Congratulations mama, your baby is finally here! Your body just spent 9 to 10 months growing a human or maybe two, that's a big deal! Regardless of how your baby entered the world, labor and birth put a tremendous amount of stress on your body. While shedding the baby weight might be your top priority, recovering and nourishing your body with quality food after giving birth is way more important.
Postpartum nutrition is critical for new mothers. Nourishing your body with the right foods supports recovery, milk production if you are breastfeeding, better rest, and energy to care for your new baby. As a new mom, the importance of taking care of your health and wellbeing is often overlooked and forgotten while you are focusing on your new bundle of joy. We don’t want to overwhelm you more than you already are during this significant transition, so below are some quick simple tips to keep in mind during the postpartum period.
Eat enough calories
While you’re no longer “eating for two,” your body still needs an adequate amount of calories for recovery, milk production, and energy. During the postpartum period, generally moms need 1800-2200 calories per day. If you are breastfeeding, you could need an extra 500 calories on top of that.
Choose nutrient dense foods
Nutrient dense foods carry the greatest amount of nutrients. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, fiber and healthy fats. Below are some great nutrient dense foods to stock your refrigerator and pantry with.
Staying hydrated helps your body absorb vitamins and minerals. It can also help alleviate postpartum swelling, constipation, and headaches. Aim to drink at least 12 cups a day to ensure you are staying hydrated. Keeping water bottles available in the fridge, various rooms in your house, baby bag, and purse are easy ways to make sure you are getting enough water.
Stock up fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of essential postpartum nutrients like iron, calcium, fiber and other vitamins needed to help you recover and stay healthy after giving birth. At every meal, aim to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
While caring for a new baby can feel like it is taking over your life, it is important to make sure that you are making time for yourself and your health. Your body has just done something amazing and requires healing and TLC. Eating enough calories, choosing nutrient dense foods, staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is a sure way to keep your energy levels up and put you on the fast track to recovery.