For most Mom’s we know, the first month with a baby is al about loving this wonderfu little person and trying to settle into some kind of routine. You need to figure out a feeding schedule, get some sleep, and adjust to being a parent – may be the biggest adjustment you will make in life.
With everything going around in your crazy life right now, do you really have time to consider what you are eating? Even if you don’t think so, you should try to give it a little thought. You need healthy foods to help you heal and recover from the childbirth process. If you are breastfeeding, what you eat affects your baby, so you want to eat as healthy as possible and consume a range of nutrients.
Do not think about restricting calories for weight loss yet : If you are breastfeeding you need about 500 extra calories per day to nourish your baby. Breastfeeding is an amazing calorie burner, and once you are home from hospital, where you will likely loose a good bit of weight just after having the baby, you should be losing no more than one to two pounds per week. This will happen naturally if you eat a normal, healthy diet. Eat all the fruits and vegetables you want and plenty of other healthy foods you need.
Health Snacks: Because you need plenty of calories, and won’t have much time to eat, be prepared with nutritious foods to munch on. Have a friend or relative keep up your supply of fresh fruits and veggies (carrots, apples, pears, grapes). Keep small containers of yogurt, slices of cheese and your favorite healthy nuts ready to go whenever you need some energy!
Iron, Calcium & Omega-3 : These vitamins are super important for your health and for your baby’s development.
- For iron, incorporate dark, leafy greens, like spinach, into your regular food repertoire.
- Drink lots of milk and eat plety of yogurt. If you don’t like these dairy products, get your calcium from dark leafy greens, broccoli, and orange juice.
- For Omega-3s, eat walnuts, and a fish per week (avoid big fish like shark or tuna). Opt for safe fish like shrimp.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins, especially when you are breastfeeding. Your baby is still getting her nutrition from you, so pack in those healthy vitamins and minerals.
Water: Drink lots of it. Your body loses a whole bunch of fluids to breastfeeding, so drink eight to ten glasses of water per day. Avoid caffeine as much as possible, because its dehydrating.
Don’t deprive yourself. Eat everything in moderation. Little indulgences are fine if you don’t go overboard. Have one cookie, not the whole packet. Craving a drink from Starbucks? Go for the small instead of the grande serving.
Before you change your diet or take any supplements or restrict calorie intake, be sure to ask your doctor if it’s okay.