If you have just given birth, it is safe to say that your body has gone through some vast changes. Women who have just had a baby face immense pressure to get back to their pre-pregnancy body as fast as humanly possible.
But, it is important that everyone understands that instead of throwing yourself into a gruelling fitness regime, your body requires nutritional replenishment to keep yourself, and your baby, fit and healthy. Feed your body foods that set you up for the next stage of your life, and if you are breastfeeding, food that gives your child optimal nutritional support.
Feed your body foods that set you up for the next stage of your life
Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse for new mothers. Like many other fatty types of fish, it is full of a fat called DHA which is crucial for the development of you and your baby’s nervous system. Not only does it help you and your baby’s health, but studies also suggest it helps your mood and prevents postpartum depression.
It is important to keep in mind that whilst salmon is amazing for your diet after having a baby, there is a limit to how much you should consume on a weekly basis (around 12 ounces) as to limit the amount of mercury your baby is exposed to. Whilst the mercury level in salmon is low, it is still helpful to make sure you don’t overconsume it.
Take lean meats as they are rich in iron, protein and vitamin B12, and help boost your energy levels. Lean meat is useful for you to make up for the draining energy levels while breastfeeding. A lack of iron can drain your energy levels and make it hard for you to keep up with all of the constant demands required of a new-born baby.
Poultry is a good source of selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, and choline. Selenium has antioxidant properties which help to prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Selenium also helps the immune system. Vitamins B3 and B6 help the body to convert carbohydrate into glucose.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Cheeses, milks, yogurts, butters, creams, these are all an important part of healthy breastfeeding. Dairy products provide your body with a lot of vitamin D, B vitamins and calcium, which helps your baby’s bones develop. It is, therefore, imperative you and your baby get enough calcium. The total fat content of dairy products can vary a lot. To make healthier choices, look at the nutrition information on the label to check the amount of fat, including saturated fat, salt and sugar, in the dairy products you’re choosing.
Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day. Blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. The fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content in blueberries support heart health. The absence of cholesterol from blueberries is also beneficial to the heart. Fibre content helps to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.
If you feel like you need more help with your pregnancy or your post-pregnancy diet, take a look at companies like Healthy Mummy UK, they create programmes which are safe and healthy plans and support to all mums after having children – and which offer products that are safe in breastfeeding.
Photo Credit: Zach Lucero Kyle Nieber