Motherhood can be very demanding and exhausting. Giving birth to a baby is very hard on the body and one of the best ways to take care of you is to eat healthy, varied, and nutritious food. It helps in the smooth transition of the body into the postpartum state.
Food acts as medicine after giving birth as there are healing powers in every bite taken. It also helps kick-start the milk supply and avoid the postpartum discomforts.
Healthy Food To Eat Right After Labor:
- Chicken Soup: Sweating is common in females while giving birth and it continues a few weeks after delivery as the body is adjusting to dramatic hormone fluctuation. Though IV fluids are given during delivery, there is a need to maintain the fluid level even after, especially when you are planning to breastfeed. Additional liter of fluid per day is required by a lactating female compared to the non-lactating ones.(1) Chicken soup is the perfect food which can be taken post-delivery to meet the fluid requirement. It is hydrating and salty to replenish electrolytes naturally.
- Salted Crackers: Salted crackers give some carbs and electrolytes to the body which can help slowly build back energy. It can be an addition to the hospital delivery bag, snack pack. They are often prescribed to relieve nausea during pregnancy, so even after if there is a similar feeling they can be popped in.
- Dates: After salted crackers dates are another important food to take a space in the hospital bag. A study shows consuming dates immediately after delivery resulted in significantly less blood loss and hemorrhage than by giving oxytocin.(2) Dates are a source of simple sugar and help in giving energy boost post-birth. A single date contains 16 grams of sugar.(3) Also, you need more carbohydrates and calorie while breastfeeding and dates are a good source.
- Oatmeal: Hemorrhoids are common post-delivery. Due to the pregnancy hormones and the medications given, constipation is a common side effect after delivery. Oatmeal is a good add on to the diet for postpartum females as it contains plenty of fiber to keep the bowel moving. It can be topped with extra fruits to increase the nutrient benefit. Oatmeal is also a galactagogue. It boosts the milk supply. It might be due to a combination of carbs, iron, and calories which bring in the milk-promoting property in them.
- Beef Jerky: Iron deficiency anemia is common after delivery, as many females bleed for days and sometimes weeks after delivery.(4) This interferes with recovery and breast milk supply. Beef contains 2.2 mg of iron per 2-ounce serving.(5) It also contains sodium which can restore the electrolyte balance.
- Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein which helps in soothing the sore muscles after the great birth ordeal. Fortified eggs contain omega-3 fats which have brain-boosting power. Research has found that omega-3 fats lower the risk of postpartum depression.(6)
- Apples: An apple has been shown to reduce the salivary bacteria similar to brushing.(7) It is also a source of various vitamins and fiber.
Benefits of Eating Healthy After Delivery
Eating healthy benefits the body largely. Females post-delivery need to recover and require a lot of healthy food to help do so. Eating healthy foods benefit a postpartum female in the following ways.
- Eating foods such as oatmeal, garlic, and flaxseed help boost the milk supply.
- Along with milk-boosting properties healthy food also makes the breast milk more nutritious for the baby.
- Protein-rich foods help recover from the C-section.
- Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc are known for their wound and scar healing properties. They enable the skin tissue to heal more quickly.
- Food rich in fiber such as leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, legumes fights postpartum constipation.
- Avoid processed and sugary foods and stay hydrated to boost up the energy level.
After giving birth, it is not just that you have to look after the health of your child, but also you have to pay attention to your health. Eat healthy as it will help you recover faster and will also be healthful for the little one.
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