Becoming a mother is an amazing experience for any woman. Like any new mom will tell you, holding your baby for the first time in your arms seems like the world simply vanishes. All your focus is on this tiny fragile thing that you want to keep safe and protected no matter what.
One of the first concerns that any mother has at this point is how to ensure that the baby gets the proper diet. As long as you’re nursing the baby exclusively, you may want to understand everything about the right nutrition for new moms. The healthy food you eat will provide all the nutrients your baby needs to grow quickly. You’ll also ensure that the infant gets the essential antibodies that will build her immune system and protect her from diseases.
How Much is the Right Nutrition for New Moms
All through your pregnancy, you’ve probably been eating a carefully balanced diet under the guidance of your doctor. But, now that you’ve delivered, you’ll need around 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day. Like this article on WebMD advises, if you’re nursing, you may want to add about 500 calories more. Many women are weak after their delivery or exercising to get rid of the baby belly quickly. If this is you, check with the pediatrician about the proper nutrition for new moms to get the right nourishment for the baby.
Your doctor will also explain that post-pregnancy, you’re likely to drop around 4.5 pounds every month. That’s nature’s way of bringing your body back into shape. If you were to go on a diet in an attempt to lose the weight faster, you’ll compromise on the nutrition your baby gets by nursing. Further, you might find that waning energy levels make it harder to care for your infant. You also need the right balance of nutrients to get your strength back after the delivery.
Sourcing the Right Meals Can be a Challenge
Post-pregnancy, you probably need time to recover and bond with the infant. You’ll also find that caring for her needs takes up all of your time and energy. During this period, looking for healthy recipes, going shopping, and cooking are possibly the last things on your mind. Eating take-out or restaurant food may not be the right thing to do since the chemicals and preservatives in the food are likely to find their way into your baby’s body via nursing. A good option is to look for a healthy food deliveryservice near you. Search the internet, and you’re likely to find a company that provides home-cooked meals at your doorstep at very economical prices.
Rest assured that the meals are cooked with the freshest of ingredients sourced from local farmers’ markets. Study the menu for a list of the ingredients and nutrition value of each dish and make your choice.
Getting the Perfect Balance of Nutrition for New Moms and Babies
If you’re wondering about the right amounts of food groups you should eat, begin with the simple rule of eating 5 small meals all through the day. Here are some other tips you might find useful.
1. Eat Adequate Protein
The folks on LiveStrong suggestthat you source your protein from grass-fed dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, low-fat cream. These foods contain rich amounts of calcium, and vitamins D and B. All of these foods are essential for the development of your baby’s bones. You’ll also need the calcium for the postpartum recovery so aim for about 1,000 milligrams each day. In addition to dairy products, opt for foods like lean beef, beans, seafood, soy products, and eggs. Nursing moms must eat up to 7 servings per day.
2. Eat Iron-Containing Foods
Right after your delivery, the doctor will likely do the bloodwork that shows the levels of hemoglobin in your blood. If needed, you might receive recommendations of iron supplements. To make sure that your baby gets the essential amounts, eat foods that are rich in iron. These include beans, legumes, tofu, poultry, and red meat. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, aim for 15 milligrams each day and check with your doctor for the fruits and vegetables that contain rich amounts of iron like spinach, beets, and various others.
3. Eact Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A vital part of nutrition for new moms is the DHA which you can get from walnuts, flax seeds, salmon, soy beans, and mackerels among others. Aim for about 12 ounces each week to ensure that your baby has a well-developed brain, cognitive abilities, and a nervous system. Not sure how that will work? Check out these recommendations on American Pregnancythat explain the importance.
4. Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
The fruits and vegetables you eat can nourish your body and your baby with a range of vitamins and minerals that are essential for her growth and development. Try and fill at least half your plate with these foods at every meals like blueberries, oranges, leafy green vegetables, and various others. In case you get hungry in between meals, try to much on a carrot or an apple in place of cookies, chips, and other unhealthy, processed snacks.
5. Drink Lots of Fluids
Nursing mothers must keep their bodies hydrated with at least 6 to 10 glasses of water all through the day. Also, add milk, soups, or fresh juices that don’t contain preservatives or added sugar. That’s an important part of nutrition for new moms. As this feature on Baby Center advises, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks including coffee that can make your baby cranky and irritable.
6. Eat Lots of Whole Grains
Get the necessary carbohydrates for energy by eating more of whole wheat bread, brown rice, wheat pasta, and oatmeal. Potatoes are also a healthy source of carbs that are packed with nutrients. They’re great for you and the baby as long as you cook them by baking, roasting, or boiling, and avoid the high-fat toppings.
In the first few weeks after your baby’s birth, take the time to bond with her and focus on getting your strength back. The right nutrition for new moms at this stage can help. Eat healthy meals that will nourish you and your infant and help her in her growth and development.