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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.