For women who have recently become mothers, a healthy and nutritious diet is essential to boost lactation while strengthening the immune system. A newborn baby getting her share of required nutrition is just as important, which makes it mandatory for a mother to consume foods that will benefit her physical health and give her enough energy to combat post-pregnancy pressures.
Foods that have calcium, which is lost during the pre- and post-natal period, must be included in the diet. Foods with omega 3 fatty acids are a great source of DHA for the mother’s milk. Iron which is an important nutrient is very essential, since there is loss of blood during childbirth, followed by tiredness and long nights.
Other vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D are essential for new mothers to nurture their newborns.
Here are 10 foods that can easily be incorporated in your daily diet to keep yourself and your baby healthy:
Besides being an excellent source of protein, they are also readily available in the market and are easy to cook. Eggs are recommended for new moms, not only for adequate protein, but also choline, lutein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin and folate. They also contribute to bone strengthening and aid in the baby’s bone and muscle development.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are highly recommended for new mothers as they are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as fibre, antioxidants, and minerals including calcium. They suit a new mother’s diet well, as they are low in calories too, and can be consumed in a number of forms like salads, soups, curries, and other preparations.
Although garlic as a good source of nutrition for the mother has often been the subject of several debates, studies have found that it truly is beneficial for the baby too. It has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that help combat infections and enhance milk production in the mother’s body.
These are recommended for the mother to get the required amount of carbohydrates for better digestion, and to maintain blood sugar levels. Rice, bread, oatmeal, and so on are a great source of carbs, as well as vitamin B, minerals, and fibre.
Nuts and seeds
They contain protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and work wonders on the skin. Almonds and sesame seeds in particular, are a great non-dairy source of calcium for breastfeeding moms.
Milk and dairy products
Thanks to breastfeeding, the baby gets calcium that helps with bone development and strengthening. Therefore, to produce enough milk, dairy products like buttermilk, cheese, and curd are recommended for lactating mothers.
Oranges are ideal for breastfeeding mothers thanks to their rich content of vitamin C. Moreover, they strengthen the immune system and boost energy levels.
Legumes and beans
They are a good source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, and phytochemicals. Beans, lentils, alfalfa, peas, and peanuts must be consumed by new mothers to produce high-quality milk for the child.
The fibre in brown rice helps with postpartum constipation and keeps the mother full while providing her with consistent energy, thus being another recommended dietary inclusion.
For breastfeeding mothers, staying hydrated is important to reduce fatigue. Therefore, water and beverages like coconut water and fresh fruit juices are recommended to recover lost electrolytes and retain energy.