Top 10 Healthiest Foods to Eat After Giving Birth

Portrait of infant resting on mother moments after birth

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As expected, new mothers focus on their newborns and want to do everything possible to help their baby be as happy and healthy as humanly possible. That’s a good thing, but moms need to remember that taking care of themselves is vital for the health of your baby and your own. You need to eat healthy so you can take care of your little one and your infant is depending on your good health being passed on to him/her through your breast milk.

Your best chance of recovery after childbirth is to give your body lots of vitamins and minerals so it can restore itself and pass on important nutrients to your baby. Eat plenty of foods from the following list to ensure the health of you and your baby.

 

1. Salmon

You might hear people say that there is no such thing as a perfect food but salmon comes pretty darn close, especially for new moms.

Salmon is loaded with a fat called DHA, and this fat is vital to the development of your newborns nervous system. Your breast milk contains DHA but it’s higher in moms who consume more DHA in their diets.

There are also studies that suggest that eating foods rich in DHA can help prevent postpartum depression. If you want fresh salmon, limit yourself to 12 ounces per week (which is about 2 servings) or you can eat as much as you want of canned salmon.

bowl full of oats

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2. Oats

Eat oatmeal for breakfast and have a few oatmeal cookies while you are at it.

You can’t beat oats for their high levels of calcium, fiber, iron, and protein.

 

They can help prevent constipation and help remove bad fats from your body.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

3.  Organic, grass fed beef

Many new moms complain that they are tired and have no energy.

You can beat that, however, by eating foods that are high in iron, such as organic, grass fed beef.

Have about two servings per week so you will have the energy to keep up with your demanding newborn.

Various types of cheese

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4. Dairy products

No matter how you want to eat your dairy; cheese, yogurt, or milk, diary is an important part of your health breastfeeding program.

Milk gives you plenty of protein, B vitamins, calcium and bone strengthening vitamin D. Your breast milk is loaded with calcium so your baby can develop healthy bones, so you need to eat plenty of calcium to meet your own needs as well as your baby’s needs. Find out the best sources of calcium.

Eat at least three cups of dairy every day.

Black And White Sesame Seeds

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5. Sesame seeds

So much more than just a topping for your hamburger bun.

Put them in your stir fry’s and toss a handful on your salads! Both black and white sesame seeds are great sources of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and copper.

Sesame seeds replenish the essential minerals that your body needs to recover properly.

Fresh Ginger Root

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6. Ginger

Ginger can be a bit hot but most people find it delightful in tea.

Ginger is loaded with vitamins such as B6, E, selenium, manganese, potassium, fiber, and iron.

Ginger stops inflammation and can help you recover from that muscle soreness every woman has after childbirth. Read more about ginger benefits.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

7. Almonds

These nuts are known as a superfood and it’s no wonder why.

Almonds are virtual powerhouses with copper, zinc, potassium, B12, calcium, magnesium, and plenty of fiber just to name a few of their benefits.

Eat almond butter on an apple for a great snack, or eat them right out of the bag.

Fresh Turmeric

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8. Turmeric

This is another spice that is full of healing compounds.

The essential vitamins in turmeric, such as vitamin B6, C, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, are essential for fighting inflammation and healing any stomach problems you might be having.

You can add turmeric to your food dishes or have a nice sup of turmeric tea.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Millet

This old fashioned grain is one of the world’s healthiest foods.

Rich in both iron and calcium, it can help you regain your strength and is perfect for those who can’t stomach dairy products.

Cook millet like you would oatmeal. You can add some to cooked veggies or eat it cooked with some raw honey and berries.

Fresh Watercress

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10. Green vegetables

You can’t go wrong eating your greens!

Dark greens are high in iron and will help give you energy as well as help you recover more quickly.

Add spinach to your salad, steam some broccoli for lunch, any way you slice it, green is the way to go.

 

SEE ALSO: 5 Dangerous Medicines Women should Avoid

 

Sources:

Melinda Johnson, MS, RD, national spokeswoman, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association.

La Leche League International: “Cooking up healthy meal plans.”

American College of Nurse-Midwives; gotmom.org: “How Do Diet, Medications, and Alcohol Affect Breastfeeding?”

Goldberg, G. Journal of Family Health Care, 2005.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System: “Nutrition for the nursing mother.”

University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital: “Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers.”

FDA: “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk.”