5 best foods for post-partum mental and physical health

The post-partum period generally includes the first six to eight weeks after giving birth to a baby. This is sometimes also called “the fourth trimester”, to highlight the extreme importance of physical and emotional bonding between mother and infant.

During the post-partum period, it is not uncommon to experience a wide range of problems, due to a combination of hormones, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, and physical or mental health concerns.

To help promote optimal physical and mental balance, it is essential to nourish the body with the right nutrients. While a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a good start, there are some specific foods that can promote a better, healthier, and faster post-partum recovery.

In this article, we will explore the five best foods to eat post-partum in order to enhance both physical and mental health.

 

Iron-rich foods

Iron is one of the most essential nutrients for new moms, particularly if they lost a lot of blood during delivery. Iron has also been found to help mothers prevent or minimize symptoms of post-partum depression – a condition that currently affects between 10% and 20% of new moms in the United States every year.

For this reason, choosing iron-rich foods is paramount. These foods include red meat, poultry, legumes, and tofu. If iron intake from food alone is not enough, it is recommended to speak to a doctor who can prescribe a specific supplement.

 

Whole grains

Rice, millet, quinoa, and oats are another excellent post-partum food. This is because these whole grains provide new moms with complex carbs that are easy to digest and act as a source of energy throughout the day.

Oats, in particular, were found to be helpful with lactation.

This is due to the fact that they contain the phytonutrient avenanthramide, which is responsible for increasing the production of nitric oxide and, in turn, boost blood flow in the mammary glands.

 

Nuts and Seeds

Another important addition to any post-partum diet is nuts and seeds. These contain essential, healthy, unsaturated fats that can aid with tissue repair and lactation.

They are also rich in zinc, which is a great, natural way to boost the immune system.

Nuts and seeds also work great as an easy, nourishing snack, and help new mothers feel fuller for longer.

 

Legumes

Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are another excellent post-partum food.

Legumes, in fact, contain incredibly important nutrients such as proteins which help new mothers maintain good muscle and tissue health.

 

Lean protein (animal or plant-based)

Whether vegetarian or not, proteins are a must-have for any post-partum mom.

Foods like lean meats (poultry), fish (especially salmon), eggs, dairy, and soy provide new mothers with the nutrients they need to help their body recover from childbirth.

Dairy products, in addition, are also rich in calcium, which is an essential nutrient to help sustain both women’s post-partum bodies, and the needs of their infants – especially those who are breastfed.

Non-breastfeeding moms should aim for five portions of these foods every day, whereas breastfeeding moms should up their intake to around seven.

 

The Takeaway

Food is an incredibly important aspect during the post-partum period.

Whether or not a new mother is breastfeeding, she should ensure to introduce certain foods in her daily diet, including legumes, iron-rich foods, protein-rich foods, and whole grains.

It is also vital to steer clear of refined sugars, alcohol, or caffeine. Try Vitapod drinks*, packed with vitamins, essential minerals and plant antioxidants that are all great for optimal physical and mental post-partum health.

 

*excluding our caffeine-focused drinks. 

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