Congratulations, mom! Hopefully, your little one and you are good and you can start the rest of your life together. For your baby, the upcoming few months won’t be too exciting when it comes to diet, but for you, it’s important to stay consistent and healthy in order to supply your child with plenty of milk. Even if you can’t breastfeed, following a healthy postpartum diet is the key to good health and plenty of strength after a stressful period. So what kind of diet should you follow after you give birth?
Boost collagen-rich foods
To bounce back after delivery, it’s important to include plenty of collagen-rich foods into your diet. Collagen is a protein responsible for healthy and strong joints, as well as skin elasticity, tissue repair and many other essential things for this period of your life. To boost your collagen production naturally, you can eat bone broth soups, meat, fish, eggs, and fruits and veggies like leafy greens, citrus, kiwis, avocado, tomatoes, etc. The mentioned foods don’t contain collagen, but they motivate your body to produce more of it.
Load up on key nutrients
Postpartum depression and anxiety is a very real thing that hits between 10 and 15% of women. While science still doesn’t know everything about this condition, studies show that nutrition can potentially reduce the risk of postpartum depression which might be caused by certain nutrient deficiencies. Make sure to include plenty of omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, combined with folate, vitamin b12, calcium, selenium and zinc. A loaded diet like this will help your body produce plenty of good hormones and neurotransmitters that will lift your mood.
Replenish your iron levels
According to some estimations, 20% of women go into pregnancy while being iron-deficient and many of them stay this way throughout the pregnancy and beyond. And let’s not talk about possible blood loss during delivery. So after your baby is here, make sure to add more iron-rich foods into your diet such as liver, beef, spinach and legumes. If you’re plant-based, it’s important to keep in mind that iron from plant foods is not the same as iron from meat and it is not absorbed as efficiently.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation might be connected to many health complications after pregnancy, postpartum depression included. Therefore, eating foods that prevent inflammation will help your body with both physical and mental recovery. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, boldly-colored fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains are a great idea. To keep your gut safe from inflammations, you can also load up on probiotic foods. It’s important to consult with other moms by asking for postpartum recovery tips on pregnancy apps. Women on these apps have amazing advice on diet tips and how to avoid highly processed foods, overly greasy foods and too much sugar, all of which can worsen inflammation.
Do plenty of protein
Good foods rich in glycine that rebuilds the weakened tissues in your body (stomach, breasts, pelvis) need to find their way to your plate after pregnancy. Glycine is an amino acid found in protein-rich foods like chicken skin, bone broth and slow-cooked meats. To boost the intake of protein if you’re not a big meat eater, you can add more protein-rich snacks to your diet like Greek yogurt, peanut butter, edamame, tempeh and other nuts.
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, especially new mothers. No matter if you prefer sipping liquids throughout the day, eating soup for lunch or snacking on juicy fruit, you’re doing great things for your hydration levels. It’s important to take at least 10 glasses of water per day (around 2 liters), near to 15 if you’re breastfeeding since dehydration can affect your milk supply. Whenever you feed your baby, make sure to chug a glass of water—it will soon become a great habit that will benefit you throughout your life.
If you’re usually not a diet freak, these tips might seem like a lot to handle at once, but don’t stress out too much. There’s no such thing as a perfect diet for mothers since you also have to take care of a whole new baby in the process—food mistakes happen a lot. But as long as you take these nutrient-rich foods and add plenty of protein, veggies and fruits, as well as some good fat, you’ll be healthy and strong for your baby to rely on.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.