Pregnancy is a nine-month period which brings visible as well as hidden changes to woman’s body. One of the most distinguishable characteristics of gestation surely is the weight variation caused by the increased demands for the caloric intake that is crucial for proper fetus development.
Getting adequate nutrition during pregnancy is just as important as during the postpartum period that lasts 6 weeks after the birth. During this time, new mothers tend to forget about themselves because of the stress, “baby blues” or because newborns simply require constant attention.
The negligence of your needs cannot be manifested into anything positive and beneficial; therefore to help you embrace the nutrition habits that will not only benefit you but your loved one as well, here are some gathered guidelines and quick tips that will help you get back on track and lead to the promising future.
Eating healthy and nutritious food during postpartum helps the mother, as well as the child, achieve short and long-term benefits. Here three main prosperities that a well-balanced menu will help you achieve:
- Keep the energy levels up, even when you are sleep deprived.
- Production of nutritious breast milk that will keep you baby healthy.
- Lose baby weight that is no longer needed.
Food enriched with fibers, vitamins, and minerals is a fuel that helps “body engines” run smoothly and efficiently throughout the whole day.
The recommended calorie addition to the standard 1800-2000 Kcal/day chart for the postpartum period is 500 Kcal/day, which makes a total of 2300-2500 Kcal/day, depending on your current health state.
Foods that have high levels of protein contain a hunger-fighting hormone that lowers the appetite making you full for hours at the time. They are also a great source of vitamin B12 and iron that boost the energy levels up, even when conquering a day with tired eyes.
Here are some foods high in protein:
- Chicken breasts
- Cottage cheese
- Lean beef
- Fish and shrimps
- Brussels sprouts
To make sure the chosen source of protein provides all capable benefits it is advisable to keep a track on the content of saturated fats as well as to chose the leans cuts of meat over the processed products, such as sausages, salami, and hot dogs.
- High-fiber carbohydrates
Excessive consumption of carbohydrates is one of many reasons why people gain weigh very quickly. Cutting off the “carbs” during the postpartum is not an option because they are needed for the production of breast milk. It seems as the only question remaining is how to balance the carbohydrate intake without interrupting the lactation and your baby weight losing plan.
Foods enriched with high-fiber carbohydrates take longer to break down; which means that the 6-8 hours digestive cycle will ensure your body receives all necessary components without draining the consumed meal to the fullest putting your weight at risk. Because the high-fiber nutrients don’t digest thoroughly they also provide the body with long-lasting energy without increasing the blood sugar.
Here is a list of high-fiber carbohydrates foods:
- Brown rice, wild rice
- Whole oats
- Whole wheat pasta and bread
- Peas, black beans, lima beans
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts
- Raspberries, blueberries
- Monounsaturated fats
To lose weight in postpartum without making any negative impacts on your body and lactation, a person has to pay closer attention to the fats that certain foods consist of. The consumption of nutrients that have high levels of saturated and trans fats should be limited or replaced with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.
A well-balanced diet that is enriched with monounsaturated fats not only helps keep the cholesterol at acceptable levels but also, according to Reina Sofia University Hospital in Cordoba, Spain, helps a person get rid of the lower belly fat that is one of the most troublesome areas when losing weight, especially after the pregnancy.
Foods high in monounsaturated fats:
- Olives and olive oil
- Canola oil
- Nuts and nut oil
- Dark chocolate
- Sesame, flaxseed
Foods enriched with omega-3 fatty acids:
- Walnuts and walnut oil
- Atlantic salmon
- White tuna
- Fresh basil and dried oregano
Omega-3 fatty acids, according to many medical studies, help lower the different types of depression including the postpartum depression. To make sure you receive the benefits from this nutrient The Institute of Medicine advises the breastfeeding women to consume approximately 1.3 grams of omega-3 per day (1 tablespoon of walnut oil contains 1.4 grams of omega-3).
Postpartum is a stressful period that takes a toll on every mother in different ways. Some people lose and some gain weight due to the new and undiscovered parental life that is filled with trials as well as the joy. To make your weigh-loosing quest as easy and healthy as possible here are the last 4 tips you should put into practice:
- Eat food enriched with vitamin A, C, D, E and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’ skip meals or go without eating for long periods of time.
- Feel free to enjoy a healthy snack between the meals.
To find more helpful information on all things maternity, visit: Maternity At Home
Hi Natalie Michele, Thanks for these tips. It is really helpful to me.