When planning your confinement 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.
How to plan your diet in confinement
Experts like dietitians generally suggest following the “My Healthy Plate” proportions advocated by Singapore Health Promotion Board, which is:
a) A quarter of pork/fish/poultry/beef
b) A quarter of grains/noodles, and
C) Half a plate of vegetables and fruits for your lunch and dinner
This way, you will get all the different vitamins and minerals that are available in different food groups that may not be in others. On top of that, an additional 20g of protein is recommended for mothers during the first six months of postpartum. That is about an additional egg, a piece of tofu or protein in half-palm size whether it is poultry, fish or meat in each meal, 3x per day.
What should a nursing mum’s diet look like?
We all know that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your little ones, but did you know that the nutrient content of your breast milk depends on how well you’re eating? Not all the nutrients are affected by how well you eat, but some are !
On top of the “My Healthy Plate” practice mentioned earlier that mummies should be having as often as possible to ensure sufficient nutritional intakes, it’s beneficial for mummies to have foods that are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Choline, Iodine and Omega-3 DHA.
The reason being that your intake of these nutrients can directly affect how much of them are present in your breast milk. For example, the more Vitamin A-rich food you take, the more of it can be passed to your baby through your breast milk and vice versa.
Of course, regardless of what you eat, your breast milk will always still be the best and nourishing for your baby. But it could also help to understand the connection between food, breast milk, nutrition levels and what they can do for you and your baby!
What should you have in order to improve lactation and keep breast milk production going? The key is to maintain a high level of iron in your body. Due to the blood loss you experience during delivery, your iron level will drop afterwards and this can result in low milk production. Therefore, proper meal planning to keep your iron level high will benefit both you and your newborn.
Looking completely at the bright side, there are a lot of foods and ingredients you can have for a healthy and balanced diet. Here are some of them:
Vegetables and fruits
Choose your fruits and vegetables carefully during the 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!
You May Also Read this : What to Include in Your Daily Confinement Meals?
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 scrap 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 the 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What food is good for confinement?
The good news is there are a lot of foods that are good for confinement that restricting our diet too much can be unnecessary. Even when you consult experts, they would mainly highlight the foods you should eat to obtain the nutrients, more than the not-to-eats. Some foods that are good for you after giving birth include pumpkin and carrots for vitamin A, eggs for choline and vitamin D, as well as salmon for omega-3 DHA and vitamin D. Scroll a little further up there to see more examples of foods that can be greatly beneficial for you!
2) What diet should be given to a postnatal mother?
A mother who has just recently given birth should have a balanced meal, with the addition of up to 500 calories if you are breastfeeding. If you have no medical conditions and can follow the general advice, using the ‘Healthy Plate’ principle would be helpful for you. Your confinement care diet plan should be mainly focused on your body recovery as well as your breast milk production.
3) What can a confinement lady eat?
Not to worry, a confinement nanny SG usually will prepare their own daily meals. Whether you are getting a freelancer or a confinement nanny from an agency, it is best to check out matters like meal preparations and relevant arrangements beforehand. You can also go through the confinement nanny agency review collection to read other parents’ experiences.
4) Which food is good for your mother after delivery?
Generally, following a balanced diet would be most ideal. It is also worth going beyond just the food types like carbohydrates, protein, etc. For example, when choosing grains, you’d want to choose whole grains like brown rice over refined grains like white rice and white bread. When choosing fish, you may want to opt for salmon as it provides vitamin D and Omega-3 DHA which are greatly beneficial for both your recovery and newborn’s growth. Foods like these are usually what will be included in the diet plan you may be recommended by health experts or find at confinement centre Singapore.
Following a balanced diet is not only important to assist your newborn to grow well, but also to get your body to recover better and as part of the confinement care. These foods pass the nutrients to the baby through 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 confinement nanny SG mothers usually opt for during this crucial period. Much like confinement centre Singapore services, you will be served with daily confinement meals made to fulfil your needs as a breastfeeding, postpartum mom.
Feel free to check out our confinement nanny agency review collection at our Testimonial Page!