Category Archives: Nutrition

What are the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns?

What are the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns?

The days and weeks after coming home with your newborn are a blur filled with early mornings, sleepless nights, and a never-ending flow of new experiences. Energy is hard to come by. Sometimes it feels like you’re just running on fumes. Add in the pressure to return to your pre-baby weight, and you have a recipe for making counterproductive food choices.

It’s easy to lean on quick energy sources like sugar or caffeine to get you through the day or to restrict food intake in attempts to lose weight. Neither option is a long-term solution. As a new mother, fueling your body with nourishing foods should be a top priority. You’ll be better equipped to care for your newborn when you’re eating well. And, truth be told, you might lose a couple of pounds in the process.

Incorporate these foods into your post-pregnancy diet

Any food a new mom eats should always be two things: convenient and energy boosting. In the short-term, you don’t have time to make an elaborate meal. In the long term, you don’t have time for the crash that comes after using quick fix energy sources. These foods should be staples for every new mother.

Share this list with any friends and family members who would like to show love by bringing a dish to your home. You’ll receive fewer casseroles and more foods that will help you thrive with your newborn.

Whole Grains

New moms need a slow-burning energy source, folic acid, and fiber. Whole grains provide all of that and then some. There’s a common misconception that new moms don’t need to worry about folic acid intake once the baby is born. That’s not the case! Stock your fridge with whole grains fortified with folic acid and fiber. For a satisfying and energizing snack, pair your grains with a protein. Toast and almond butter. Ancient grain granola and nuts. There are possibilities to fit every taste preference.

Beans

Post-partum constipation is a common occurrence. Help regulate your digestive system by eating legumes and other fiber-filled foods, like fruits and vegetables. In the colder months, whip up a one-pot bean soup. Try a cold bean salad for the warmer months.

Salmon

Salmon is the superhero of the post-pregnancy diet, especially if you’re choosing to breastfeed. It advances the health of both new moms and newborns alike. It’s high omega-3 fatty acid content promotes brain development in the baby while promoting heart health in the mother. It is important to note that salmon intake should be limited to 12 ounces per week in order to manage mercury levels. There are plenty of salmon recipes that take less than 15 minutes of preparation, so you can enjoy the health benefits without sacrificing precious time.

What are the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns?

Oranges

Oranges are packed with Vitamin C, a vitamin that is especially important for moms who nurse. Vitamin C should be part of your post-pregnancy diet, regardless of your feeding preferences. It counteracts the negative effects of stress on the immune system, promotes heart health, and even keeps your skin looking young. Eat an orange by itself or add it chopped to your favorite salad.

Lean beef

Low energy levels are often related iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies. The good news is that lean beef will give you a boost in both while also satisfying your appetite. You can incorporate lean beef into any meal. Add it to a breakfast skillet. Top a salad with it, or treat yourself to a juicy burger.

Greek Yogurt

Calcium intake is important at all ages and stages of life, and new moms should make sure they’re getting the recommended daily intake. Greek yogurt has plenty of calcium to strengthen both your bones and the bones of your new baby. As a bonus, it has very low lactose content, so it should not agitate any sensitivities your newborn may be developing. Opt for a Greek yogurt bowl for breakfast, or use it as a replacement for sour cream at lunch and dinner.

Water

While water isn’t technically a food, it’s critically important that you stay hydrated. Water aids in digestion, provides energy, and even aids in weight loss. Try to always have glass of water on hand. If plain water starts to bore you, infuse it with fruits and vegetables. You’ll enjoy new flavor combinations while still enjoying the benefits of drinking water.

What are the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns?

Be really aware of how foods affect you post-pregnancy as well as how they affect your newborn. Some of these superfoods might not work for your body. If you’re breastfeeding, you may find that your baby reacts poorly after you eat certain foods. Stay observant, and build a post-pregnancy diet that benefits both you and your new baby.

What convenient and energy boosting foods are staples of your post-pregnancy diet? How do you eat well as a new mom? Share your tips in the comments below.

