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Healthy Diet for New Moms: 8 Foods for New Mothers

Healthy Diet for New Moms

For a first-time mom, breastfeeding nutrition can be extremely confusing. You must be having so many questions about what to consume and what to avoid. As a certified nutritionist, I have curated a list of best foods that must be a part of the healthy diet for new moms.

Nutrition for New Mommies: What Type of Food to Eat?

Nursing moms must follow a nutritious diet and rely on energy-boosting foods for new moms. As per the United States Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines for Americans, you should ensure that you have vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts, yogurt, and lean meat regularly. Besides eating healthy, you must also eat once every two to three hours. 

Postpartum Diet: Best Postpartum Foods to Add in Your Meal Plan

Here’s something I say to all the amazing breastfeeding moms: a nourished mommy equals a healthy and strong baby. So, here are 10 foods that must feature in your postpartum diet plan:

Healthy Diet For New Moms

1. Legumes and Beans

Legumes and beans are top sources od phytoestrogens, minerals, protein, and vitamins. Studies have proved that chickpeas increase the supply of breast milk, making them a must-have galactagogue. You should also have soybeans as they have the maximum amount of phytoestrogen.

How much to eat?

You can have beans and legumes 2-3 times daily.

How to consume:

You can prepare delicious dishes with legumes and have them with your rice or rotis.

2. Oats  

Why are oats among the breastfeeding superfoods? That’s because they boost the supply of milk. Other than their milk-boosting properties, oats benefit moms as well. They contain multiple vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and fiber. You will stay full for long hours and your blood sugar levels won’t rise.

How much to eat:

One wholesome bowl of home-cooked oatmeal is all you need to feel rejuvenated in the morning.

How to eat:

From oats smoothies to oats pancakes – you will find a range of interesting recipes online.

3. Lean meat

Your body needs protein and so does your baby’s. So, it is a fantastic healthy food for new mom. As pregnancy uses the iron stores in your body, you must rebuild the iron stores when breastfeeding. So, have lean meat once a day for the best results.

How much is the requirement?

A breastfeeding woman’s daily protein requirement is of 5 to 7 ounces.

How to eat

You can make anything from chicken soup to grilled chicken and enjoy something delectable.

4. Leafy green veggies 

The lactogenic properties of vegetables are not unknown. So, consuming more vegetables will have a good effect on your body’s milk production. Orange and red vegetables like beets and carrots are also much needed.

How much to eat:

You can eat green vegetables for lunch and for dinner along with rice/ bread.

How to prepare:

Make sumptuous vegetable salads and soups to add all your favorite veggies.

5. Whole grains

Loaded with fiber, plant compounds, and vitamins, whole grains are mandatory to get the required calories per day. They are also an incredible source of magnesium, fiber, vitamins, and other best nutrients for new moms.

How much should you take?

You do not need more than 6-9 servings daily.

How to eat?

You can buy wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta, popped popcorn, and brown rice from the supermarket.

Something to consider: Instead of having store-bought wholewheat bread, you can bake your own.

6. Dried fruits

Doctors recommend dried fruits during breastfeeding, labor and delivery as they are high in calories, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, iron, and folate. They supply nutrients, calories, and glucose to the body.

How much to have?

You should not have more than 1 cup of dried food per day.

Ways to eat:

They are healthy choices that you can have in between meals. Try mixing different kinds of dried fruits like cherries, berries, prunes, raisins, and apricots.

7. Fresh fruits

Every woman should have plenty of fresh fruits even when they are not pregnant. Fruits like avocados, bananas, and oranges are extremely beneficial. Oranges, for instance, have vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid. As the water content in an orange is 90%, you will stay hydrated.

Bananas will help you fight fatigue and give you an instant boost of energy. Avocados are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins K, C, E, and B. So, when you have them dedicatedly, your breastfeeding babe will have a well-developed brain and flawless skin.

How much should you take?

Don’t overstuff yourself with fruits. Have one bowl of mixed fruits daily.

How to consume:

Instead of having any one type of fruit, prepare a fruit bowl with different kinds of fruits and have it for breakfast.

8. Nuts

Nuts are considered nutritional powerhouses and they are among the postnatal recovery foods. So, they are especially important when it comes to giving extra calories to your body. 

How much to have?

Having half a cup of nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc.) will be great.

Ways to consume:

You can have nuts as snacks between meals or add them to your breakfast cereals.

Foods to Avoid Postpartum: What Not to Eat and Drink When You're Nursing? 

Certain drinks and foods must be avoided when you are breastfeeding:

  1. Alcohol is unsafe for your baby and there should be no trace of it in your milk.
  2. Having more than 24 ounces of caffeine is also not wise.
  3. As seafoods contain mercury, they can affect your baby’s nervous system.

Additional Parenting Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers to Fight Postpartum Blues 

Parenting isn’t easy and your life shouldn’t be all about catering to the needs of the baby. Other than making healthy food choices, you should also look after your mental well-being. So, here are some parenting tips for new moms trying to manage postpartum depression.

  • Be patient and have realistic expectations from your baby.
  • When it comes to losing the pregnancy weight, don’t be too harsh on yourself.
  • Whenever it’s possible – take a nap to keep fatigue at bay.
  • Spend happy times with your baby by showering it with affection and attention.
The Takeaway 

So, a healthy diet for new moms is crucial for proper development of the newborn. You must include the above-mentioned food items in your meals and have a well-balanced diet. You may also consult a nutritionist to get a personalized diet chart to give good nutrition to yourself and your little one. Your dietician will explain everything about a new mom calorie intake.

Frequently Asked Questions on Healthy Diet for New Moms 
Q. What are the best foods for a new mom’s recovery?

After you give birth, your body will need some time to heal. So, your postpartum diet should not be devoid of foods like whole-grain cereal, eggs, meat, iron-rich foods, high-fiber foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Q. How does a new mom’s diet affect breastfeeding?

For a newborn, breastmilk is the only food. What you eat throughout the day determines will impact the health of your baby if you’re breastfeeding. Hence, eat enough and eat well. 

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