Energy-Smart Nutrition for New Moms

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Categories Breastfeeding, Feeding, Foodie Fridays, Mommy IssuesTags

The concept of “eating for two” has always been associated with pregnancy, but you shouldn’t stop eating for three (or more!) as soon as your children are born, especially if you’re nursing. What a new mom eats can have a direct effect on her babies’ health, so it’s important to be aware of what foods and drinks you’re putting into your body and to make sure you’re getting enough calories and calcium for everyone.

Additionally, new moms who follow healthy, balanced post-baby diets will likely be more energized and better-equipped to handle the stresses of newborns, no matter how many you have! To keep yourself and your new children healthy as you head into post-pregnancy life, use the following guidelines to get an idea of what nutritional choices are best for new moms—and their new multiples!

General Guidelines:

New nursing moms should still be eating more calories than they just need for themselves and should focus on getting a lot of low-fat calcium. Avoid spicy foods like chilies and peppers and stick to foods that are easy to digest. Eat nutrient-rich meals and snacks at regular intervals to keep your energy up; you’ll need a lot of it if you’re dealing with multiples!

Protein

One of the best ways to keep your energy up as a new mom is to make sure you’re getting lots and lots of good-for-you proteins. Lean chicken and salmon are two great ways to consume this protein; salmon is especially high in good fats and can assist with brain function, but be careful not to eat too much of it since it’s high in mercury. Aside from meat, eggs are also high in protein. Tempeh, tofu and beans are good vegetarian and vegan food options.

Whole grains

Whole grains provide folic acid, a nutrient crucial in newborn development. Aside from that, whole grains are wonderful sources of fiber and iron. Make a bowl of oatmeal, use whole grain bread for sandwiches and choose whole grain pasta options to make sure you’re getting a good dose.

Calcium

New moms need more calcium than most women, so make sure you’re filling your body with good-for-you calcium sources. Low-fat yogurts, skim milk and low-fat cheeses are easy to work into quick and easy meals and snacks; add some fruit to your yogurts for an extra serving of nutrients.

Fruits and Veggies

Getting plenty of vitamins and antioxidants as a new mom is crucial for a healthy diet and will assist with your babies’ healthy development, too. Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and oranges are a great source of vitamin C for nursing women who need extra quantities. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are also good antioxidants and provide a host of other vitamins new moms need.

Drinks

Although you may feel like you need a constant stream of espresso with newborns, going overboard on the caffeine isn’t a good idea. A cup of coffee is fine, but drinking one every five minutes will backfire when you when you crash later on. Keep the caffeine to a minimum and instead energize with some of the foods mentioned above.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Lightlife®. For high-protein products and vegetarian recipes for new moms on a vegetarian diet, visit www.lightlife.com.

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