There are so many foods that are advised during pregnancy. However, once the baby’s out, new moms think that they should stop eating the nutritious diet and go back to their originals. Now you are a mom, lady, you will have to think like a mom and eat like one too. Once you get pregnant, the entire game gets changed. You cannot skip meals ever in your life and you need to keep a check on your diet as well. And if you are breastfeeding, right nutrition is all the more important. Even after you stop breastfeeding, there will be drastic changes in your lifestyle. And hence, there is no looking back now.
Let me give you a peek into your life two years later. You have a super energetic baby who’s keeping you on your toes all the time. Even at that time, you will need right food and diet to match the energy levels of the baby. And that is the reason I am asking you to do a major overhauling of your taste and preferences when it comes to foods and nutrition.
If you want to teach your baby to eat right foods, you need to set an example by having them too. When your diet is right, the diet of your baby will be good too. I am saying this from my own experiences. I am quite lazy when it comes to fruits. My tot did not learn eating it. I have started gorging on all kinds of fruits consciously so that she gets a habit of the same.
Every food has a different effect on body and mood. Some foods are not only nutritious but also mood boosters. If pregnancy and postpartum has taken a toll on your mood and energy levels, gorging on specific foods will up your mood instantly. Initially, you can prepare a chart on what to eat over the week. After a couple of weeks of following charts, you will get into the habit of eating only good foods. Keep your refrigerator stacked with fruits, sprouts, yogurt and many such things. This will help curb your habit of binging on junk foods.
Eating frequently is the key for stocking on nutrition. You do not need to eat one food all the day to get the most out of it. Instead, you need to eat a variety of foods in limited quantities. Further, you also need to eat frequently and at regular intervals. This will make sure that you are neither overeating nor starving. Whether you want to increase weight or lose some pounds, eating frequently is the key. This even helps to maintain your levels of energy.
Nothing comes close to bananas for a new mom. Bananas give all the required nutrition to your body and even lights up your mood. Loaded with different vitamins and essential minerals, bananas even help alleviate nausea. It is quite easy to eat a banana and so, keep it handy in your bag. Being a pre-biotic food, bananas help in digestion as well. They are great to treat both constipation and diarrhea in new mothers.
This is my favourite. I like yogurt as it is a meal in itself. Both I and my tot can finish off a bowl of yogurt without adding anything to it. The benefit of yogurt is that it has healthy bacteria that are good for the gut. A mom’s body requires energy to get going throughout the day. A bowl of yogurt not only provides sufficient energy but also several essential nutrients along with calcium. Yogurt is also quite healthy for building the immune system. If you are breastfeeding, then what you eat passes on to your baby. If you as a mom stay healthy, your kid will follow suit. What more – yogurt even helps improve the mood instantly!
3. Green Leafy Veggies
Packed with nutrition, green leafy veggies will make your diet complete. Their colour is a signal that they are high on several vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and nutrients required for new mothers. With green leafy vegetables in your diet, you ensure that you get natural folate to maintain your health and baby’s right development.
New moms often complain of digestive problems. By gorging on these veggies, your body gets required fiber that aid digestion. And the best part is that there are several kinds of green leafy veggies available. You can keep on experimenting with recipes without getting bored. Choose between kale, broccoli, arugula, spinach, and others. It is possible to prepare a salad with these veggies or you can even opt for a vegetable smoothie, toss it into stir fry or have it as a side dish. You might not be aware of the fact that these veggies pack a lot of calcium as well. They even help build the immunity and keep you away from postpartum problems.
If you are fond of mushrooms, then it is the best time to gorge on them. Mushrooms are one of the best foods for nursing moms. They are full of nutrition and even help in building immunity of the baby. They are often useful in taking care of colic symptoms in new born babies as well (through nursing). Experts believe that nursing moms who consume mushrooms on a regular basis help prevent colic in babies. This is because mushrooms prevent passing poorly digested food through the digestive tract of babies, which is initially full of holes.
