For new moms planning for their postnatal period, it is not all about the best new baby monitor or the hottest new stroller. Thinking and prepping for your healing and recovery from both your birth and labour may help you coast through the early sleep deprivation, so you can start making beautiful memories from day one. Engaging in the right nutrition can be part of that postnatal planning. By knowing which nutrients are most helpful during your postnatal period, you can plan accordingly with prenatal batch cooking or letting your family and friends know what foods to add to their postpartum care package. Some of these key nutrients are below:
This vitamin is so important for tissue repair, immune function and nervous system
support. You can find great sources of vitamin C in sweet red peppers, kale, parsley,
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, strawberries, papaya, spinach, oranges, grapefruit,
lemons, elderberries and mangoes.
This mineral is especially important after longer, more difficult births, where there may
have been more blood loss. Including iron foods to your diet can help to boost your
energy. Some good sources include: beef, turkey, chicken, lentils, beans, blackstrap
molasses, quinoa, spinach and beet and beet greens.
Omega-3 fatty acids
These ‘good fats’ are nourishing for both the nervous and cardiovascular systems and
help to balance postpartum moods. You can find these fats in fatty fish, flaxseed oil, nuts
Often called the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is important for both mom and baby.
Vitamin D has a role in almost every system of the body but unfortunately for us in the
north, we do not get to enjoy this benefit from the sun for many months of the year.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that you may need to supplement. It is important to speak to your
health care provider to know if and how to supplement with vitamin D. Food sources of
vitamin D include some fish and fortified juices and milks.
While keeping these nutrients in mind, try focusing on cooked food in the early postpartum days especially in the winter. Eating warm, cooked foods such as soups, stews and casseroles can facilitate digestion, helping your body use those important nutrients more effectively.
For more information on postnatal nutrition or prepping for your postnatal journey, you can book an appointment with Melanie Jacobson, ND IBCLC at Dupont Naturopathic Family Centre.