You know how important it is to eat right when you’re pregnant, but what about after your baby arrives? Following good nutrition tips is just as important after delivery as it is before, whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding. Your body is going through so many changes post-delivery and the right eating habits can make a huge difference in how you feel during those changes. Check out a few important new mom nutrition tips that will have you eating right for you and your baby!
New Mom Nutrition Tips for You and Your Baby
Hydrate Right: Staying hydrated- especially when you are breastfeeding- is such an important part of eating right for you and your baby. How you stay hydrated matters. Skip the sugary drinks and stick to water as often as possible. I’m not saying you can ONLY have water, but make it your main source of fluids. If plain water isn’t your thing, add flavour by infusing fruits, like cucumbers and limes.
Make Friends with Protein: Protein is incredibly important to healing, so this nutrition tip is important for all new moms. When I was a nursing student, protein was the star of our nutrition education. Be sure to add plenty of lean meats, beans, dairy products and lentils to your diet. Fortunately, there are so many sources of protein that it’s actually pretty easy to add enough to your diet. Health Canada also encourages you to eat at least two servings of heathy fish choices, such as salmon and char; but avoid the more predatory fish, such as fresh tuna, shark and swordfish, which are high in mercury.
Fortunately, there are so many sources of protein that it’s actually pretty easy to add enough to your diet.
Add variety: Did you know that eating a variety of foods when you’re breastfeeding helps expose your baby to different tastes early on? Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, there’s no reason to go bland! I wouldn’t put hot sauce on your food, but definitely add variety to your diet with different seasonings and flavours. Salads are a fun way to do this!
Keep Snacks Handy: Another important nutrition tip for all new moms, regardless of how you feed your baby: make sure you keep snacks handy! I remember times when I was rocking my son in his room and he’d finally fall asleep. I was afraid to move (he had colic, sleep didn’t come easy), so I’d sit there starving! I learned to keep healthy snack bars in the pocket on his rocking chair. Stash those babies everywhere! The snacks, I mean, not your actual baby!
Limit the caffeine: The hardest thing for me during my pregnancy and after my son’s birth was giving up coffee. I cut way, way back to the recommended allowance per day. Medical reasons prevented me from breastfeeding, yet I still had to avoid caffeine for a while because of my blood pressure (preeclampsia after effects). If you’re breastfeeding, Health Canada recommends limiting your caffeine intake to no more than two 8 oz. cups of coffee or tea per day
Give yourself a break: Perhaps my most important new mom nutrition tip is to not be too hard on yourself. If you end up eating a giant slice of “welcome home baby” cake at 2am because it’s the only thing close to you when you’re absolutely starving, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t make a habit of it, but don’t beat yourself up!
Likewise, if you planned to breastfeed and something prevents that from happening, don’t let it eat at you. For moms who cannot or choose not to feed breastmilk, give your baby the best possible alternative, infant formula like Nestlé Good Start. It has probiotics, small proteins for small tummies and Omega 3 & 6 to support brain and eye development.
This post is sponsored by Nestlé Canada. The opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Nestlé Canada. Please consult your healthcare professional before introducing infant formula.
Do you have any new mom nutrition tips to share? Tell us about them in the comments!