When planning your diet after giving birth, what is your main goal? Do you want to lose the excess pregnancy weight, or do you want to provide the best nutrients for your breastfed newborn? Good news – you don’t have to choose between the two!
Giving birth leads to the loss of energy and blood, so you will be feeling weak and have a poorer body constitution. Hence, among the first things you should add to your ‘postnatal to-do list’ is to ensure that you regain your health and strength.
In order to improve lactation and keep the breast milk production going, you have to maintain a high level of iron in your body. Due to the blood lost during delivery, your iron level will drop afterwards and this will result in low milk production. Therefore, a proper meal planning to keep your iron level high will benefit both you and your newborn.
Looking completely at the bright side, here are several foods and ingredients you can have more for a healthy and balanced diet:
Vegetables and fruits
Choose your fruits and vegetables carefully during confinement period. Regularly eating greens like kale, watercress, and spinach can effectively aid your breast milk production. Spinach, which is rich in calcium, should be a compulsory element in every mom’s postnatal diet. Vegetables like cauliflower and carrots can help in relieving constipation. Incorporate more vegetables with neutral or warm properties like ginger, onions, and garlic into your cooking. When preparing your vegetables, ensure that they are not overcooked to preserve their nutrients. On the other hand, fruits like blueberries, grapes, and papaya are rich in antioxidants that can prevent many chronic diseases. Take them regularly to get the most of their health benefits. For new mamas with sugar cravings, now you know what to stock up on the kitchen table!
Understandably, breastfeeding mothers tend to be extra thirsty and easily dehydrated. To boost your milk production and provide an ample amount of milk for your newborn, you ought to stay well-hydrated all the time by drinking a lot of water and fluids. One particular tasty, milk-boosting ingredient is red dates that you can turn into red dates tea. Across generations and regions, this tea is widely known for its ability to enrich and replenish blood. Drink it warm as warm water eases digestion and keeps you comfy, especially on a cold day. Sourcing for a professional helping hands can provide the proper diet and care you need for this period. A confinement nanny would normally prepare red dates teas throughout your confinement period to hasten your healing process without causing other concerning issues to arise.
Pulses like lentils and beans, legumes, and eggs, are excellent sources of proteins for postpartum moms. When cooked and combined with other ingredients, these will make an exceptional breakfast with great nutrients. Pulses are rich in protein, and thus they should be added to the post-delivery diet. Apart from lentils being a good source of proteins, they also contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Since yellow lentils are much easier to digest, you can prevent constipation by replacing other ingredients with it! Include them in your diet without worries and enjoy the nutritional values!
Containing healthy nutrients like vitamin C, a lot of fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, and potassium, turmeric is extremely helpful in fighting infections. A brimful teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup of warm water assists you to recover from the delivery shock. For the longest time, turmeric spice has been used in cooking to give a dish a stronger taste and aromatic scent. If you think you should only have bland, tasteless food after giving birth, you can now scrape that idea away!
Cashew nuts and almonds, when consumed fresh, can stimulate and increase breast milk production. Almonds undoubtedly stand out among the various types of nuts. Their richness in vitamin E, fibre, carbohydrates and Vitamin B12 make them exceptional. Almonds also contain various minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper, and iron. A handful of almonds is beneficial to any breastfeeding. Nuts are also rich in omega 3, which can greatly enhance brain development and prevent heart disease for your breastfed newborn.
During confinement period, you will need a lot of energy to recover smoothly and be able to tend to your baby. Lean meats contain lots of iron which is an essential requirement after delivery, so you should consume more of it. Inadequate iron can drain your energy levels thus making it hard to take care of your newborn’s demand. Lean meats like skinless chicken and pork with the fat trimmed off are simply great for losing weight. A confinement soup is typically prepared with lean meats that can help you heal faster while cutting your calories!
Lightweight but filling, whole-wheat bread is highly nutritional for new moms due to its endless benefits. It carries a variety of essential nutrients like vitamins and fibers which help to maintain your bowel health and prevent constipation. Whole-wheat bread can also lower the risk of getting heart diseases and stroke. If obesity is one of your concerns, you’d be glad to know that you can happily count your calories when having it!
Following a balanced diet is not only important to assist your newborn to grow well, but also to get your body to function properly. These foods pass the nutrients to the baby through the breast milk, so in a way, the mother’s diet determines the health of the baby. Frequent water intake, for instance, is necessary to enhance the production of breast milk.
Right now, you already know that one way you can get through the postnatal period swimmingly is by planning your confinement diet. You can restore your energy and recover faster and in turn, you can take better care of your newborn. If you have no idea where to start, you can approach a confinement agency to source for professional assistance during this crucial period.