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7 Sanity Saving Nutrition Tips for New Moms

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Hey there New Mom! Did you think a lot of food while you were pregnant?

Usually women prioritize food for one of two reason when pregnant - Either they just want to eat all the food, after all it’s a great excuse when “eating for two”. Or, they are hyper focused on getting all the “right foods” in to foster their baby’s development.

The problem usually arises after baby is born and all thoughts of nutrition go out the window. However, this is a most critical time in your life to fuel your body the right way. If you are nursing, this makes a lot of sense because what you are putting into your body is what is being given to baby in your breast milk. We all want strong, healthy, thriving babies so make sure your milk production is plentiful and filled with nutrients.

However, if you aren’t breastfeeding (or have finished), your nutrition is just as important. Pregnancy and childbirth take a lot out of your body and it’s critical to refill your nutrient stores in order to heal properly. This includes healing the structures inside your body and the skin and any damage seen on the outside of your body. Not healing properly after childbirth is the number one reason women come to me seeking help months or even years after giving birth for a variety of unresolved concerns about their body.

So here are the top 7 ways you can use nutrition to best heal your postpartum body and feel your absolute best:

  1. Prioritize Protein

    Choose a food with protein at every snack and meal. The amino acids are used to promote tissue repair and healing. Can’t get it at snack time? Be sure to hit 20-30 grams at your 3 main meals a day. This would be a scoop of the average protein powder, 4 ounces of chicken breast, a few slices of deli meant, or a bowl of green yogurt with hemp hearts.

  2. Add in Collagen

    Collagen is the building block of all our connective tissue. Want your excess skin around your belly or wrinkles around your yes from too little sleep to smooth out? Your best bet is to add collagen (through powder, supplements, or bone broth) to your diet everyday. It’s the best way to help your body rebuild damaged tissues.

  3. Increase Omega 3 Fatty Acids

    Need some brain fuel? Omega 3 fatty acids are critical to both the development of baby’s brain and clearing the brain fog you may feel postpartum. As a bonus, it helps stabilize mood which is always helpful when hormones are adjusting. And if you are nursing, it is found in higher amounts in breast milk when higher amounts are consumed by mom. Get more in your diet with salmon, walnuts, or supplements if necessary.

  4. Pack in the fruits and veggies

    When we are trying to recover our post baby body, we may think more about macro nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), but piling our plate full of micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) is maybe even more important. This means eating the rainbow - a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Blueberries, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers are great options.

  5. Fuel Your Cravings

    Women often fight cravings after childbirth. The problem is they either white knuckle through them or give in with sweets and treats. When you have a true food craving, take it seriously. Your body is likely trying to tell you it needs something - maybe more protein for rebuilding or carbohydrates for energy. Perhaps, you are lacking a particular nutrient like vitamin C or magnesium that your body is trying to consume more of. This is not the time in your life to focus on restriction. When a craving strikes, grab a healthy snack and a tall glass of water (dehydration often feels similar to a food craving).

  6. Stay Consistent throughout the day

    The best way to ward off cravings at inopportune times is to fuel your body consistently throughout the day. I know a lot of women practice intermittent fasting, or just can’t find time throughout their busy mamma morning to eat. This is not the season of life to do either of these things. Your body needs fuel spread out at even intervals throughout your day to stay satiated, keep your energy levels up, maintain milk production, and heal your body.

  7. Keep healthy snacks on hand

    The best advice I can give to busy moms is to keep easy healthy snacks and meal options on hand. This is not the time to take up gourmet cooking! Use grocery pick up to save time and use that time instead to wash, cut, and prepare fruits and vegetables for grab and go snacks. My favorite - keep small containers of nuts to munch on when on the go. For meals, pick up precooked Organic Rotisserie chickens and pre-made salad mixes. It might cost a little extra, but remember this is just a season and not forever.

Most of all, enjoy your food! Eating should not be stressful and obsessing about counting calories or macros right now will only lead to energy depletion. And I promise you, if you gained more weight than you wanted during pregnancy, allowing your body to properly heal is the best way to lose it. Restriction will only mess with your hormones (maybe even wreck your thyroid) and leave your more tired and irritable.

This “fourth trimester” is just as important as the first three in development of your baby and caring for your body. Do you want to more about healing after childbirth and regaining your strength and vitality?

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy AND a mom of two, I understand all that is being juggled both in your world and in your body as you transition into motherhood. Whether this is your first or fourth, there are always new challenges. I’ve complied all the information I wish I had known 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter Alaina.

You can download my FREE Checklist “Postpartum {mind & body} Healing” to get all your concerns addressed and questions answered. Click the link below to have the checklist sent straight away to your e-mail: