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nourishing your body  as a new mom

Nourishing Your Body as a New Mom

postpartum Apr 17, 2024

The postpartum period places enormous nutritional demands on a woman's body. You've just been through the physical marathon of pregnancy and childbirth, leaving you severely depleted of vital nutrients. At the same time, you're tasked with caring for a newborn 24/7 while getting little to no sleep - an exhausting experience that can quickly leave you running on fumes. Proper self-nourishment through nutrient-dense foods is absolutely vital during this time, both for your own physical healing and mental wellbeing as a new mother.

Replenishing Depleted Nutrient Stores After Childbirth

  • Childbirth drastically depletes nutrients including 30% of your iron stores, 50% of zinc, and 20% of folate
  • If breastfeeding, your need for nutrients like calcium increases by 50% to produce quality milk
  • Even eating a balanced diet, studies show most nursing moms run deficits in key vitamins/minerals

This makes focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods absolutely crucial postpartum. Load up on:

  • Eggs (great source of choline, essential for baby's brain development)
  • Lean proteins like meat, fish, and poultry (provide iron, zinc, and B vitamins)
  • Legumes like lentils and beans (filled with folate, magnesium, and fiber)
  • Nuts and seeds (packed with energizing protein, healthy fats, zinc)
  • Dairy like Greek yogurt and milk (provide calcium, probiotics)
  • Fruits and veggies of all colors (antioxidants, fiber, vitamins/minerals)

Stock your kitchen with simple options that can easily be eaten with one hand while nursing.

Boosting Exhaustion and Draining Energy Levels

The first few newborn months bring round-the-clock feeding sessions every 2-3 hours and very little sleep, thanks to your baby's tiny stomach and irregular schedule. This extreme sleep deprivation coupled with the energy expenditure of birthing a baby leads to intense fatigue and burnout.

Without energizing nutrients from:

  • Protein (to maintain muscle mass and aid recovery)
  • Complex carbs (for steady blood sugar)
  • Fluids (you're losing extra liquids via breastmilk)

...you'll find yourself feeling exhausted all day long - even when your baby starts sleeping longer stretches. 

Supporting Postpartum Mental Health

Up to 1 in 5 new moms will experience postpartum depression, and rates of postpartum anxiety are also very high. Risk factors include:

  • Hormonal roller coaster (estrogen and progesterone plummet after birth)
  • Lack of sleep and constant physical demands
  • Stress of major life adjustment and identity shift
  • Nutrient deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, folate, iron, selenium, and other key nutrients can directly contribute to the worsening of these symptoms. 

Making a conscious effort to get adequate amounts by prioritizing:

  • Fatty fish like salmon and sardines
  • Eggs (the yolks are nutrient powerhouses)
  • Walnuts and seeds like chia, flax, hemp
  • Legumes and leafy greens

Navigating the First Year Postpartum

  • If breastfeeding, your calorie needs remain higher than pre-pregnancy for the first year to produce milk
  • For weight loss, rapid or extreme calorie restriction can backfire by decreasing energy and milk supply - a balanced, gradual approach through nutrient-rich foods is ideal
  • Nourishing your body consistently provides lasting energy, stable moods, and balanced hormones to navigate new parenthood's ups and downs

The baby tremendously benefits when the mom makes self-nourishment a priority too:

  • You'll produce higher quality, more nutrient-dense breastmilk to optimize your baby's development
  • You'll have the stamina, focus, and patience to be fully engaged and present for your little one's needs

Sign Up for Our Free Postpartum Nutrition Workshop!

In this free workshop, you'll learn:

  1. How to reach your healthiest weight, boost energy, and feel like yourself again postpartum - without sacrificing your milk supply, your mental health, favorite foods, or sanity.
  2. The most common nutrition and lifestyle pitfalls that can unknowingly cause exhaustion, brain fog, mood swings, dips in milk supply, and make postpartum weight struggles worse.
  3. The proven 3-step method to gently heal and rebalance your postpartum hormones and metabolism, so you can have an enjoyable, low-stress fourth trimester experience.

The postpartum period is already physically and emotionally overwhelming with the intense demands of caring for a newborn 24/7.

But, neglecting your own nutritional needs will only make this hugely adjusting time that much harder.

Nourishing your body consistently with nutrient-dense, energy-boosting foods allows you to feel your best mentally & physically postpartum.

Did you find it helpful, Mama? Please share it with other Mamas!

Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

WORK WITH ME

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