids are very important for the regeneration of your tissue after birth. They can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and fish. For example, you can mix a tablespoon of rapeseed oil into your food or use it as salad dressing. You should also eat oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardine at least once a week.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids can also help to prevent postpartum depression. In countries with high fish consumption, postnatal depression is rare.
During pregnancy, your bones and teeth lose calcium. Try pouring milk into your cereal for breakfasts for a morning calcium boost. For dinner, you can have calcium rich foods like cheese, yoghurt, and some vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
Pay attention to your carbohydrates intake! You’ll need it for energy to care for your little one. You can get it by eating a variety of foods such as bread, cereals, potatoes, rice and pasta – preferably whole grain. Not forgetting fruits and vegetables too.
Do not attempt to diet
It’s tempting to shed those extra pounds gained during pregnancy, but do not attempt to diet right after birth. You need plenty of strength now! This is particularly true if you’re breastfeeding. The iodine requirements is 30%, the iron requirements by 33%, the folic acid requirements by 50% and the zinc requirement by 57% higher than that of a non-breastfeeding mother. You’ll need 500 to 600 calories while lactating, therefore diets will weaken you too much and can inhibit lactation.
Ideal nutrition during lactation
Read here about the ideal diet during lactation.
An old recipe Midwives
A classic postpartum diet is the comforting chicken soup. This recipe is administered for every woman in China as the first meal after birth, so that they can regain their “life energy” – called “Qi” in China – so that your body can replenish its own blood. The longer the soup is cooked, the more “Qi” it contains.
Ingredients: 2-3 litres of water, 1 fresh chicken with bones (preferably organic), a little rosemary, 2-3 carrots cut into pieces, fennel, celery, leeks, 1 bay leaf, 1 handful of parsley, 1 slice of fresh ginger, salt and pepper to taste.
Preparation: Put the water in a large pot and simply add all the ingredients. Simmer on low heat for at least 3-5 hours and always check on the water level and replenish if necessary. In the first weeks after giving birth, have 2 to 3 small bowls of soup each day. Supplement with meat and vegetables for more nutrients.
To make food preparation easier for the week, you can make a big batch of soup and freeze it in smaller bags. Properly cooked and stored, it will last for 3-4 days. Simply melt and reheat the soup during meals!
Don’t rush into recovering to pre-pregnancy state. It’s normal to take up to at least 9 months to fully recover. Allow yourself to eat healthily and enjoy some light exercises to slowly regain your energy.
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