Adequate nutrition is so very important before and during your pregnancy, right? Everyone knows this! But how about when your baby arrives?! Whether or not you are breastfeeding, a healthy diet should be of top-priority in your postpartum days. Being pregnant takes a toll on your body, and during the postpartum period it is common to crave sugar and refined carbs. Believe me, I know. I was ravenous after having my babies—especially when you are pulling late—OK—all-nighters. Instead of reaching for junk, which is what I wanted, I chose real, nutrient-dense, foods to satisfy my cravings.
Luckily, there are ways to load-up on the good stuff once you and your baby are home that do not require you to follow a complicated recipe or slice and dice for hours. One of the quickest ways to make a healthy meal or snack is to blend up a smoothie! Whole foods are holistic and give you the energy you need to get through the day and (most likely) sleepless nights.Postpartum is a time to rebuild and heal, and, if you are breastfeeding, you must keep your milk supply plentiful.
Below are 5 foods that I recommend to my postpartum patients as well as a smoothie recipe that incorporates all of them.
- Greens. I cannot stress enough the importance of eating greens daily after pregnancy. Greens are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Many women experience constipation after pregnancy, and fiber can help with regulation. Greens are also high in iron, which is typically low after pregnancy because of blood loss.
- Cherries. I love cherries for postpartum women because they contain natural melatonin, which helps promote relaxation and sleep (new moms need to sleep deep as much as they can), and it helps reduce excess inflammation in the body, which is very common after having a baby.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is the perfect food for a new mom because it is a complex carbohydrate and contains a good amount of soluble fiber. Oatmeal is also thought to help with milk production.
- Ground flaxseed. Healthy fats are important for everyone to incorporate into their diet, but they are especially important for mothers who are breastfeeding. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which are comprised of EPA and DHA. Breastfeeding can deplete the mother’s store of omega-3 fatty acids specifically DHA. Both the baby and mom need DHA for brain health. Some studies also suggest that omega-3 fats can help with postpartum depression.
- Cacao. Cacao is a great source of antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium all of which are beneficial for new moms (breastfeeding or not). Magnesium can help calm the nervous system, which can feel overloaded in the first few days and weeks of motherhood.
Dr. Taz MD’s Postpartum Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, hemp, etc.)
- 1 large handful of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.)
- ½ cup frozen organic cherries
- ½ frozen organic banana
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon cacao
Blend non-dairy milk and greens together. Then, add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high. Drink as a meal replacement, snack, or take sips throughout the day to keep your energy up in a natural way.
Remember, you are doing a good job mama! Take the time to take care of YOU!