Congratulations on your new arrival! As a new mom, you will have a lot of questions about what to do and what to eat. Here is a list of the 13 best foods to eat after giving birth. These foods are packed with essential nutrients that will help keep you healthy and energized as you care for your little one.
Why is It Important to Have A Specific Post Partum Diet?
After giving birth, your body goes through a lot of changes. You are now responsible for supplying nutrients to two people – you and your baby if you are breastfeeding.
For breastfeeding mothers, it is important to have a specific postpartum diet so that they can meet the increased nutritional needs of both themselves and their children. Proper nutrition is essential to ensure your growing baby grows!
A healthy diet will help you recover from childbirth, rebuild your energy stores, and produce breast milk. It is also important to avoid foods that can cause problems such as constipation, gas, and bloating.
What Should I Eat?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, the following foods are a good place to start:
Protein is essential for rebuilding your body after giving birth. Lean protein sources such as lean meats like grilled chicken or fish (light tuna is great) , tofu, and legumes are a good choice.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will give you the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Choose brightly colored fruits and vegetables for the most nutrients, as nutrient rich foods can help fight of postpartum depression.
Iron is important for new moms, as it helps to transport oxygen throughout your body. Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and fortified cereals.
Your body needs calcium to rebuild bone mass lost during pregnancy. Dairy products are a good source of calcium, but you can also get it from dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
Carbohydrates provide energy for new moms. Complex carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are best.
Fatty acids are important for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Good sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil.
Drink Plenty of Water:
Water is essential for keeping you hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses per day to stay hydrated.
The Best Recipes for Post Partum Diet
Now that you know what to eat, get started on adding these healthy foods to your diet. You and your baby will benefit from the nutrients they provide.
So now we know the types of food you need to eat, here is a list of our top 20 foods for the best post partum diet. Some of these can be made in advance of the big day and frozen ready for use when your little bundle comes along.
Grilled Chicken With Roasted Vegetables
The best vegetables for post partum diet are low in starch and high in nutrients. This easy grilled chicken dish is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
To make it, simply grill chicken breasts over medium heat until cooked through. Then, place them on a bed of roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs for extra flavor (fennel, garlic and ginger are great to boost milk supply!)
There’s nothing like a bowl of hot chicken soup to soothe your soul and help you recover from childbirth. This recipe is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
To make it, start by cooking chicken breasts in a large pot over medium heat until cooked through. Then, add in onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook for another five minutes, then add chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for about 20 minutes before serving.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber. They’re also super easy to roast.
To make them, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. then wash and slice sweet potatoes into thin wedges. Toss with olive oil and sea salt, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Sautéed Shrimp With Broccoli
This healthy seafood dish is a good source of protein and omega- fatty acids. Broccoli is high in calcium and vitamins C and K.
To make it, sauté shrimp over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through. Then, add broccoli and cook for an additional five minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
These delicious banana pancakes are a great source of complex carbs and fiber. They’re also a good source of protein thanks to the addition of eggs.
To make them, mix together mashed bananas, oats, eggs, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cook pancakes in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Serve with your favorite toppings like maple syrup or fresh fruit.
Beef and Vegetable Stir-fry
This healthy beef and vegetable stir-fry is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
To make it, sauté beef strips in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat until cooked through. Then, add onion, garlic, and vegetables. Cook for an additional five minutes, then add soy sauce and cook for one
Black Bean Burger With Sweet Potato Fries
This vegetarian burger is a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. The sweet potato fries are a healthy alternative to traditional French fries.
To make the burger, mash black beans in a bowl until they are a thick paste. Then, mix in bread crumbs, egg, onion, and garlic. Form into patties and cook in a skillet over medium heat for about five minutes per side. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.
To make the sweet potato fries, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. then wash and slice sweet potatoes into thin wedges. Toss with olive oil and sea salt, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
This hearty chili is packed with nutrients, including protein, iron, and fiber. It can be served with whole grain tortillas or over brown rice for a complete meal.
To make it, sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat until softened. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Then, add diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, chili powder, and cumin. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings like sour cream or cheese.
Roasted Salmon With Asparagus
Salmon is a good source of omega-fatty acids, and asparagus is high in vitamins A and C. This easy dish can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.
To make it, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. then wash and trim asparagus spears. Toss with olive oil and sea salt, then roast in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, brush salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with asparagus and your favorite dipping sauce.
Grilled Chicken Salad
This healthy salad is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It can be served as a main dish or side dish.
