There is a lot of talk about what foods are important for women to eat and what to avoid when she is pregnant but there is far less focus on what should be eaten after delivery to replenish our stores and maintain good milk supply with optimal nutrients. The truth is, healthy eating during pregnancy looks about the same after delivery. Keep in mind that if a mom is breastfeeding, she needs on average an additional 500 calories per day and an additional 20-25 grams of protein. Here are some nutrient dense options to get in those extra calories and support mom and baby at the same time!
- Eggs: One of the most nutritious foods and easy to prepare in multiple ways! One egg contains 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat (pasture raised eggs contain higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids but even standard eggs are packed with nutrition!). They also contain many powerhouse nutrients; choline, vitamin A, B Vitamins, selenium, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Fish: Fatty fish like salmon are high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, selenium and b vitamins. Baby needs omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA found in fish for optimal brain development.
- Nuts and seeds: For an easy on the go snack or quick addition to a salad or smoothie, nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. They are high in selenium, manganese, magnesium and vitamin E.
- Organic, grass fed meats: Compared to conventionally raised animals, organic, grass-fed animal meat is high in protein, lower in saturated fat with higher omega 3 fatty acids and higher in antioxidants than conventionally raised animals.
- Fermented and probiotic rich foods: Full of beneficial bacteria and fiber which is great for gut health, digestion and building the immune system fermented and probiotic foods are the perfect addition to your daily nutrition plan. Try to include foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, and pickles.
- Green leafy vegetables: These powerhouse foods are high in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins K, C, E and B vitamins. They contain a wide array of phytonutrients that can help repair damaged cells and assist with detoxification.
- Berries: A sweet treat, berries are loaded with antioxidants and high in fiber and contain a lot of vitamin C. Eat them plain, pop them in a smoothie or top yogurt with your favorite berry to get all of their health benefits (best fresh when they are in season, but in the winter frozen berries are a great option!)
- Bone Broth: This warm and nourishing drink is great to sip on in the winter or add to soups and stews. Bone broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, K2, zinc iron, boron, manganese and selenium (phew thats quite a list!!) Bone broth is also high in protein and helps to support health of the intestinal lining, joint health, bone health, helps to reduce overall inflammation.
- Green, black and herbal teas: Another warming option for the winter is a hot up of tea! Green, black and herbal teas are packed with antioxidants and delightful to sip on in the winter or drink iced in the summertime. Green tea has a bit of caffeine but less than coffee so it can make a good swap for that late morning/midday cup of joe. It also contains L-theanine which has a calming effect.
Stocking the postpartum Fridge and Pantry:
- Proteins: pasture raised chicken, grass fed beef and pork, bone broth
- Omega 3 fatty acids: pastured eggs, wild caught salmon and fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, avocado oil
- Grains: rolled oats, whole grains
- Nuts and seeds: nuts, nut butters, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Vegetables: potatoes and sweet potatoes, leafy greens, onions, garlic, cruciferous veggies
- Fruits: berries, melon, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds, pineapple, kiwi
For more on vital nutrients during the postpartum period, see my blog post HERE!
If you are looking for help in the postpartum period and beyond, I would be honored to work with you! Book a free 15 minute consultation below to see if Wild Rice Wellness is the right fit!