The postnatal diet I recommend my clients is low in sugar, high in healthy fat and protein as well as various nutrients targeted at nourishing a supporting health. The diet includes whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein (organic/wild-caught poultry and fish), healthy fats, organic dairy, nuts, seeds, carbohydrates, and plenty of fluids. Bone broth or miso broth and sea vegetables (Dulce, Nori, Wakame) are also included daily.
The postnatal diet has the focus on regenerating the mother after birth so that she can recover and restore her energy. It is also designed to have the proper nutrients to feed the breastfeeding infant. A healthy diet helps to support a happy mother and baby.
Calories are not counted on this postnatal diet. There is no need to be hungry! If you need more food, increase the portions or have an additional snack. Similarly, you do not need to eat everything if you feel full and content.
I recommend aiming for 4-6 small meals daily along with plenty of fluids. Your goal should be 64-80oz. of fluids each day, primarily water, but tea and broth count too.
- Eat frequent small meals
- Protein and fat are essential for the development of the babies immune and nervous system.
- Protein and fat help stabilize the blood sugar of you and the baby
- Water is also essential for the production of the breast milk
- In order to be successful with a healthy postnatal diet, you need to prepare many protein and fat snacks each week so that you are prepared when you are tired or busy
- Engage your partner for shopping, meal prep and snack prep
- Do a search for healthy restaurants near you for delivery and eating out
There are many, many delicious foods to consume that are part of a postnatal diet. Look for recipes that are full of the following:
- Bone broth: Great to consume daily.
- Seaweed products: Great to consume daily.
- Whole fruits: Limit to 3 servings or less daily.
- Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, parsley, eggplant, green onions, asparagus, artichoke hearts, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, spinach, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, dandelion greens, swiss chard, watercress, turnip greens, seaweeds, endive, arugula (rocket), bok choy, rapini, chicory, radicchio.
- Root vegetables: Yams, sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, acorn squash, cassava, radish, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, acorn squash
- Healthy fats: Avocado, nuts and seeds (avoid peanuts).
- Oils: Cold-pressed/extra virgin oils such as olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Vinegars: Apple cider, white wine, red wine, balsamic.
- Grains: Gluten free (quinoa, brown and wild rice, buckwheat, teff, millet, amaranth, brown rice pasta, pure buckwheat noodles, gluten-free oats) or, post-cleanse try using unprocessed gluten grains (bulgur, farrow, wheat berries) but limit to 2 times daily at the very most.
- Meat and poultry: Organic or free-range chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, wild game, grass-fed red-meat and pork.
- Fish: Wild-caught, low-mercury-fish such as salmon, black cod (sablefish) trout, anchovies, herring, sardines (fresh & canned).
- Eggs: Organic free-range eggs.
- Dairy-substitutes: Plain and unsweetened almond and coconut milks and yogurts.
- Dairy: Goat and sheep cheese and yogurt, (may have organic cow cheese and yogurt).
- Sweeteners: Honey and maple syrup used very sparingly, if at all.
- Herbs and Spices: All herbs and spices are included!
- Soybeans: Minimally processed organic soy- edamame and tofu.
- Coffee or Green Tea: One cup per day in the morning if desired.
- Dark Chocolate: Small piece of 75% or higher dark chocolate.
The following foods should be avoided in general for a postnatal diet:
- Alcohol: All wine, beer and spirits.
- Processed and packaged foods: Chips, pastas, frozen dinners, white breads, energy bars. These foods are typically high in refined carbohydrates, sugars and chemicals.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, peas.
- Gluten-grains: Including wheat, barley, rye, spelt, bran, farina, kamut, oats, couscous and all refined foods such as white breads and white flours.
- Soda, carbonated and other sweetened beverages: Teas, sodas and other processed beverages (sodium-free sparkling water is ok).
- Sweeteners: Processed sugars (white, brown, beet, coconut), corn syrup, artificial sweeteners (including Equal, Splenda and Sweet 'n Low).
- Processed fruit juices: Bottled juices (HPP bottled juices may be ok, check with your practitioner).
- Factory-farmed and processed meats: Including chicken, turkey, pork, beef, veal, cold cuts, canned meats, hot dogs, sausage.
- Candies and sweets: All candy including milk chocolate.
- Dairy: Cow milk and cow ice cream (organic cow yogurt and cheese is OK).
- Condiments: Jellies and fruit spreads.
- Processed broths: Including store bought chicken and vegetable broth.
Hey mama's, what other questions do you have around postnatal care?
xoxo, Dr. G