Postpartum Nutrition – Nourishment in the “Fourth Trimester”

The postpartum period is messy and hard, but a beautiful and sacred period of time for new parents – particularly for mom. It is meant for bonding with baby and recovering from the pregnancy and birth. Your body just underwent a major workout to grow and birth your new baby and therefore, it takes time for your body to heal. This is a tough thing to accomplish with our modern, fast-paced society. Not to mention, that every pregnancy is different and for some women, who have had a rough pregnancy and perhaps could not get in adequate nutrients – recovery might take a lot longer. Things like breastfeeding for many moms also take some adjustment time. Let’s face it, the postpartum period is not easy and, as with your pregnancy, it requires a lot of dedication and grace with your body as you adjust to this new role.

Postpartum Mama Holding Baby

Postpartum Nutrition

There are a lot of things that a mom needs to do during what is known as the “fourth trimester” and while we won’t get into all the things – nutrition is what we will discuss. Getting the right nutrients in right away after birth is one of the best things a mom can do for herself. Also, keep in mind – when you breastfeed, your body is working even harder post-birth!

Key Nutrients that are Low Post-Birth

  • Folate
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Fats, and Fatty Acids

Postpartum Affirmation: Taking the time to heal is beneficial for my family. I give myself the right to accept love and nourishment from others.

Postpartum Diet

Anti-inflammatory Foods

  • Bone Broth – Incredibly healing, full of nutrients (particularly collagen).
  • Salmon – rich in Omega-3s.
  • Eggs – packed with 13 essential vitamins and nutrients.
  • Leafy Greens – rich in iron and calcium, but it also helps your body to gently detox.
  • Avocado – rich in folate, potassium and healthy fats.
  • Chlorella – single-celled algae, known to be a powerful blood purifier and liver detoxifier.

Postpartum Nutrition

Warm & Digestible Foods

  • Rice pudding with spices, ghee, raw sugar, basmati rice.
  • Oily, spiced cooked vegetable soups/stews.
  • Cream of wheat with dates.
  • Yams, sweet potatoes, cooked roots
  • Date & almond shake – soak the almonds!
  • Spiced warm raw cow’s milk.
  • Simple yogurt (homemade yogurt is great!).

Additional Tip: Constipation Relief: This is common for most moms in the postpartum period as their hormones are settling back into place during your recovery. Here is a quick recipe to try to relieve it: 1 tbsp of flax seeds + 3 tbsp of water. Let it soak for a few minutes and then eat.

Hydrate and then hydrate some more!

Aim to get about 100 ounces of water a day, especially if you are breastfeeding! Here are some other drinks to enjoy:

  • Coconut water
  • Kombucha
  • Raspberry leaf tea
  • Nettle tea – only a small amount
  • Green tea
  • Hibiscus
  • Chamomile tea

The postpartum period is such a special time. You will be so tired but every single moment you have with your newborn will be magical despite all the challenges. Remember – you are doing the best you can, so give yourself a lot of patience as you navigate this sensitive time!

Lindsay is an author, motivational speaker, birth psychology and maternity health specialist & natural mommy blogger for Our Green House.

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