You just gave birth to a beautiful baby. You’ve spent over 9 months growing your little one and nourishing your body to best support your baby’s needs. Now that your baby is born, you’re doing anything and everything to make sure they are healthy, happy, and thriving. But what about you, mama? Are you healthy, happy, and thriving?
During this precious time after your baby is born, your body also starts a new journey. During this new season of life, your nutrition matters. If you’re wondering how your diet impacts your postpartum recovery then this post is for you!
What Is Considered Postpartum?
The postpartum period is often referred to as the fourth trimester. This trimester begins the moment your little one is born and lasts until they are around 3 months old.
The postpartum period is the time for recovery. A full recovery from pregnancy and childbirth can take months. While many women feel recovered around six to eight weeks, it’s important to remember that the duration can vary for each woman. During this postpartum period, you will go through many emotional and physical changes while learning your beautiful role as a new mother.
As you can imagine, these first few months of life are filled with numerous changes and development. It’s an incredibly special time, but can also take a toll on your body, leaving you feeling lethargic, moody, and depleted. This is why nutrition is key to postpartum recovery.
The Importance Of Postpartum Nutrition
Postpartum nutrition is just as important as nourishing your body during pregnancy. So often postpartum wellness is misinterpreted as weight loss and “getting your body back.” This is not what your body needs during recovery.
After more than 9 months of growing your baby, plus the strain of labor, and delivery, your body needs proper nutrition. This season of life should focus on giving your body everything it needs for healing and preventing postnatal depletion, rather than restriction and weight loss.
According to Dr. Serrallach, mothers are often deficient in or lacking “iron, vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and copper.” This can take a toll you as a mom and leave you with unwanted consequences for seven years (or longer!)
Nutrient depletion at this time can result in:
- Excessive postpartum hair loss- see Majka's Hair Recovery
- Extreme fatigue
- Hormones imbalances
- Poor concentration
- Poor memory
- Emotional instability or mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Low libido
In order to avoid these consequences, support postpartum healing, and breastfeeding, a woman needs a variety of balanced meals and snacks that offer nutrient-dense foods.
Ensure your diet includes a good balance of fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Fiber-Rich Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are full of antioxidants and B-vitamins you need to sustain energy and promote healing. Fiber is also extremely important for digestion and stabilizing blood sugar.
Protein: A necessary for rebuilding tissues and muscles. Protein also helps keep you satisfied.
Good Fats: Fats help the body absorb nutrients for energy storage and hormone regulation. They also makes meals more satisfying.
An easy, convenient way to incorporate fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and the nutrients you need during your postpartum recovery is with a smoothie. Fruits and vegetables like blueberries and spinach are a good source of fiber-rich carbohydrates. For protein, we recommend Majka’s Nourishing Protein Powder. Add in some almond butter and almond milk for healthy fats and you have a nutrient-dense, balanced smoothie that supports you postpartum.
It is important to mention that, it’s also recommended to continue taking not only your prenatal multivitamins vitamins but extra fish oil, B vitamins, and magnesium to support and avoid postpartum depletion. With this in mind, we created our Majka protein powders to help you fill in the gaps. Our protein powders are expertly designed to have everything your need postpartum. This is why our protein powders can replace your prenatal multivitamin.
Essential Nutrients For Postpartum Recovery
Your body can easily become depleted of essential nutrients as it works to ensure that your baby’s needs are adequately met. Aside from a good balance of fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat, your body will benefit from these extra nutrients and hydration.
Iron: During and after delivery, you will experience blood loss up to a few weeks. This constant loss of blood can leave you feeling weak and tired. Making sure you are getting enough iron will help improve your energy levels and help build new red blood cells. Women who are breastfeeding need at least 9 mg of iron which is less than non-breastfeeding women who need 18 mg.
Omega-3: Consuming a variety of omega-3-rich foods postpartum can help reduce inflammation that comes with pregnancy, delivery, less sleep and a more demanding schedule. Omega-3s are essential for building new cells, regulating the nervous system, immunity, and help your baby absorb other important nutrients.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress and the body’s inflammatory response. Reducing inflammation is crucial at every stage of life but especially for new moms. Pregnancy, delivery, stress, lack of sleep and environmental stressors can tax the body and cause an inflammatory response. Incorporating anti-inflammatory antioxidants like those found in Majka’s Lactation Booster, can speed up recovery, protect against postpartum depression and increase milk production.
Water: Staying hydrated is essential postpartum. During delivery, you lose a lot of fluids and your body needs extra hydration. If you are breastfeeding, keeping hydrated helps support milk production. During your postpartum period, staying well-hydrated helps with muscle recovery, boosts metabolism, and supports your digestive system. We recommend drinking at least 80 oz of water per day.
Best Foods For Postpartum Recovery
- Fiber-rich Carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, like oats, quinoa, and brown rice.
- Protein: Poultry, grass-fed beef, seafood, eggs, yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds and beans, and protein powder.
- Good Fats: Coconut, olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, grass-fed butter, and fatty fishes like salmon.
- Iron-Rich Foods: Grass-fed beef, bone broth, spinach, black beans, lentils, eggs, and tahini.
- Omega-3s: Walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, wild-caught salmon, and sardines.
- Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables: Especially berries, colorful vegetables, and leafy greens.
One way to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need during your postpartum recovery is to incorporate Majka’s Nourishing Protein Powder. This blend was specifically designed with you in mind. As a new mom, this will nourish your body with nutrients and vitamins, which stem from whole foods that can promote lactation!
Nourish Your Body And Feel Your Best
Your postpartum recovery is an extension of pregnancy. Nourishing your body is just as important in order to recover, heal, and be the best version of yourself. Remember taking care of yourself and optimizing your nutrition will ultimately help you to show up fully and give more to your baby.
Rather than focusing on perfection, just start focusing on treating the body well and giving it the nutrients needed to promote healing, recovery, mental health, and provide the energy needed to sustain milk supply if breastfeeding.
For more tips on postpartum nutrition and lifestyle, follow us @lovemajka and #lovemajka #fuelingmotherhood