A healthy, simple yet nutritious diet is required for quick and fast recovery. New mothers might think that they are free now and can do everything. This is true to some extent only after giving birth to a child through a mother is free, but for the well-being of your tiny one and yourself, it is important to take good care of your diet.
After delivery, mothers experience lochia, vaginal discharge that normally lasts for six weeks, hormonal changes, recovering tissues, healing wounds and might even get started with breastfeeding. It all requires a healthy and supportive diet that enables one to regain strength and eases recovery.
Principles of Postpartum Nutrition
There are certain rules to follow as these might help your body to replenish nutrients and restore energy. Some of these rules are
Warm & Digestible Food
Warmth to the mother’s body is an important constituent of postnatal care. One important means of bringing warmth to the body is through food. Food such as stew and soups are a common example of warm food. Look for warm and even simpler food that is easy to digest.
Also, stomach issues such as slow digestion and constipation are quite common. Many women experience them after childbirth, so it is essential to look for simpler and digestible foods.
Water is very crucial for new mothers, especially those who are breastfeeding. Water is an important constituent of milk as it is composed of 90% water. Keeping yourself hydrated helps to compensate with water used in milk production. One important way to keep a good hydration level is to make sure to take a big glass of water every time after breastfeeding.
On average, a healthy person requires eight glasses of water each day to maintain a good hydration level of the body. Therefore, try to manage to consume ten glasses of water, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Pack In Protein
Taking a protein-rich diet helps with cell repair and new tissue development. It is even more important if the baby is delivered through a cesarean. Wound healing requires a diet rich in protein. Protein can be acquired from several food sources such as eggs, fish, meat, chicken, beans, and nuts.
Collagen Rich Food
Collagen is a special type of protein that is found in skin, hair, nails, and connective tissues to support bones and joints. A diet rich in collagen is important to support changes occurring in the skin and help the skin replenish lost elasticity and firmness. Collagen rich diet is also important as many mothers face issues such as hair fall and weaker nails right after delivery.
Collagen is not directly found in food sources, but some foods provide essential nutrients for collagen synthesis. Bone broths, egg white, fish, citrus fruits, and berries are good sources of proteins required for collagen synthesis.
Constipation is a very common problem after the delivery of a baby and is experienced by many women. Constipation becomes painful in addition to cramps in the lower abdomen and weaker pelvic muscles. It is important to keep a good hydration level and a diet rich in fiber to avoid such undesirable situations.
A labor hormone such as progesterone interferes with bowel movement and slows down it a bit, leading to constipation. Some rich sources of fiber include whole grains, beans, berries, dried fruits, and vegetables. A fiber-rich diet helps in normalizing bowel movement.
A nutritious diet also accompanies anti-inflammatory foods. These foods protect the body at a cellular level from oxidative stress, and it also reduces the chance of disease, illness, and infection. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, fatty fish, and olive oil are some common examples of anti-inflammatory foods.
Malnutrition is very common to occur in women, especially during and after pregnancy. It is important to take supplements prescribed by the doctor to replenish the body’s essential nutrients and avoid malnutrition. Postnatal supplements are equally important as nutritious diets. It helps to overcome nutritional deficiencies not covered by food sources.
Foods To Avoid
Certain foods should be avoided for at least six and eight weeks after delivery. This is very important because the inability to avoid certain foods might cause many harms to the body and even slow down recovery.
Cold Foods And Drinks
As discussed earlier, a postnatal diet must be warm and easily digestible; similarly, cold food and drinks should be avoided. This might include cold coffee, ice-cream shakes, and carbonated drinks, and ice cream.
Refined grains and derivatives are low in fiber, have less nutritional value, and are difficult to digest. Such type of food might even result in digestive problems, including constipation. It is important to limit the intake of such foods for at least six to eight weeks after delivery.
Alcohol And Tobacco
It is important to avoid alcohol and tobacco during postnatal care, especially during the first few weeks. This is because during this tenure body is replenishing and regaining essential nutrients in terms of food and supplements. The intake of alcohol and tobacco may even cause nutrients depletion. This may lead to serious nutritional consequences.
Alcohol and even smoking might result from postnatal depression. If this is the case, then the partner, close friend, or even relative must act responsibly. Varied addiction treatment and payment options are available for such patients. Assistance from such specialized centers might help out in this regard.
Weight Losing Diet
It is not wise to take weight-loss diets during the first eight weeks after delivery. It is important to take it easy and be gradual and calm in your approach. The first few weeks form a transitional phase during which the body is going through many changes. Let this phase pass away with a nutritional diet, and then consult with a doctor before beginning with any diet plan.
A postnatal diet rich in nutrients definitely helps and eases recovery. Making sure to take postnatal supplements might even help with regaining nutritional deficiencies. Also, avoid alcohol and tobacco to assist recovery.