Role of Diet During Postpartum Period – Part 3

Some Healthy Diet Tips Post Delivery

As newborn infant’s food intake is completely depend upon the diet of his/her mother (esp. if infant is completely depend on mother’s feed). She should make sure to have well balanced diet for her recovery & for the new born as well, in the right amount/proportion.

If a new-mom’s overall diet does not provide sufficient amounts of nutrients, it can affect both the quality of your breast milk and her own health.

Making breast milk is hard work for the body. It is estimated that breastfeeding increases the energy needs by about 500 calorie per day. So, in order to meet all the caloric & nutrient requirement of body, few things to be taken in account to get the optimum nutrition during recovery phase while considering breastfeeding too.

Healthy plates of a Recovering mother should include all five food group categories, emphasizing the nutritional intake of the following:

  • Whole Grains. Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, ragi and oatmeal.
  • Vary your vegetables. Add variety of vegetables, including dark green & all colorful vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.
  • Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. In order to get sufficient fiber and loose excess pounds, consume fresh whole fruits rather than juices.
  • Milk & milk products like cottage cheese, milk, curd, buttermilk are considered part of this food group. Focus on medium fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
  • (Protein) Meat & Poultry: Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Add variety of protein in diet routine—e.g. fish, nuts, seeds, peas, millets and beans.

Some Important Nutrients that need to be taken care of:

Proteins: Protein is important for postpartum recovery and for the growth and repair of the cells & equally important during breastfeeding

Fats: Fat plays very important role both for the new mom & newborn. Half of the calories and half of the energy that your baby gets from a feeding comes from the fat in breast milk. Fats also help the body to absorb other nutrients, such as fat soluble vitamins. So, diet does play a role in the amounts and types of fats found in breast milk.

Iron: Iron is responsible for the creation of new blood cells. It is common to experience iron-deficiency (anemia) both during and after pregnancy.

Calcium: During pregnancy the baby draws calcium from mom’s bones to support the growth of the baby, and during breastfeeding the body continues to pull calcium from mom into the breast milk. Getting enough calcium is essential for recovery, maintaining daily requirement, and to prevent long-term bone loss and osteoporosis later.

Few more important nutrients & their food sources, beneficial both to the mother and the newborn which will prevent mother from becoming deficient during recovery & breastfeeding phase:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Fish, seeds, nuts and bread.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Nuts, red meat & eggs.
  • Vitamin B6: Seeds, fish, poultry, banana & dried fruits
  • Vitamin B12: liver, oily fish, crab and shrimp.
  • Choline: Egg, fish and
  • Vitamin A: Sweet potato, carrot, dark leafy greens, organ meats & eggs.
  • Vitamin D: Cod liver oil, oily fish, mushrooms .
  • Selenium: Seafood, fish, whole wheat and seeds.
  • Iodine: Milk and iodized salt
  • Folate: Beans, lentils, leafy greens.
  • Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy greens and legumes
  • Iron: Red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, green vegetables and dried fruit.
  • Copper: Whole grains, nuts, beans, organ meats and potatoes.
  • Zinc: Red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and dairy products
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