The foods you eat in the postpartum stage can help your recovery from birth, boost your mood, and improve your overall well-being.
If you’ve recently had a baby (or if you’re a seasoned mom), then you know what the postpartum stage can feel like. It’s often a mix of ups and downs, with a lot of exhaustion, brain fog, and mood fluctuations thrown in.
Your greatest accomplishment of the day may be taking a shower, drinking your coffee hot, or getting yourself and baby out the door for a walk.
As a new mom, it’s especially difficult to find the time to prepare and eat a well-balanced, nourishing meal. Yet, this is exactly what your body needs to help replenish important nutrient stores, get your hormones back into balance, feel more energized, and improve your mood and cognitive function. (“Mom brain” is a real thing).
WHERE TO BEGIN
Let’s start with some of the basics of postpartum nutrition. This is about your eating habits and how you structure your meals.
Focus on a whole-foods, nutrient-dense diet. This will ensure that you’re getting the best fuel to support your own energy needs and also to support breastfeeding needs.
Try to eat something every few hours. You may be doing this intuitively as you find that hunger levels are through the roof in the early postpartum stage (particularly when breastfeeding).
Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water & tow along a water bottle wherever you go.
Combine FAT + PROTEIN + FIBER in every meal and snack for optimal blood sugar balance.
WHAT KINDS OF FOOD SHOULD YOU EAT?
Now let’s discuss different types of food that can be beneficial for postpartum recovery. Of course, these are not ALL the foods you can eat, but I wanted to give you some very specific ideas.
1. Healthy fats – to improve brain function & boost energy
What to eat:
- Walnuts, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil (not to cook with)
- Tahina, avocado
2. Protein – to aid in muscle & tissue repair
What to eat:
- Meat, chicken, salmon, eggs, full-fat dairy
- (Plant-based) Black beans, lentils, organic tofu, soybeans, almonds, pumpkin seeds
3. Lots of fiber – to help stabilize blood sugars & keep things regular
What to eat:
- Spinach & leafy greens, carrots & orange veggies, or any veggies that you like
- Oats, chickpeas, brown rice, buckwheat, wholegrain bread
- Berries, apples, pears, nectarines, oranges
Each of these “food groups” have merits all on their own, and will help you get a variety of nutrients that the body needs to replenish itself after birth.
BUT – the idea here is to combine fat + protein + fiber at every meal – because this helps slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients, keeps blood sugars stable, and turns your food into long-lasting fuel. And we all know that new moms can use more fuel in the tank.
Plus, by eating in this manner is hugely beneficial for helping to balance out hormones.
QUICK & EASY SNACK IDEAS
I know, I know. Most new moms do not have the time or brain space to plan out meals, let alone stand in the kitchen and prepare them. Is it really possible to eat well? I am going to say YES!
Here are some ideas for super easy snacks and mini meals that you can make:
⭐️ Fruit n’ nuts
o Apple slices + almonds or almond butter
⭐️ Bean salad
o Canned chickpeas (or mixed beans) + cucumber/tomato/red pepper + sunflower seeds w. olive oil-lemon dressing
⭐️ Trail mix
o Walnuts/almonds/cashews/pumpkin seeds + unsweetened coconut + dark chocolate chunks
⭐️ Cheese platter
o Full-fat cheese + whole grain crackers + olives + red peppers/carrots
⭐️ Egg n’ avo
o Hard-boiled or fried egg + avocado + cherry tomatoes
⭐️ Toast n’ toppings
o Whole grain bread + tahini + canned tuna + cucumbers
Want more ideas? I’ve created a free recipe book of “7-Minute Snacks for Postpartum,” which includes detailed recipes and a full shopping list.
GET YOUR FREE RECIPE BOOK: