Food and nutrition after childbirth

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All throughout your pregnancy you ate food you thought was good for the baby and it fueled them. But after childbirth your food intake and nutrition is equally important. It plays a vital role in helping your body recover and facilitating for you to care for your baby.


How much food should you eat?

Immediately in the months after childbirth, moms will need between 1800 and 2200 calories per day. If you are nursing too, you will need add another 500 to this. If you are underweight, working out more than 45 minutes a day or are nursing more than one infant, this intake could go higher and you should speak to your doctor. You may also need vitamin for supplementation.


What are nutrients you should look for in food?

Even though you may no longer be “eating for two”, your body will need to replace a lot of drained nutrients. At every meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The other half should include whole grains like brown rice, whole-grain bread, or oatmeal. Try to limit packaged, processed foods and drinks that are high in salt, saturated fat, and extra sugars.


Other nutrients you should try to look for in food
  • Proteins – beans, seafood, lean meats, eggs, and soy products
  • Calcium – about 1000 milligrams a day. This means around 3 servings of low fat dairy.
  • Iron – red meats, poultry, tofu, beans

If you have given birth to twins, are vegan, have a health condition or the likes, speak to your doctor.


What should you avoid?

Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Stop using alcohol completely and a little bit of weak coffee now and then is sometimes, alright, but speak to your doctor.

Avoid some fish types such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish that are high in mercury, a toxin that is harmful to your baby, so avoid them. Tuna can have some mercury, too. Make sure to only eat the “light” kind and no more than 6 ounces each week.


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