As a new mom, your priority tends to be your newborn baby and making sure your baby is well taken care of. But focusing on your own body and health is just as important, especially if you are breastfeeding your baby. Providing your body the proper postpartum nutrition is vital to making sure mom and baby are both experiencing optimal health during this time of rapid change and growth.
Recovering from a pregnancy may be harder than you anticipated, but eating nutrient-dense foods and following a healthy meal plan can make all the difference in how quickly and easily you restore your health.
If you’re breastfeeding, your body is continuing to experience the demands of nourishing your baby, therefore, making sure you’re getting your necessary intake of vital nutrients is even more important. Not only that, but researchers have actually found that a lack of essential nutrients and inflammation in the body could lead to postpartum depression.
Here are some of the foods you should think about incorporating into your diet to speed up postpartum recovery and meet the demands placed on your body as a new mom:
Eat easily digestible foods
Avoid putting any extra pressure on your body or feeling more bloated than you do by eating easily digestible foods. Soups, such as chicken noodle soup, are not only warm and comforting, but they’re also easy to digest and offer a host of valuable nutrients for your body.
Drink a lot of water
Everybody is told to consume eight (8 oz.) glasses of water a day, but as a breastfeeding mother, it’s best to drink about 10 to 15 glasses a day. Not only is this important for keeping your body hydrated and rejuvenating cellular health, but getting enough water is necessary for producing enough breastmilk for your baby.
Eat collagen-rich foods
If you suffer from any postpartum hair loss, consider adding collagen-rich foods to your diet. Foods like bone broth are a wonderful, natural source of collagen that you can easily incorporate into your meals.
Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
Focus on eating anti-inflammatory foods like iron-rich proteins (grass-fed beef, liver, lamb, etc.), dark leafy greens, veggies and fruits while minimizing sugar. Scientists have found a possible link between inflammation and postpartum depression, making an anti-inflammatory diet beneficial toward fighting off the postpartum blues. Plus, by following an anti-inflammatory diet, you’ll naturally be consuming many of the vital nutrients your body needs, such as vitamin C, A, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and folate, just to name a handful.
Eat probiotic-rich foods
Foods like kefir, probiotic yogurt or kimchi can aid in digestion and help fight off some of the bloating and gas that’s experienced after having a baby. These probiotic foods contain healthy bacteria that boost your digestive system’s performance and help you maintain a healthy gut.
Take food-based supplements
Many doctors and health professionals agree that high-quality, prenatal vitamins should be taken even after your pregnancy is over to help with breastfeeding. The key is to make sure the vitamins are top-quality and food-based. If your doctor hasn’t suggested the use of prenatal vitamins, be sure to consult him or her first before choosing or taking any supplements yourself.
Postpartum Diet Is Key to Recovery
If you haven’t already sat down with your health care professional and a nutritionist to strategize a postpartum diet, it’s highly recommended that you do. Talking to a doctor and certified nutritionist can help you come up with a diet plan that’s tailored to you and your baby’s specific needs.
Maintaining a postpartum diet that delivers the nutrients you need will only speed up your recovery and ensure that your baby is getting all the support needed during this crucial time in his or her life.