I gave birth 35 days ago. Thirty-five days of endless diaper changes, nursing and sleep deprivation. This does not leave much time for eating, let along eating well. I had a hard time during pregnancy eating healthy, and now taking care of young children and a baby, I can only think about what it would be like to eat well. It takes effort. Eating well takes planning, but it’s well worth it. It’s so important to have a healthy postpartum diet, breastfeeding or not, for both mom and baby.
Cultural Traditions in Postpartum Recovery
There are many cultural traditions regarding foods that are touted to help breastfeeding mothers make more milk. Few have been rigorously / scientifically “studied.” However, most are healthy and can’t hurt. And the “wisdom of the ages” shouldn’t necessarily be disregarded.
- There’s a widely held belief that oatmeal increases milk supply. This has never been proven, but it’s also never been disproved. Since it’s healthy anyway, if you like it, go ahead! Steel-cut oats are reported to be best, but even oatmeal cookies may help.
- Other whole grains with some noted benefit include barley, brown rice, and millet. All these whole grains do provide B-vitamins, which help mom have more energy. A side bonus is that the roughage helps with “regularity” of the intestinal tract.
- Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and kidney beans, navy beans, or black beans are a good source of both protein and fiber.
- Almonds and sesame seeds are a good source of calcium and omega-3- fats, as well as cashews, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
- Colorful vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, carrots, and beets are excellent sources of important vitamins, as are asparagus, artichoke, and malunggay leaves. Alfalfa and dandelion greens in your salad are also good.
- Dried fruits such as apricots, figs, and dates have iron plus several important vitamins.
There are so many challenges postpartum, a mom needs to keep her energy up and eat foods that make her feel good. A woman already feels so tired, she doesn’t need the foods she eats to drag her down even more. I have been trying to incorporate a lot of the foods below into my daily eating postpartum diet routine. Check them out and let me know which one appeals to you most, or if you have one to share!
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp flax seeds
1 tbsp diced almonds
1/2 cup fruit of choice
Mix all ingredients except fruit and add 1/2 – 1 cup milk depending on what consistency you prefer. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and add a few more tsbp of cold milk plus fruit and stir.
Healthy Weekend Breakfast
2 pieces multi-grain toast
For eggs: Heat frying pan on medium and add a pat of butter. Mix up 2 eggs in bowl and add some cheese of your preference. Add to pan and sprinkle with salt. Cook for a few minutes until eggs are done and cheese is melted. Can also be made into an omelette with tomatoes or other vegetables.
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Cup Milk
Cinnamon, if desired
Blend together and enjoy! This milkshake is a great source of energy and protein.
References for this article:
La Leche League International