Exercising During Pregnancy: What Expectant Mothers Need to Know

Exercising During Pregnancy: What Expectant Mothers Need to Know

There are many side effects that can accompany pregnancy: fatigue, depression, mood swings, various aches and pains, and more. What if we told you that one simple activity could counteract these symptoms? It’s true. Exercising regularly during pregnancy benefits expectant mothers throughout the pregnancy process and for years to come.

Though beneficial, exercise for pregnant women remains shrouded in mystery and misinformation, leaving expectant mothers to wonder if it is safe for them to work out or if they have to drastically alter their workouts to accommodate pregnancy.

Exercising during pregnancy is simpler than you think.

Here’s what you need to know about pregnancy workouts

Stick to what’s familiar

For many women, pregnancy is the first time they’re told to gain weight. Seeing the number on the scale rise can cause negative feelings, which leads some expectant moms to change their workout routines to feel more in control of the weight distribution. Exercise is an all-around good thing for pregnant women, but it’s not the time to try a new workout routine or try to get to the next level of fitness. Stay in your comfort zone during the pregnancy to reduce the risk of injury. You can save the latest workout trend for after you give birth.

Safety first

The goal of exercise for pregnant women is to find and experience the benefits of exercise while minimizing the risks to your developing child. Avoid workouts that require large amounts of balance or contact. The last thing you want is a major fall. Say no to activities like skiing or workouts that involve a lot of coordination while you’re pregnant. You can plan an amazing post-pregnancy trip filled with extreme sports.

Slow down

You will find that your abilities change throughout pregnancy. That is not at all related to your level of fitness. You’re growing a baby, and that will affect most aspects of your life. Slowing down workouts can be challenging, especially for competitive women. However, it’s necessary. You should be able to have a conversation during pregnancy workouts. Anything more intense than that could have negative impact on your health and the health of your baby.

Stay hydrated

Drinking water is important at any stage of life, but it is especially important during pregnancy.

Take special care to hydrate. This means drinking water before your workout, while you’re working out, and after your workout. That sounds like a lot of water, and potentially multiple trips to the bathroom. It’s worth it.

Exercising During Pregnancy: What Expectant Mothers Need to Know

“Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to serious pregnancy complications, including neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid, inadequate breast milk production, and even premature labor,” according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Keep your water intake up. It’s okay to pause your workout for a bathroom break.

Low impact

Joint pain is common in pregnant women. If you’re experiencing this symptom, opt for lower impact workouts that will be easier on your joints. This means avoiding exercises that involve a lot of jumping or running. Consider swimming or joining a low impact aerobics class as an alternative.

Be body conscious

When exercising during pregnancy, it’s especially important to listen to your body. Our capabilities change daily, even outside of pregnancy. Make self-awareness a priority. Stop doing any movement that doesn’t feel right in the moment. If you’re in a class, ask your teacher to provide an alternative movement. If you’re working out alone, take a short break. You may need to end your workout early, or you may be able to continue with a different exercise.

Eat well

Exercise burns calories, and pregnancy requires you to slightly increase your caloric intake in the later trimesters. Be sure that you’re getting enough to eat. Load up on nutrient-rich foods that will energize your workouts and support the development of your child. Pair a protein with a produce for a healthy pregnancy snack.

Now you know how to safely exercise during pregnancy. Not sure what  to try? These pregnancy workouts are favorites of expectant mothers:

  • Pre-natal Yoga – The slower pace of this class will relax your mind while still challenging your body. The flow will avoid any poses that expectant mothers should avoid. If you’re ever in doubt, meet in child’s pose.
  • Elliptical – Get your heart rate up with this low impact exercise. Vary your workout using the pre-programmed options on the machine. Just make sure you don’t push too hard.
  • Swimming – This is one of the safest and most effective options for exercising during pregnancy. It offers a full body workout with minimal impact on the joints.
  • Spinning – Spin classes are a low impact form of cardio that you can enjoy in a class or by yourself. Remember that you control the intensity. Only work as hard as your body can handle in the moment.

Did you exercise regularly during pregnancy? What tips do you have for other expectant moms? Share your experience in the comments below.