Postpartum Nutrition: Guide for New Mothers

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After nearly ten months of food restrictions, you’ll probably be happy to know that you can once again partake in your favorite foods and beverages. That being said, there are some significant changes that you’ll need to make to guarantee that you and your baby are getting the proper nutrition that you both need. This is especially so if you are breastfeeding your child.

Mid adult woman breast feeding newborn babygirl in hospital bed

Breastfeeding-Related Foods

The top focus of a breastfeeding diet is to consume a targeted number of calories. This is because your child will take in nutrition and calories before you will. Therefore, you will need sufficient nutrition in order to compensate for breastfeeding. Generally, you will need 300 more calories each day when you are breastfeeding.

Just like during your pregnancy, you will require an additional 25 grams of protein for a total of 70 grams to 80 grams every day according to the doctors at eatingrightpro. It’s an important postpartum recovery tool as it regulates the repair and growth of the body’s cells. Since a baby is constantly undergoing new growth and improving their immune system, they won’t be able to develop as optimally if the breastfeeding mother doesn’t eat enough protein.

Finally, getting enough calcium is very important for your baby’s bones. Since the bones of the mother are more likely to be brittle during breastfeeding, care needs to be taken to consume calcium-rich foods.

Good protein sources can be obtained from both plant-based and animal-based sources. These will include beans, nuts, tofu, eggs, fish, turkey, beef, milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

There are no foods that need to be avoided with the same specificness as during pregnancy. Food poisoning doesn’t pass to the infant through breast milk. However, there are some substances that won’t help a woman in any postpartum stage.

According to the CDC, alcohol is the highest in breast milk for up to one hour after consumption regardless of how much was consumed. This can then be passed on to the baby during breastfeeding, causing harm in the child over time.

How Much Water Should I Drink Each Day?

Drinking enough water will not simply just support breastfeeding; it will aid all mothers to avoid becoming constipated. Eight cups, or 64 ounces, is more than enough water each day for moms. However, you will require more if you are breastfeeding, especially if you are sweating a lot during the day due to physical labor or exercise in the gym. If your urine is a darker shade, then you have not been drinking enough water. If you aren’t urinating much as all during the day, then you might be chronically dehydrated.

What Amount of Weight Gain or Loss is Normal?

Every woman will look different as their weight changes postpartum. Therefore, it’s for the best that one doesn’t get too hung up over the situation. Remembering to eat a normal diet and exercise regularly will keep your belly in-check over the long term. Weight loss always comes in time.

After giving birth, women will typically shed 15 pounds right away from the baby and placenta. Given the extra calories needed for breastfeeding, a woman should generally not lose more than one or two pounds at most per week.

Should I Take Vitamins?

Consult with your doctor before taking supplements to find out all of the pros and cons for your specific body and situation. If you were doing so before giving birth, you can continue to take your prenatal vitamin regularly. This is also acceptable even if you are breastfeeding.

As prenatal vitamins are generally inexpensive, they are a good way to shore up your body’s nutrition stores over time. Iron and calcium, two minerals women typically are at high risk of deficiency, can sometimes be hard to absorb since they compete with one another in the body. A multivitamin is a smart move to prevent this.

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