Pregnancy is one of the most crucial phases in a woman’s life. When you’re pregnant, you are likely to expect a bundle of advice from people regarding your diet. But sadly, all too often, that guidance dries up once you’ve given birth. However, the post-pregnancy period is equally important as well.
Breastfeeding is the most common post-pregnancy outcome to be taken care of. A healthy diet alone can’t work here. There are certain vitamins and minerals that support your recovery and increase the nutritional quality of breast milk. This article enumerates some of the best and most healthful food choices for a breastfeeding mother.
For a breastfeeding mom, a major portion of her body’s calcium is used to produce milk. Thus, nutritionists recommend an extra 550 mg daily intake of calcium during breastfeeding. If a mother doesn’t meet the required calcium levels, she might experience weakening of bones. This can add to their risks of developing osteoporosis.
Milk, calcium fortified-bread, spring greens, and orange can serve as calcium-rich food choices for lactating mothers.
Vitamin D helps you to absorb calcium. This makes its intake necessary to make sure that the calcium you are consuming actually gets into your system. Regardless of the time of year, 10 micrograms (µg) supplement of vitamin D3 is recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, eggs, and fortified cereals are good sources of acquiring vitamin-D.
Iron plays an important role in the development of the fetus. Moreover, pregnancy comes with 6 weeks of bleeding after birth. These two reasons make adequate intake of iron necessary after baby birth. In general, there is no need to increase intake from 14.8 mg per day recommended for women 19-50 years of age.
Ladies must consume iron-rich foods two to three times a day after delivery. A deficiency in iron causes fatigue. Good sources of iron include,
- Beef rump steak
- Dried figs
- Baked beans
- Two slices of wholemeal bread
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that reduce the level of depression in a woman after pregnancy. During pregnancy, the level of omega-3s usually reduce by half and often don’t get back to a normal level for six months after birth. Thus, breastfeeding women are advised a regular consumption of omega-3-rich foods and supplements during pregnancy and after giving birth.
The best fish sources include salmon, mackerel, fresh or frozen tuna, and sardines. Moreover, the best non-fish sources of omega-3s are flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and soy products.
Postnatal meal plans
Following are some nutritious meals that you can prepare and freeze during the later stages of pregnancy, or on maternity leave and then you can fall back on them once the baby is born.
- Chilli (vegetable or meat)
- Shepherd’s pie
Furthermore, you can keep some healthy snacks within your easy reach that you can nibble on whenever you want. These include,
- Nuts and butter
- Crudités and hummus
- Tinned fish
Following these healthy choices, you not only experience a healthier pregnancy but healthful breastfeeding as well.