There are different types of mushrooms available. Every mushroom has a specialty. Packed with amino acids, mushrooms are also a good source of proteins. Interestingly, mushrooms even contain vitamin D, if they are exposed to sunlight. Both mom and baby require adequate levels of vitamin D. however, one thing that should be kept in mind is that mushrooms should be cooked properly. Thoroughly cooked mushrooms help the body to absorb all the nutrition present in them.
Relatively new to the block, oats have become quite popular. They are easy to cook and taste quite well. They are versatile as well. You can prepare them in milk or water, depending upon whether you want to have it sweet or savory. Oats or oatmeal is rich in iron. It prevents chances of anemia in new moms. For me, oats had with a bowl of warm milk has always been a comfort food. Plus, oats are packed with calcium and good amount of fiber to aid digestion in new moms. The presence of carbohydrates and protein in oats make them an ideal breakfast. To increase the nutrition in oats, fruits can be added with milk while preparing oats. If preparing savory oats, add fresh veggies. They do not only add nutrition but taste as well.
Adding seeds to your diet will not only make it tastier, but also healthy. Make sure your diet is rich in carom seeds, fenugreek seeds and sesame seeds. These seeds are said to help nursing moms and the babies in several ways. Carom seeds help in relieving problems like indigestion in new moms. It even boosts milk production and helps contract the uterus. Fenugreek seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, calcium and iron as well. These seeds even promote supply of breast milk. Rich in Vitamin C, fennel seeds too help boost breast milk production and control colic in babies as well.
Cumin Seeds are rich in iron and prevent problems associated with acidity and constipation in new moms. They even help boost breast milk. Packed with calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and copper, black and white sesame seeds help regulate bowel movements. Abundant in protein, chia seeds are quite healthy for nursing moms. Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and quite good for lactating mothers. Though good for health, seeds should be had in moderation as they might result in adverse effects.
Very popular for new moms, nuts are a rich source of several essential nutrients. Depending on the type, they have their own specialty. For instance, walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids while almonds are a good source of protein and calcium. Munch cashews to get adequate iron and folic acid for your body. Many argue that nuts are loaded with fat. However, the truth is that nuts contain monounsaturated fat that is good for health. Nursing moms can keep some nuts handy and snack on them to satiate frequent hunger pangs.
If you are a vegetarian mom, then legumes should be your best friend. Packed with essential nutrients including protein, iron, zinc and folate, legumes like beans, dried split peas and lentils are very healthy for you and your baby. Lentils are also high in fiber, hence quite healthy. You can never get bored of them as you can prepare soups out of them, salads, sprouts, hummus and other dips, etc. Think out of the box and include them in your diet.
9. Finger Millet
Calcium, Iron, unsaturated fats, minerals are some of the essential nutrients that the humble finger millet boasts of. It can be nursing mom’s best friend. One of the highlights of finger millet is Vitamin D that helps in increasing bone strength in mothers, which is very important. It is also rich in calcium that helps reduce the risk of fractures. Finger Millet is also said to improve the production of breast milk in lactating mothers. What more – the breast milk is enhanced with amino acids as well, which is good for the baby. Minerals like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin are present in finger millet. Consuming it regularly helps fight postpartum depression and tackles anxiety issues in new moms. Finger millet even helps in maintain metabolism. Rich in dietary fiber, finger millet diet helps aid digestion as well.
One thing that new moms should not miss out on is water. Water helps your body in several ways. While breastfeeding, new moms are prone to dehydration. This is a major cause of constipation too. To avoid such problems, make sure that you have sufficient amount of water at regular intervals. Keep a bottle of water handy to remember drinking it. Water even assists in breast milk production.
While all the foods mentioned above are good for health, make sure that you get your diet checked with your health provider. You might not be aware of certain allergies and it might cause a problem to you or your baby. Along with following a good diet plan, make sure that whatever you eat is fresh and healthy. Eat with gratitude and try staying in a good mood. All this reflects on your baby. And I am sure that you will be a good mother. Wishing you a happy and healthy motherhood!