Post-Partum Nutrition Survival Guide
The first six weeks after the arrival of a new baby are nothing less than hectic to say the least. All women experience this period differently but I think it’s safe to say that we all get our fair share of extreme fatigue and wide-swinging emotions. Whether you are a first-time momma or an experienced pro, taking care of your nutrition during this period is key to boosting your energy and allowing your body to heal after delivery.
Although the importance of feeding yourself can seem like a no-brainer, when you tack on exhaustion, frequent feedings, diapers, a mounting hill of laundry and perhaps an older child to take care of, you may find that caring of yourself takes a back seat to taking care of your little one(s). Here are a few quick tips on nutrition survival during the first six weeks.
1. Quality. When your body is tired it is natural for cravings for sweets and starchy comfort foods (mac & cheese, pizza, etc…) to increase. Your body is simply looking for a quick supply of energy. Although these foods are fine in moderation, they often don’t keep your energy up in the long-term and will cause a ‘crash’ a few hours after eating. Although the double chocolate chip muffin may be calling your name, try to maximize your intake of options that will fuel your body (think whole grain toast with peanut butter OR yogurt topped with fruit and nuts). Selections like these combine protein and carbohydrate which will help your tired body feel energized for longer periods of time.
7. Caffeine. It may be tempting to jack yourself up on caffeine if you are tired. If you are breastfeeding this is not a good idea because it could make your baby jittery and/or sleepless (horror!). Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, too much caffeine should be avoided because it provides little nutritional value and can wind up keeping you from catching those zzz’s that you desperately need.
Leslie Judge MS, RD, CSO, LDN