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A woman who has just had a baby should make sure her postpartum diet includes healthy foods that will give her energy while helping her to lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. Foods that have fatty acids in them can assist in restoring hormone balances and, through breast milk, can help with a baby’s development. The diet should include foods rich in vitamins, calcium, fiber, and minerals, and omit too much sugar and flour. If weight loss is the goal, exercise also can help.
While it can be hard for new mothers to find the time to eat nutritiously, it is essential if she is going to have enough energy to care for her baby and remain healthy. Healthy, balanced meals can also help with weight loss, which most moms find to be an important issue after pregnancy. Keeping simple, healthy meals and snacks on hand can keep a new mom from giving in and eating junk food.
A postpartum diet should include foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Many lean meats, seeds and nuts can also provide the right kind of nutrition for a mom who has just given birth. These types of foods will make a woman feel full, but will not contain as many calories. Calcium and fiber are other essential ingredients to any postpartum diet.
Breast-feeding mothers must pay special attention to the food they eat because their baby is also eating it. Food that is high in sugar is not good for the mom or the baby and will not help to reduce weight. A diet that contains omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful in a baby’s development during the first year of his life and can provide a mom with some of the vitamins and nutrients her body craves.
Many people make the mistake of thinking it is OK to overeat if they are consuming food that is healthy for them. Even healthy foods should still be eaten in the correct portions. New moms especially need a balanced diet to help as they recover from the toll pregnancy took on their bodies.
While a diet full of nutritious food is necessary for any woman after giving birth, exercise is also helpful for new moms wanting to lose weight with their postpartum diet. New moms may want to take it slow at first, though. Those who have had a Caesarean section should speak to their doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.
I want to encourage new moms to take care of themselves and their babies first and worry about postpartum weight loss second.
For instance, in the first few weeks especially you'll be up a lot at night. Especially if you're breastfeeding, you'll find that you need a nighttime snack! Let yourself have one. I actually indulged in a high-fiber granola bar as my nighttime snack, but anything that you can keep by your bed will work.
Try to stock your house with easy-to-eat healthy foods, like apples, bananas, and string cheese. Anything you can eat with one hand is especially prized if you're breastfeeding!
Something else to keep in mind about postpartum dieting is that in the first few days, constipation is very common. You will need to drink a ton of water and it's a good idea to eat a lot of high-fiber foods like whole fruit.
You'll probably drop a ton of weight in the first week as your body sheds all that excess water. (For instance, your blood volume increases 50% during pregnancy, and you'll be losing that.) After that, though, it's best not to lose more than two pounds a week. Your body stores certain toxins in fat cells and losing more than two pounds a week releases those into your bloodstream too quickly. If you are breastfeeding, it's even more important to be careful about weight coming off too fast.