Now that your baby is born, you may have all the information on what to feed him or her. You have the perfect diet planned out for your child until he or she reaches the age of 40. However, you may be forgetting to get the right postpartum nutrition for your own body. Here are some nutrients you should have after giving birth.
Protein is an important part of every cell in the body. You’ll find protein in hair and nails, and protein is used to build and repair tissues in your body. It’s basically a building block of life. As part of your postpartum nutrition, you’ll need your protein fix to get your body running in tip top condition again. Here’re some ideas for your daily protein needs:
- Fish is a healthy alternative to red meat, plus it can be filled with other vitamins and minerals including iron and zinc. However, do stick to fish with low mercury levels like tilapia, salmon and cod.
- Beans are incredibly rich in protein and fibre. Plus, they can be cooked a delicious variety of ways.
Calcium has many functions in the body; one of the most popular ones is the support of healthy bones and teeth. Breastfeeding can affect your bones; you may experience a decrease in bone density. This calcium loss may be caused by your child’s need of calcium, which he or she gets from you. While you may be happy enough to give all you have to your child, we’d say that you need your own calcium as well. After all, you need tough bones for a tough body to take care of your child. You should also take vitamin D to help calcium absorption. Here’s where you can get it:
- Milk, especially fortified milk contains lots of calcium for your strong bones. It’s also a source of protein!
- Yogurt. It goes well with lots of fruits, so you can take this for breakfast or as a snack.
Iron is an important component of haemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. If you have excessive postpartum bleeding, you may need more iron. Here are some food items that are rich iron:
- Lean meat is rich in iron and contains lots of protein.
- Legumes and green leafy vegetables such as spinach are some great non-meat options.
Of course, the most important part about planning your postpartum or postnatal nutrition is getting a balance. Have small meals, with healthy snacks in between. This way, you won’t starve yourself and binge later on. You’ll also need lots of fluids; drink lots of water and milk! Obviously, you’ll want to avoid the alcohol and anything that’s harmful like smoking.
If you’re looking to eat healthy, you can always get your partner to join you for support. It’s more fun to do it together, and you can keep your partner healthy as well!