To make it, grill chicken breast over medium heat until cooked through. Then, chop into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix together grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, and your favorite dressing. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This classic Mexican dish is a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates. The chickpea sauce provides fiber and protein, while the cheese adds calcium.
To make it, sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat until softened. Add cooked chicken and green chilies. Then, add enchilada sauce and chickpeas. Cook for about five minutes, then fill tortillas with the chicken mixture and roll them up. Place them in an oven-safe dish, top with cheese, and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
This healthy salad is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. It can be served as a main dish or side dish.
To make it, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Then, rinse and drain black beans. In a bowl, mix together quinoa, black beans, diced tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This vegetarian dish is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins A and C. The roasted vegetables add flavor and nutrients to the pasta.
To make it, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. then wash and slice zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers into thin strips. Toss with olive oil and sea salt, then roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg.
In a separate dish, spread a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom. Then, layer noodles, vegetables, cheese mixture, and more sauce. Repeat until all ingredients are used up. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Foods to Avoid After Birth
There are a few foods that you should avoid after giving birth. These include caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and anything high in sugar.
It is also important to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of healthy foods in order to recover from childbirth. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a healthy recovery for both you and your baby.
Caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, and alcohol can decrease milk production. Processed foods are high in sodium and sugar, which can cause dehydration and weight gain.
It is important to drink plenty of water or fruit juice to stay hydrated, especially if you are breastfeeding. And by eating healthy foods, you will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal and rebuild.
Foods to Help Breast Milk Supply in Postpartum Diet
There are a few specific foods that can help increase breast milk supply. These include oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, coconut water, garlic, and ginger.
Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that provides energy and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Brewer’s yeast is a source of B vitamins, which help with lactation. Though you don’t need a nutritional supplement it can help if your diet is not varied.
Garlic has antibacterial properties, and ginger can help with nausea and vomiting. Whilst some people say avoid spicy foods, unless your baby has reacted to it there is no need.
There are plenty of other foods that can help with breast milk production as well. These include leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds. All of these foods are high in vitamins and minerals, which can help support lactation. The following foods all help with increasing milk supply:
Barley is a high-quality protein that helps to rebuild muscle tissue.
Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A, C, and K.
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Yams are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
Beets are a good source of folate, manganese, and nitrates.
Greens such as spinach are a good source of iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Parsley is a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium.
Sesame seeds are a good source of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Almonds are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, protein, and zinc.
Almond milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
Green beans are a good source of vitamin A, B vitamins, and potassium.
Fatty fish, lean meat, whole wheat bread should all form part of a well balanced diet for breastfeeding moms in the postpartum period.
Fennel is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
Postpartum Nutrition Tips
There are a few general tips that can help you with your postpartum nutrition. First, make sure to eat plenty of healthy foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. It is also important to drink plenty of water.
Second, avoid caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and anything high in sugar. These foods can be harmful to your health and can interfere with breastfeeding.
Third, eat small meals throughout the day. This will help keep your energy levels up and minimize nausea and vomiting.
And finally, consult a nutritionist or your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your postpartum diet. They can provide you with specific recommendations based on your individual needs.
Lactating women need an additional 500-700 calories per day, so it is important to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients.
What About Losing Weight?
As a new mom, you might be concerned about losing weight. However, it is important to remember that you should not diet during breastfeeding and though you might want to lose weight asap, for nursing mothers the priority is feeding their babies.
Losing weight too quickly can decrease your milk supply and harm your baby.
It is best to focus on healthy eating and exercise, rather than weight loss. Eat foods that give you a balanced diet and getting regular exercise, you can lose the weight gradually and safely.
What are Gas Producing Foods?
There are a few foods that can cause gas in breastfeeding women. These include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. If you find that these foods are causing problems for you, try avoiding them for a while to see if it makes a difference.
The Bottom Line on the Best Food for New Mothers
There are plenty of healthy foods that new mothers can eat to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. It is also important to drink plenty of water.
Breastfeeding women need an additional 500-700 calories per day, so it is important to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and anything high in sugar. These foods can be harmful to your health and can interfere with breastfeeding.
It is best to focus on healthy eating and exercise, rather than weight loss. Eat food that gives you a balanced diet and get regular exercise, you can lose weight gradually and safely.
This article was written by Sandra Baker – full time writer and the mother of four amazing kids (including twins!)
She’s also a breastfeeding counselor and has spent years helping new parents learn how to care for their children. When she’s not writing or caring for her children, Sandra likes to spend time reading and taking walks with her husband.