With all the exhaustion you encountered during labor and delivery, the journey of motherhood does not stop there. In fact, this is just the beginning. You will continue to experience sleepless nights and tiring days of nursing and taking care of your bundle of joy. Thus, conditioning your body is necessary, and this is possible through proper nutrition.
Eating properly after delivery is not that hard and complicated. Whatever you were eating during your pregnancy state, you just continue this – a good-quality diet on a daily basis. Healthy food is the primary source of energy to help you keep up with the demands of motherhood.
Lea Berentson, PsyD, and Sara Kenney, PsyD, suggested, “New moms should eat every time baby eats. Water and a high-protein snack (yogurt, cheese stick, nuts) are good mini-meals.”
Nutrition: Simple but Ample
Simple yet with a variation. This is the key to obtain a nutritious meal. All that matters is the mixture of readily available ingredients and a dash of imagination to produce an appetizing dish. Your neighborhood grocery store has an adequate supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, different types of cheese, nuts, cereals, and granolas.
Meals you can prepare beforehand and freeze for later use are quite helpful on certain days when you feel that you’re not up to cook. Of course, considering your present situation, you may need assistance from friends and family. Label the packaging such as the name of the meal and the day you want to eat it. You not only save time and energy, but you also guarantee that you will eat a healthy meal.
Give yourself a “Me Time”
Make sure that you have quality mealtime by means of sitting down while eating. By establishing a daily mealtime routine, you are conditioning your body not to crave for additional food. Having quick meals will only make you feel hungrier, and this may cause fatigue and overeating. This further leads to stress which might have an adverse effect on your digestion. Instead, free your hands as you may want to put your baby in a swing or an infant seat, or you may want to eat later when your baby’s fast asleep.
Susan Feingold, PsyD, a professor and a clinical psychologist, mentioned that “feelings of intermittent sadness, weepiness, and emotional oversensitivity are not unusual. They’re a common part of the baby blues, a temporary state of mood changes that last no more than a few days or weeks.” A daily mealtime routine will help ease these feelings of sadness.
Constipation can be an unpleasant effect after delivery. For this problem, health experts recommend increasing your daily intake of fiber. Examples of high fiber food are grains, cereals, and green leafy vegetables. High fiber intake plus adequate intake of water will enable you to pass out stool efficiently, thus decreasing tension at the incision site. Laxatives are not advisable as they may cause dependency of the colon to function with its aid.
There is no food that can relieve fatigue. The only way to combat tiredness is a good and sufficient sleep to help the body rest and regain energy. Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, emphasized sleep’s importance to a mother’s body after delivery. According to her, “Sleep is a critical necessity to life, and more especially when facing change and adjustment.”
You need to cope up with the demands of your baby, and sometimes waking up at 2 AM is a must. Though it may be impossible to attain a continuous 8-hour sleep, you can still achieve this by sleeping together with the baby or if the baby is just lying and playing with their toys. Once you accomplish this, you will be revived and refreshed allowing you to function better the next day.
Replacing Iron Reserves
Anemia can occur after birth due to decreased red blood cells that can lead to an inadequate supply of oxygen in the body. The problem of post-partum anemia should be given importance as this can develop complications such as the increased risk of postpartum depression, urinary tract infection, excessive fatigue and exhaustion, and insufficient supply of breast milk. Iron-rich foods are of best interest in order to prevent the progress of maternal problems brought about by this condition.