Eating a healthy diet, packed with the right nutrition, plays a vital role in your overall physical, emotional, mental, and postpartum health. Studies reveal that mood has a strong correlation with our inner healthiness. After having a baby, every mom needs to eat a healthy nutritious diet to improve postpartum health.
Having a healthy meal every day should not be overly complicated. However, some specific foods or nutrients have been proven to have a positive effect on mood. Essentially, nutriment intake highly depends on an overall dietary meal that is considered to be more nutrient-productive on daily basis.
Ideally, the goal should be to replace processed food with natural food whenever possible. Eating fresh and organic food is definitely a healthier alternative than processed food. Not everyone can afford to eat fully organic, however, you can seek some affordable options that can help you include at least a few organic options, like fruits and veggies in your daily diet.
During the postpartum period, especially, nursing moms need to be extra careful about their diet. It is very likely to get lazy making a trip to the kitchen solely for themselves. Lack of nutrition could be one of the significant reasons for postpartum depression or anxiety. A mother nourishes her unborn baby for the whole nine months. Clearly, an expectant mom should take care of her diet to nourish a healthy baby, and herself too.
Unfortunately, after having a pregnancy loss, it is very likely to feel lethargic and depressed all the time. Vitamin deficiencies may trigger mood swings, low energy, and tiredness at some point.
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How to improve postpartum health with a nutritious diet
Vitamins are important components of a nutritional diet that help you feel better and a daily intake of vitamins helps drastically in reducing anxiety and depression. We need to incorporate all the right nutrition in our diet or take supplements if your doctor recommends it.
Start taking prenatal supplements the moment you find out about your pregnancy (if you are not already taking supplements). Ideally, you should not stop taking prenatal vitamins even if you are breastfeeding.
How do you know if you should start taking supplements?
Common signs of nutrition deficiency are feeling fatigued, tired, and lethargic all the time. Depression, anxiety, and stress are the most significant signs of deteriorating postpartum health.
Vitamin B Complex Supplements as mood booster
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 for a pregnant woman to be part of their supplements because its deficiency can cause birth defects.
Nevertheless, everyone needs folic acid daily for the production of cells. It is important for your 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 and after having a baby as it can be helpful for pulling moms (women) out of depression.
Iron supplement for Stamina
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, and reduced stamina.
Taking the right amount of Iron helps to improve your stamina, gives you energy, and regulates your body temperature. Typically, women who have C-section and are low on hemoglobin are advised to take iron supplements.
Vitamin C for better immunity
This vitamin has the 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.
Buy vegan Vitamin C supplements for better immunity.
Magnesium for Muscle Health
Magnesium is really essential for muscle health, calcium absorption, and bone health. It helps in relieving anxiety and migraines headaches.
Different sources of magnesium are; Almonds, Shrimp, Banana, sunflower seeds, cow milk, spinach, edamame, black beans, cashews, oatmeal.
Are you struggling with leg cramps and body aches? Get magnesium supplement now for amazing muscle health.
Vitamin D for Bone health
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.
Not to mention, sunlight is the most rich and natural source of vitamin D.
Iodine for Thyroid balance
Iodine deficiency eventually leads to thyroid problems. The thyroid gland plays a vital role in your overall health. You have to keep a balanced iodine salt intake. However, thyroid problems lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, sluggishness, and weight gain or weight loss. Such health issues have a direct impact on your emotional health.
Supplements for Pregnant and Nursing Moms
GNC prenatal vitamins with iron is my personal recommendation for expecting and breastfeeding moms who suffer from anemia.
Another vegan option for prenatal vitamins is Mama Bird Prenatal Vitamins.
You may also like vegan Rainbow light prenatal vitamins. They are very popular among expecting and nursing moms.
Postpartum Healing tea
Try this Organic Peaceful Mama tea for postpartum healing by Earth Mama Organics. This will help new moms to reduce anxiety and stress. Also, it helps moms improve their mental and emotional health significantly.
Postpartum healing foods for new moms
Include Organic food in your diet
Organic food has apparently no hormones or artificial flavors, therefore, you can try (if you can afford) to add some of it, if not all, to your diet.
Fruits nuts, and dry-fruits
Fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Also, dry fruits are a wonderful source of healthy nutrition. Always have them within your reach, especially on a nursing station or nightstand.
Iron rich Veggies
Vegetables are a great source of iron and magnesium. Spinach is a rich source of iron for C-section moms to make up with blood loss during surgery.
Protein rich food
Meat is a good source of protein. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can include eggs, fish, red meat, or white meat in your diet. Moreover, red meat is an incredible source of healing for C-section moms.
Ideally, try to prepare and freeze meat and bone broth ahead of time (before delivery) so you can enjoy it after delivery for extra hydration and internal healing – without any hassle of cooking. Just warm it in the micriwave and you are good to go.
Protein rich food for Vegetarians
Lentils, legumes, black beans, chickpeas, tofu, and mushrooms are a good source of protein for vegetarians.
If you had a c section and are low on your hemoglobin, it is a good idea to take an iron supplement to sustain your energy throughout your day. If you have pre-existing conditions, ask your doctor about using supplements.
Do not stop taking prenatal vitamins if you are nursing
If you are a nursing mom, you should not stop taking your prenatal vitamins. If you plan to quit or you are not nursing anymore then you can switch vitamin supplements every day to have nutritional requirements fulfilled.
Avoid Caffeine and sugary drinks
Try to avoid sugary drinks and excessive amounts of caffeine. Limiting your caffeine intake is a healthy option, as it may trigger panic attacks in people who have anxiety disorders.
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, mood changes, headache, dizziness, and constipation.
Eating smaller meals throughout the day
Skipping meals may make things worse. Skipping meals leads to fatigue and lack of concentration. Ideally, a smaller meal size throughout the day is a great way to lose weight as well as helps you stay healthy.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast
Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals or portions throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism while eating small portion-size meals keeps your energy up all day.
Egg and avocado toast is a perfect omega and protein rich breakfast for a new mom.
Manage to walk, run, or exercise according to your routine and circumstances. The goal is to include some physical activity to have you feel more active and energized. However, if you have a C-section delivery, you might want to wait for a few weeks until you feel ready. Talk to your doctor about resuming exercise.
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 be happy to try that.