Updated: Mar 8
Healthy Eating for a Nutritious Recovery
I had a dream the night before I went into labor. Well technically my water started to leak right when I woke up, but I had this dream, right?
I was in the hospital, in labor, having these crazy contractions which ya know, led to me delivering a baby boy. My family and ex-husband leave with the baby and yell back “want anything to eat?!” and I yelled “SUBWAYYYYYYYYY”. The end.
I wanted that damn “eat fresh” experience after so long! I didn’t get Subway mind you, but the urge to eat everything you’ve been missing out on after delivering your baby is so strong. Sushi, deli meats, all the cheeses, hot dogs, etc. You want it all, but it’s super important to pay attention to your postpartum diet in those first few weeks and months.
Your postpartum diet after delivering your child is pretty important in the overall healing process, unfortunately. Everyone’s labor and delivery is going to be different. Maybe you had a C-Section, maybe you had a lot of tearing, maybe you were in strenuous pain for hours and hours, etc. Depending on your circumstances will depend on what type of postpartum foods are ideal in your healing process.
Keep in mind you literally spent 9-10 months growing a human. Your body has done things like move organs around, make room for growth, nourish and provide for a life form to come into this Earth. That’s insane and sacred. You must recover from the inside out and take your time to get back to living “alone”.
During the first month or two, make it a point to not focus on “dieting” but to focus on properly fueling and healing your body through food. Also, it’s super important to pay attention to any mental health issues that may pop up. To read more about postpartum mental health, click here.
The gut is the center of our bodies. It’s correlation to our brain and how we feel is tremendous. It’s important as your body is healing and your hormones are going wild trying to re-regulate themselves to keep your diet full of anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation can be linked to postpartum depression, so be sure to really take into consideration your food choices.
You can also include turmeric and ginger as these are both anti-inflammatory as well and great to add into your postpartum diet line up.
warm soups and stews
Warm postpartum soups are amazing for the first few days and common in many cultures. They are easy to digest and nutrient dense. Your body will be able to rest while getting the nutrients it needs without working extra to break down food. In many culture around the world, soups and stews are the go-to for your postpartum diet.
It’s very common to be constipated after giving birth and honestly, the thought of using the restroom after pushing a large child out of your lady bits can be a terrifying thought when you’re in the midst of it. Incorporating fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, dates, prunes, dried fruits, whole grains, beans, broccoli, avocados, etc.
Salmon is a great option to incorporate into your meals as it is high in DHA. If you’re breastfeeding, salmon will help increase the DHA levels in your milk which can help with your child’s brain development. If you’re not breastfeeding, it’s all good! Salmon’s DHA will help boost your mood and aid in hopefully warding off postpartum depression.
whole grain carbs
We are not here to cut calories or carbs ladies! That is the biggest disservice you could do postpartum. Brown rice is a great carb to include in meals that will help with energy levels and also keep your calorie level stable to produce milk production if that is your choice.
Blueberries are high in antioxidants which is great for flushing out any toxins from medications utilized during labor. In addition, when consumed immediately after giving birth, there is a high possibility of it keeping depression and the “baby blues” away.
Collagen is important for healing incisions or scarring after birth. You can boost your collagen by increasing your vitamin C intake. Foods high in vitamin C include red and green peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, potatoes, kiwi, strawberries, and Brussels sprouts.
Of course, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body went through a traumatic experience of giving birth, tend to it like you would with any other injury or experience. During the first few days, especially if you had an epidural or took any pain meds, drink as much water as possible to flush all of that out of your system.
Labor is no joke. It takes such a toll on your body, as does growing a munchkin, please don’t rush the healing process and don’t feel pressured to “snap back”. It’s not realistic and it shouldn’t even be a thought.
What’s most important is your mental health and finding yourself in your new role as a mom.
Enjoy the phases regardless of what it looks like.
All my love,
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