Hi Everyone! I’m back on the blog finally to talk postnatal nutrition… 2 months after my little girl was born.
Today I want to share with you some of the nutrition tips I have implemented for myself after baby girl was born to make sure we both get the best nutrition. Some of these are things I was doing all throughout my pregnancy, but it happens that a lot of the healthy things you do during pregnancy are ideal for the postnatal time. Except now I get to sneak in a little wine, deli meat, and sushi!!
5 Tips for the Best Postnatal Nutrition
- Healthy Fats! What is breast milk high in? Fat! And what does a developing brain need? Fat! And, for Mom: eating fat does not make us fat. In fact, eating the right type of healthy fats can help to promote fat loss! What to do? I recommend supplementing with a clean fish oil. I use Nordic Natural Prenatal which is made from smaller fish like sardines and anchovies that have much less contaminants (and the supplement is purified as well).
In addition, I like to work on increasing my intake of wild salmon, nut butters, olive oil, avocado, and avocado oil! I buy avocado oil in a large size from Costco! You can use it in cooking or baking recipes.
- Nutrients! What do I mean by this? During pregnancy, baby takes Mom’s supply of vitamins and minerals, so our levels often decrease if our diet is not loaded with nutrient dense foods. Low B vitamin levels could play a role in developing postpartum depression. If you do not take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin after pregnancy, I at least recommend a high quality B complex with the absorbable forms of the B vitamins. I have taken this prenatal throughout my pregnancy and during the postnatal time as well.
In addition, load up on nutrient dense foods like seeds, nuts, beans, dark colored fruits, and vegetables. Perhaps try making your own health bar loaded with dried berries, nuts/seeds, and oats!
- Iron. Most healthcare providers will continue to screen Mom for “low iron” even after pregnancy. But, all they tend to check is hemoglobin and/or hematocrit which does not catch low iron until it has been a problem for quite some time. I highly recommend getting your ferritin tested (a different blood test). Managing this is something a Registered Dietitian can help you work with. Getting your iron levels to an optimal level helps us get back that energy, reduce fatigue, and improve metabolism! Overall, it is something to screen for properly so that you can feel your best while taking care of a new baby.
In addition, load up of leafy greens, and a few darker meat sources to naturally keep your iron levels up.
- Reducing Stress. Do this in whatever way works best for you. For many, this will be exercise, more sleep, alone time, having someone else take care of baby so you get a few minutes for stress reduction, hanging out with other Moms, yoga, meditation, playing with baby, getting fresh air, etc. Why?? Babies can tell when Mom is stressed! The happier you are, the happier baby will be, and the better your body will be taken care of. Stress increases cortisol which causes damage and destruction to our bodies. Stress depletes nutrients. So, take the best care of your stress levels as is possible. Stay out of traffic when at all possible. Avoid toxic environments and people! 😀
- Eat a few high quality carbohydrates. Do not totally eliminate carbs as a way to lose weight to get back to your pre-baby body. Your body will need some carbohydrate to fuel your energy levels, keep up breastmilk supply, and keep up that wide variety of nutrients in your body. The main carbohydrates I recommend are: oats, sweet potato, any type of squash, fruit sources, and quinoa. Oats may also help boost breastmilk supply as an added bonus! I love making these oat flour muffins that have minimal added sugar!
Do you have any postnatal nutrition or health tips to share? I would love to hear them!