Eating Sensibly Postpartum
It’s of time of excitement, when your little baby has arrived; however, other emotions are also in the mix, like overwhelm, melancholy, and exhaustion. The first step in settling all of these emotions is acknowledging them and then taking action. It’s essential to listen to the demands of your body: take a nap when you need to, nourish yourself with a variety of whole colorful foods, and possibly take some supplements to keep you strong and healthy.
1. Keep Hydrated
This is extremely important, especially if you are nursing, as approximately 90% of breast milk is water and dehydration may lead to fatigue, poor concentration, constipation and headaches. Iced herbal teas and water infused with citrus slices may also be mixed into your daily beverage intake other than plain water.
2. Eat Protein
Protein intake needs to be increased during this period. Not only will it help with energy levels, but will also help keep blood sugar levels balanced plus keep mood stable.
A few options include:
- Wild salmon, cod, sardines, and halibut are good sources of not only protein but the omega-3 fatty acids (see below).
- Cook a half dozen hard boiled eggs that you can store in the fridge and eat whole or chop and mix in a salad.
Nuts and Seeds
- Nut butters on apples, fill a jar with homemade granola packed with seeds and nuts, and sprinkle nuts and seeds on Greek yogurt, salads and throw in smoothies.
- Keep bean dips like hummus or black bean handy and munch with whole grain crackers: quick and nutritious.
Stews and Soups
- If you don’t have a crock pot, this is the time to invest in one. It’s simple to make a large pot of soup – full of veggies, beans or/or meats – on Sunday to have ready to eat anytime during the week.
- Iron deficiency maybe a contributing factor to fatigue, postpartum depression, and reduced breast milk quantity. It tends to be constipating to many people, however, Floradix Iron & Herbs is a great alternative and simple to take as it is a liquid.
- The b vitamins work as a team and it is often best to take them together unless prescribed differently from your doctor. They have a variety of functions in the body such as energy metabolism, making red blood cells, and aiding in nervous system function.
Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce inflammation and being effective at preventing and treating depression. They are also high in DHA and EPA and if nursing, this can be extremely beneficial in the neural development of your baby. Nordic Naturals is a brand I highly recommend as their quality control, purity and good taste is exceptional.
- Normally the herb, Nettles, is used for allergies; however, making a nettle tea can be nourishing to the body as it has a good amount of iron, folic acid and calcium and tends to bring a sense of calmness when drinking.
What foods do you find give you an energy boost?
Dr. Heather Manley, ND, is a practicing physician who received her medical degree in 2001 from National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She is also the award-winning author of the Human Body Detectives book and curriculum series.