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Many of us know we should try to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy, but did you know that what we eat after birth is equally as important? Our postpartum diet should be handled with as much care. Taking in adequate nutrients to aid recovery and nourish breastmilk in those early days can make a significant difference to the health of mom and baby.
There is no set definition for the postpartum period, however, conventional medicine defines it as the first 12 weeks after birth. In reality, for many women the postpartum period can stretch for many months and even years. From a medical perspective, there is a quick shift away from prenatal care for mom to the newborn. As a consequence, many moms report poor follow up care from their healthcare providers and a lack of information about what they should be including in their postpartum diet.
Our body goes through a series of major physiological changes during pregnancy. These changes are largely caused by surges in circulating progesterone and estrogen and increased blood volume. Nutritional deficiency is common among pregnant women, especially in the third trimester. During this time, there are increased metabolic demands from the baby and a natural increase in insulin resistance. These changes can take a significant toll on your body and roll over into the postpartum period.
While your pregnancy may be over, the demands on your body are not. Childbirth is one of the most strenuous experiences your body will go through. To recover and heal, you will need additional calories, and high-quality protein. Hormonal fluctuations are also common immediately after birth. Smart postpartum diet choices with higher nutritional value can ward off conditions such as hypothyroidism and postpartum depression.
Your body will also be gearing up to produce breast milk. A food that is perfectly designed to nourish your newborn. Even in dire nutritional circumstances your baby will still benefit from breastmilk, however, there is a lot we can do to increase supply and boost the quality.
A healthy diet after birth can help to:
It’s important as a new mother to just take small steps forward, because after birth, what your body needs most is kindness, love, and rest. Mindful postpartum nutrition is a great way to feed all those necessities and help you focus on the future for your growing family.
We understand that growing your family while having a healthy and happy pregnancy and baby is probably a top priority for you right now.
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