Hey New Moms! It’s OK to Take Care of You
Being a new mom can be incredibly stressful and exhausting, and cooking is probably one of the last things you feel like doing. Instead of seeing cooking as something you do for everyone else, view it instead as taking care of you. Eating healthy now will help you recover from the birthing process, boost your energy, mood, digestion and immunity. The big side benefit is that focusing on your nutrition will ensure that your breastmilk provides your baby with the nutrition he or she needs.
We have some tips and tricks for when to eat/drink, keeping healthy food on hand and key nutrients for energy and recovery.
Hydration – Water is lost through breastfeeding so it is important to “drink for two.” Use each feeding as a reminder to drink a glass of water or herbal tea.
Meal timing – Keeping snacks near your feeding chair is a great reminder that you need nourishment each time you breastfeed. Plus, you can eat while baby sleeps post-feeding.
Meal prep! Here are some ways to make cooking while breastfeeding easier:
- Double and triple recipes to have food over the next several days or freeze for later.
- Great dishes to freeze include frittatas, muffins, energy balls, bone broth, etc.
- Prep for the next meal (chop veggies, measure ingredients, start marinating, etc.) while you’re cooking the current meal.
Key nutrients for energy:
- Healthy fats such as coconut, grass-fed butter, avocado, nuts, seeds and fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies)
- Proteins such as beans, nuts, eggs, meats and fish
- Carbohydrates from whole grains (quinoa, oats, brown rice, millet, and amaranth), vegetables and fruit
Nutrients for recovery:
- Zinc – aids in repair. Good sources: lamb, chicken, seafood, and pumpkin seeds.
- Iron – is depleted with pregnancy and birth. Good sources: meat, poultry, lentils, cooked spinach and beans
- Vitamin D – supports the immune system and is best obtained through 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – ease inflammation and promote healing. Good sources: salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, walnuts, chia, and flaxseed
- Antioxidants – found in brightly-colored fruits and vegetables
- Fermented foods – support the immune system, digestion and mood
- Water – helps the body eliminate toxins
The holistic nutritionists at Healthy Nest Nutrition believe that diet matters! We hope you’ve found something in this post that will help make being a new mom easier. If you have questions about HOW to eat while breastfeeding, or more particular questions about your body or your family’s diet, we would love to talk with you.
- Artis D. Epithelial-cell recognition of commensal bacteria and maintenance of immune homeostasis in the gut. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008; 8:411–20.
- Bhutta ZA, Das JK. Interventions to address maternal and childhood undernutrition: current evidence. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser. 2014; 78: 59-69.
- Chow J, Lee SM, Shen Y, Khosravi A, Mazmanian SK. Host-bacterial symbiosis in health and disease. Adv. Immunol., 2010; 107: 243-274.
- Clemente JC, Ursell LK, Parfrey LW, Knight R. The impact of gut micriobiota on human health: An integrative view. Cell. 2012; 148: 1258-1270.
- Kaplan JL, Shi H, Walker WA. The role of microbes in developmental immunologic programming: convergence of the Barker and hygiene hypotheses. Pediatr Res 2011; 9:465–72.
- Rolfes SR, Pinna K & Whitney E. Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; 2009.