Health & Wellness Lifestyle Parenting

Postpartum Holistic Nutrition Recommendations

by Meg Gerber December 26, 2019
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Postpartum nutrition can be just as vital as pregnancy nutrition! Think about it, your body just took on a whole transformation and brought another human into the world. Amazing!! Make sure to be kind to yourself and support your recovery via healing foods.  

Check out my postpartum nutrition guidelines below:

Take a real food approach

  • Avoid resorting to weight loss shakes, loads of packaged or processed foods or convenience foods high in sugar like bars, muffins or ready made smoothies
  • Eat whole, unpackaged foods most often that are organic or local where possible (ie grass fed beef, wild seafood, organic fruits and vegetables, avocado, nuts and seeds and whole grains like quinoa or wild rice)

Eat warm, soothing foods 

  • Choose broths, soups, hearty stews and curries made with bone broth to allow for easy digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Drink plenty of warm herbal teas and eat warming spices like cinnamon & ginger that are easy on your body’s stress pathways and support digestive flow. A good goal is about 1 oz of fluids per 1 oz of body weight.

Eat for increased energy needs

  • Incorporate  high fat foods at every meal like pork, butter/ghee, fatty fish and nut/seeds
  • Consume complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, rice or sweet potatoes 
  • Choose soft/well cooked vegetables for easy digestion and vitamin absorption
  • Replete minerals and electrolytes by choosing more iodine rich foods like seafood or roasted nori/seaweed snacks 

Stay on your prenatals 

  • For the first six months postpartum or longer if you are nursing, continue your recommended pregnancy supplements
  • Typical baseline recommendations includes a prenatal multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, collagen and iron

Support skin healing

  • Choosing highly bioavailable protein sources to support the making of collagen and healing from birthing wounds-these include foods like organic chicken, eggs, shellfish and slow cooked meats
  • Consider collagen or gelatin supplements which offer an extra dose of glycine and proline-primary building blocks for skin regrowth and repair
  • Eat vitamin C-rich foods like yellow bell peppers or raw tomatoes which support the synthesis of collagen
  • Increase shellfish like oysters or hemp seeds for zinc-this mineral is a vital component of wound healing as well as prevention of postpartum depression!

Replete for blood loss

  • Choose high iron foods like grass fed red meat, pork or spirulina

Keep your microbiome balanced

  • Eat fermented foods daily like kimchi, sauerkraut or unsweetened yogurt
  • You may also consider a probiotic supplement daily 

What Should I Avoid Eating After Childbirth?

Going super low carb

  • A sudden drop in carb intake can potentially reduce milk supply
  • Shoot for a bare minimum of 50 grams of carbs daily – this is the equivalent of roughly 1/3 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 medium apple and ½ medium sweet potato

Focusing on weight loss

  • Listen to your natural hunger cues and give your body time to acclimate, avoid any yo-yo dieting or harsh restrictions!
  • ‘9 months on, 9 months off’ is a good guidance around a timeline for natural weight loss after pregnancy

What about Nutrition for Breastfeeding??

Remember that a nutrient dense diet = nutrient dense breast milk.  

Moms need an additional 500 kcal/day for the first 6 months after birth to support breastfeeding.  There are a number of increased vitamin needs however most notably they include B vitamins, Choline, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.

Recommended Supplements:

Klaire Labs Prenatal

Omegapure

Vitamin D + K2 5000

Vital Proteins Collagen

Gentle Iron

Visit our Shop for these supplements!

References:

Nichols, L. (2018). Real Food for Pregnancy