Postpartum Nutrition: What to eat after childbirth

what to eat after child birth

Growing a baby requires a lot of energy. For nine to ten months, your body works hard to develop muscles, bones, limbs and even teeth. Your essential vitamin and mineral stores are shared between two, often leaving the mother in depletion. And not to mention the lack of sleep most mums experience towards the end of pregnancy. But then, once our little bundles arrive, there’s even less time to rest. There are more sleepless nights, busy days, and little time to look after ourselves. 

There is one thing all mothers can do postpartum, that doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or effort but will make a world of difference. And that’s having a solid nutrition plan, one that will nourish you back to health post-birth. This article will look at how you can nurture your body and recover from pregnancy and labour by focusing on what you eat. 

Postpartum Nutrition Plan

1. Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Anti-inflammatory foods help stop the release of pro-inflammatory molecules, which regulates inflammation levels. An anti-inflammatory diet involves eating nutrient-dense whole foods high in fibre, antioxidants, and omega-three fatty acids. So, basically, a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. 

Try including a range of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet each day:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables in as many different colours as possible. 
  • Iron-rich protein sources like good quality lamb, beef and seafood. For vegetarians dried beans and legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, plus wholegrain cereals and breads. 
  • Healthy fats including avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish, nuts and seeds. 
  • Whole grains like brown rice and pasta, quinoa and oats (in moderation). 
  • Probiotic-rich foods, such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut.

2. Hydrate

Water plays a significant role in our body’s ability to rebuild, regenerate and recover. Try picturing what your insides would like when you’re hydrated compared to dehydrated. The dehydrated version doesn’t seem like a nurtured and nourished environment, does it? 

Every single cell in our body requires water to function. And breastfeeding women’s requirement for H20 is around double that of a non-breastfeeding woman. So if you’re breastfeeding, you want to be consuming about 10-15 glasses of water each day. 

Along with fibre, water is vital for healthy digestion. Water assists in dissolving waste particles and allowing them to pass smoothly through the digestive tract. If you haven’t drunk enough water, other desperate cells will absorb any water you do drink, ultimately leaving your colon dry, making it difficult to pass waste. Of course, constipation isn’t ideal for postpartum women who shouldn’t be pushing too hard when going to the toilet. 

Drinking more water doesn’t have to be boring; you can spice up your H2o by adding fresh berries, lemon or lime, or try sparkling water and herbal teas. 

3. Protein and Collagen-boosting Foods

After pregnancy and birth, there’s so much recovery and regeneration going on inside. Eating foods that support our recovery is one way to lend a helping hand. Eating enough protein and consuming foods that promote collagen production will ensure you’re helping your body on its road to recovery. 

High protein foods include: 

Collagen-boosting foods include:

  • Bone Broth
  • Berries
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Garlic
  • Leafy Greens 

4. In Shape Mummy Health Shake

The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is one of the best ways you can nourish yourself postpartum. We get that some days are simply a right-off, and the McDonald’s drive-through is the only option. 

But if you can find five minutes during the day to whip up your shake, you know that you will still get 25% of your essential vitamins and minerals for the day. In addition, you’ll get a good serving of protein and probiotics to assist recovery, and you’ll support your breastfeeding journey. 

In Shape Mummy Health Shake

The Bottom Line

Looking after a newborn is challenging work. Often, you'll feel exhausted, you'll get grumpy, and you'll second-guess yourself 100 times a day. But it's also rewarding, and a lot of the time, you'll feel overcome with joy, and you'll feel a love like no other. Every day will be different and unpredictable; there will be many things you can't control. 

But one thing you can control is what you eat and how you choose to nurture yourself. Make it easier for yourself by keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with healthy, nutritious foods. Save time by opting for online grocery shopping and using the slow cooker. Make bigger batches and store leftovers in the freezer for the hectic days, and don't forget to hydrate!

Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.

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"I'm loving it so far.. I'm already down from in weight and I feel great :)  Not exaggerating when I say this is the best purchase I ever made .. can't wait to get to my first mini goal of 65kgs then set my new goal of 60kgs :) .. so far it's been life changing, thank you so much!! It has literally boosted my milk supply. I used to pump 160mls and now I average 240mls .. I've never been able to get that."

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Melanie lost 26kgs


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