If you are a first-time mom and you are struggling with your food choice you should make healthy alternatives because once you deliver your baby, your postpartum diet starts making a difference right away. It is not a good idea to start eating everything as you were while pregnant. Actually, now you are not eating for yourself only you have to keep your baby in mind too.
Either you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section delivery, you need to eat healthy and nutritious. For C- section moms internal healing is very essential as well as external healing. Eating healthy would ensure faster emotional as well as physical recovery.
The postpartum diet for moms, especially breastfeeding mom, has to be really healthy, nutritious yet simple and easy on your digestive tract. Although it is not backed by any scientific research rather it is based on the experience of many moms that their diet would affect their newborn’s stomach as well (I have had the same experience) which would eventually lead to fuss and uncomfortable nights.
These are simple food suggestions for staying physically and emotionally healthy.
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Healthy Postpartum Diet for C-section Moms
Oatmeal is very nutritious and healthy food for breakfast. Oats are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. They have the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too. Eating oatmeal in any form like oats cookies or porridge can be really helpful in the lactation process.
Even a bowl can be very filling which can actually help you lose weight. Oats can actually help in relieving constipation which is a major concern after delivery. However, oats are an essential part of the postpartum diet for new moms.
For breastfeeding mom, these lactation cookies work great to establish a good milk supply in the early days. You can get lactation bites and put it in your hospital bag for a smooth breastfeeding experience.
2. Boiled eggs
Eggs are an exceptionally nutritious source of proteins and essentials vitamins. However, boiled eggs also help with increasing milk supply. Eat two boiled eggs in the breakfast or you can eat eggs in other forms too.
However, boiled eggs can be a healthy alternative to losing weight.
3. Protein-rich Food
Proteins rich meat, chicken, mutton/lamb, beef or fish are really essential for internal healing, especially after a C-section.
If you are a vegetarian breastfeeding mother, you can take protein from quinoa, soy products, beans, and grains.
4. Iron Rich food | Red Meat and Green leafy vegetables
An iron deficiency can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a newborn baby.
If you had a C-section or you have been anemic throughout your pregnancy, you definitely need iron-rich food or iron supplements.
Red meat and green leafy vegetables like spinach etc. are a good source of iron.
If you are a vegan mom, you should have spinach and other leafy greens, dried fruits, kidney beans and black beans, tofu, seeds, nuts, soy milk, and fortified breakfast cereals for iron intake.
5. Bone Broth | Soup
Bone broth is a great alternative to solid food. It has all good nutritions and it is super hydrating for breastfeeding moms.
You can make bone broth by using any type of organic Bone-in meat. Add water and let it cook for few hours until the meat gets tender. You can add, a few cloves of garlic, cumin seeds, salt and pepper or any other seasoning as per your taste. You can use organic chicken legs, bone-in mutton or lamb meat to make bone broth.
This should increase your milk supply, and bowel movement would become more regular.
6. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with the whole nutrition of essential vitamins and minerals. Eat fruits and green leafy iron-rich vegetables like avocado, apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, spinach.
7. Brown Rice and whole wheat bread
Brown rice is a great alternative to cut on carbs. It will help you losing weight yet keep you full and full of energy.
Whole wheat bread is a great source of Folic acid. Folic acid helps in baby’s brain development not only during pregnancy but also even while breastfeeding.
Folic acid works as one of the mood boosters for me. It really helps positively in emotional as well as mental health.
8. Desi Ghee/ Organic Ghee
Your body needs good fats and Desi ghee has way more health benefits if consumed moderately.
Water intake is the most essential part of hydration. You have to drink as much water as you can to have your milk flow get better and your bowel movements could get better. If you feel dehydrated you are at risk of energy draining dehydration. To keep your energy levels and milk production up, make sure you stay well-hydrated.
Cut down on caffeine intake because caffeine can cause irritability in newborns sleep.
9. Milk and Yogurt
Milk and yogurt are a rich source of calcium . as your baby’s bones get strong, more calcium you need for your bone health. You have to have a dairy intake (you can choose low fat or whole milk).
Watch out for any signs of lactose intolerance in newborns.
10. Green tea
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants. It will help in the weight loss process.
If you want to lose weight and you cannot exercise right after giving birth, you should have this amazing recipe of a very simple easy to make herbal tea. I have lost 40 lbs within 6 months after my both C-section by having just one cup a day.
12. Supplements /Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins are really important until you choose to breastfeed. Some essential vitamins that can help you with depression or anxiety and vitamin B complex are one of them. Eat food that’s a rich source of vitamins B.
Calcium, and magnesium are essential vitamins for muscles cramping or bone health. Your baby has already been taking his share of nutrition from your body since you conceived and now when you have delivered a healthy baby, he/she needs food from breastmilk thus, you have to eat in order to meet your baby’s food requirements.
Take Vitamin B rich food because vitamin B really helps with moods, anxiety, depression. In short, it is essential for emotional health as well. Nursing moms need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12.
Folic acid is one of the mood boosters for me. It really helps positively in emotional as well as mental health.
Breastfeeding moms may want to take some breastfeeding supplements for a better breastfmilk supply.
Foods to avoid
1. Vegetables and fruits that cause bloating
After a C-section, eating gassy vegetables can actually bloat you so badly, and it becomes extremely painful in your stitches depending on how your metabolism works.
Gas could also affect your baby’s night sleep. Your baby might get restless because his tiny stomach is getting used to what you are eating. So, try to be gentle with your food choices.
You might want to avoid eating veggies like Cauliflower, kale, broccoli, okra, legumes, chickpeas for a couple of weeks.
2. Fried food or oily food
These type of food can be equally discomforting just like gassy vegetables. It can give you heartburn, discomfort, and bloating in your abdominal area.
Oily food is one of the main reasons for the weight increase.
3. Spicy Food
Hot food can delay the healing process in-case if you have a c-section delivery. It can cause heartburn, acidity, digestive discomfort. For about 2 to 3 weeks postpartum you should avoid eating spicy food.
These are some postpartum diet suggestions, I followed them too. You should enjoy food unless you choose not to feed but be wise in your food choices, try not to overeat, and walk as much as you can.
Word of caution: Please watch out for any form of allergies from dry fruit, nuts, and dairy products. Some babies tend to be lactose intolerant. Please talk to your doctor if you see anything unusual.
It is always a good practice to pay attention to your physical and mental health during postpartum as there are issues that might come up after giving birth.
Comment below and let me know what are your suggestions about your favorite postpartum diet.