Nutrition Tips for New, Nursing Mothers

posted 5/17/23 -- The postpartum recovery period can last anywhere from six weeks to six months after a woman gives birth. During this time many changes occur within a woman’s body. Yet, the demands of life make it challenging for new mothers to take the time that they need to fully recover. These added stresses can often extend recovery time and ultimately affect a woman’s overall health and well-being.

Women can help their bodies recover after birth with attention to their diets. Many cultures encourage postpartum moms to help rebuild their body by eating foods that are warming and easy to digest. Examples would include soups and stews filled with healthy proteins, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are nutrient-dense, meaning they are high in vitamins and minerals.

Pregnancy Support Services recommends two different nutrition programs to serve as guides in choosing the best nutrients for pregnancy and the postpartum period. The USDA MyPlate is a great guide for understanding how much you should eat, especially in the balancing of carbs, proteins and fats. An additional resource is the Eat a Rainbow Project which is an excellent and simple program to help families ensure they are getting a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other essential plant nutrients each day.

It is even more important for a woman who is breastfeeding to keep her body strong through the foods she is eating. Breastfeeding women need to consume an extra 500 calories a day to keep their milk supply up. Those added calories should come from a well-balanced diet filled with healthy food choices. If a woman is trying to increase her milk supply, there are a number of foods which contain important chemicals that are believed to promote breast milk production. Some of those include dark green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds.

If you would like more information or assistance with breastfeeding or postpartum support, please contact Melissa Carroll at 440-457-0187.

Click here for a great postpartum recipe.