Nutrition post pregnancy is just as important as it was before pregnancy, especially if you are choosing to breastfeed. And it's not just nutrition you have to think about 12 weeks after birth, but something to keep looking at forever, your body is constantly changing as too your hormones. Knowing this doesn't make it easy to execute on, you may be running on less sleep, you may be going back to work or have more than one child to chase after. Take a deep breath. You can take care of yourself - I always tell students and clients, "the only way you can take care of others is to take care of yourself first."
Some Simple Nutrition Pointers for Post Pregnancy:
Calcium: Calcium is drawn from your bones to support the growth of the baby during pregnancy, as well as during breastfeeding the body continues this process to put calcium in the breast milk. Getting enough calcium is essential to preventing long-term bone loss and osteoporosis down the road.
Where to get it: dairy products if you can, sesame, fish with small bones (sardines), legumes, tofu and fortified non-dairy milks.
B Vitamins: Fight off the blues with the B’s - like folate, biotin, B6 and B12 are involved in many of the body’s processes, and taking these in these vitamins can help boost your energy!
Where to get it: Add in whole grains, green leafy greens, nuts eggs and red meat.
Vitamin D: What’s good for the baby is good for mommy. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression and low energy. Our best source of vitamin D is sunshine, which isn’t always possible if you don’t live in the desert!
Where to get it: Focus on fortified dairy, egg yolks, cod and cod liver oil.
Iron: Just like in pregnancy, iron deficiency is something to watch out for. Even after giving birth, if you are breastfeeding or menstruating your iron count can be low. There are good supplements out there like Floradix which you can pick up at any Whole Foods store.
Where to get it: lentils, liver, shrimp, lamb, beef (best food source for it), fortified whole grains, molasses and nuts.
*The most important thing to note about iron absorption is that dairy, almonds and certain leafy greens block the absorption of it! And it is best absorbed into the body if taken with Vitamin C
Omega 3’s: Healthy fats are good for baby’s brain development and can help momma too! They have anti-inflammatory properties that can do wonders for the skin skin and immune system..
Where to get it: fatty fish (salmon, sardines cod), walnuts, avocados, flaxseeds and chia seeds
Good Foods To Always Have Around:
It's always good to have a staple of foods around the home, especially when you find you have a little one in your arms. Foods you can eat with one hand are always a bonus! When your kids get older, these foods are still great staples (barring any allergies) as you can give these foods to them and continue to eat them yourself, knowing that you are still getting the nutrition you need.
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Granola (with flax and or chia)
- Nut Mix
- Cheese sticks (thought you'd never eat those again?)