A full of nutrition healthy diet plays a vital role in your overall physical, emotional and mental postpartum health. Your mood has a strong correlation with your inner healthiness. Every mom needs to eat a nutritious diet to improve postpartum health.
Eating a healthy diet should not be overly complicated. However, some specific foods or nutrients have been proven to have a positive effect on mood. Though, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is considered to be more nutritionally productive.
The goal of a healthy diet should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Organic food is definitely healthier than processed food.
During the postpartum period, the nursing moms are too busy to eat for two. They sometimes get lazy making a trip to the kitchen solely for themselves. Lack of nutrition could be one of the reasons for Postpartum Depression or anxiety because a mom had already been through the baby nourishing process for the whole 9 months and now whatever is left it’s going to be sucked out by a nursing baby. It is really essential for a mom who is taking care of her family should take care of herself too.
There were times when I felt actually low in my moods. After having a miscarriage I felt lethargic, depressed and stressed out all the time. One day I started searching up the internet and found out that vitamin B deficiency actually gives you mood swings, low energy, and tiredness.
I started taking Folic Acid and Vitamin B complex tablets and it actually helped me feel so much better emotionally. It certainly worked as a mood booster for me.
There are important components of a nutritional diet that help you feel better and drastically helps reducing anxiety and depression. We have to incorporate all that nutrition in our diet or take supplements if your doctor recommends it. You should take your prenatal supplements from pregnancy until you nurse your baby. I can’t emphasize that enough …You need a lot of nutrition.
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How to improve emotional health with a nutritious diet
These are the nutritions every new mom needs after having a baby for emotional and mental health.
Vitamin B Complex Supplements
This vitamin has many important functions to maintain overall health. It is essential to be taken every day as it is water-soluble and your body does not store it. Folate (Folic Acid) is essential, especially for a pregnant woman to be part of their supplements because its deficiency can cause birth defects.
However, everyone needs folic acid for the production of cells. It is especially important for healthy hair, skin, nails, eyes, liver and red blood cell production.
Some studies show that Vitamin B12, B6, and Folic acid can work as an antidepressant. It helps to boost your mood and emotional health. If you feel depressed all the time try to add vitamin B complex supplements in your diet. or you can include leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale in your diet. Meat, fish, eggs, poultry, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains have high amounts of folate or folic acid.
That being said, vitamin B is super essential in your daily diet before or after having a baby as it can be helpful for pulling moms (women) out of depression.
It is an essential component of our diet. It helps to regulate oxygen throughout our body. If you are low on iron, you become anemic. Low iron levels can cause fatigue, breathlessness, heart palpitations, pale skin, lack of focus, increased irritability, reduced stamina.
Taking Iron helps to improve your stamina, gives you energy and regulates your body temperature. Women who have C-section and are low on hemoglobin are advised to take iron supplements.
This vitamin has a benefit of protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, and prenatal health problems. Vitamin C also helps in iron absorption and it prevents iron deficiencies. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps to improve your thinking and memory as you age.
Magnesium is really essential for muscle health, calcium absorption, and bone health. It helps in relieving anxiety and migraines headaches.
Source of magnesium is Almonds, Shrimp, Banana, sunflower seeds, cow milk, spinach, edamame, black beans, cashews, oatmeal.
Rates of depression are higher in people with a lack of Vitamin D compared to people who have adequate levels of vitamin D. Studies have shown that deficiency of this vitamin is linked to depression, dementia, and autism.
Sunlight is the rich and natural source of vitamin D.
Iodine deficiency eventually leads to thyroid problems. The thyroid gland plays a vital role in your overall health. You have to keep a balance of your iodine salt intake. However, thyroid problems lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, sluggishness, and weight gain or weight loss. These health issues have a direct impact on your emotional health.
Supplements for Pregnant and Nursing Moms
The following are some recommended supplements for nursing and expecting moms.
1. I personally take and highly recommend GNC prenatal vitamins WITH IRON formula as suggested by my doctor.
You can get GNC prenatal vitamins without iron (if you are not iron deficient) from Amazon.
2. Another option for prenatal vitamins is Mama Bird Prenatal Vitamins from Amazon.
3. You can also have Rainbow light prenatal vitamins for expecting and nursing moms.
Suggestions for the healthier postpartum period
- Since organic has apparently no hormones or artificial flavors so you can try to include organic food in your diet. Although organic food is relatively expensive still you can try (if you can afford) to add some of it in your diet.
2. Fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Also, dry fruits are a wonderful source of healthy nutrition and you should always have them at an arm’s reach for easy access while nursing or during work.
3. Vegetables are a great source of iron and magnesium. Spinach is rich in iron. If you happen to have a C-section try to include iron in your diet to cope up with blood loss during surgery.
4. Meat is a good source of protein. Eggs, fish, red meat or white meat could be included in your diet if you are non-vegetarian. Moreover, red meat helps C-section moms for quick internal heal. Try to drink meat and bone broth after delivery for healthy nutrition.
5. Lentils, legumes, black beans, chickpeas, tofu, and mushrooms are a good source of protein for vegetarians.
6. If you had a c section and you are low on your hemoglobin, it is a good idea to take an iron supplement to have your energy throughout your day. If you have any medical condition, ask your doctor about it. Red meat is a rich source of iron. Find out a detailed post on Postpartum Diet for Moms.
7. Manage to walk, run, or exercise as per your routine and circumstances. The goal is to have some physical activity as part of your lifestyle to feel more active and energized. However, if you recently had a C-section, you might want to wait to resume exercise.
8. If you are a nursing mom, you should be taking your prenatal vitamins. If you are not nursing anymore then you should have daily vitamin supplements to have that nutritional requirement fulfilled.
9. Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals or portions throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism while eating small, healthy meals keeps your energy up all day.
10. Try to avoid sugary drinks and excessive amounts of caffeine. Caffeine intake should not be excessive, as it can trigger panic attacks in people who have anxiety disorders.
11. Drink plenty of water, at least 8 glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration. Studies show that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes, headache, dizziness and/or constipation.
12. Do not skip meals. Eat-in smaller portion sizes. Skipping meals leads to fatigue and lack of concentration.
Your diet is of utmost importance. You become what you eat. Postpartum depression is a serious condition. Please seek help if you think it is taking a toll on your health and your lifestyle. If you have any suggestions on food which happens to be a mood booster for you, comment below and I would really like to know.