Hey, Momma! Congratulations on making it through your nine-month journey! We understand that your world now revolves around your little one, but we hope you don’t forget to look after yourself, too!
It’s easier said than done, but it’s also true that we cannot give what we do not have. Since our bodies will be recovering from childbirth, we must also pay attention to giving our bodies what it needs so we can properly take care of our little one. We know you miss all the caffeine and sweets, but maybe we can put them off a little longer, don’t you think?
To help us understand postpartum nutrition, we asked Jeean Rico, a private practitioner and a registered nutritionist dietician from University of the Philippines Los Baños who specializes on women’s health. According to her, since mothers who just gave birth need to regain strength and prepare for lactation, the nutrient requirements are naturally high. “Regular hydration is needed, as well as conscious intake of food with carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamin A and C, iron, iodine, and zinc. Moreover, since mothers’ bodies need to balance their hormones, magnesium found in whole grains and nuts will play a very important role, too.”
Squash Soup with Saluyot
Rich in Vitamin A, saluyot is an abundant leafy vegetable in the Philippines. You can’t go wrong with vegetable + vegetable! The steam of the hot soup is generally soothing for a recovering body as well.
Shrimp or Seafood in Coconut Milk
Here’s a creamy and tasty treat rich in protein and iodine! You may be creative with adding vegetables to your liking such as squash and green beans which are also rich in vitamins.
Don’t let the tasty adobo leave your dining table! Chicken liver is a good source of protein, and would help in iron restoration, too! If you need more protein, just add in some boiled eggs.
Chicken Tinola with Malunggay
Don’t forget – dishes with fluids are always good for a recovering mom’s body. Chicken is a good source of protein, and malunggay helps mothers raise their supply of milk.
Monggo with Pork or Dried Fish
Looking for something nutritious and within the budget? This high-protein dish is perfect. You may also add malunggay to this dish to help you with boosting your milk!
Fruits and Smoothies
Fruits are best for snacks or dessert. Have a variety ready such as apples, papayas, and avocados! You may also toss fruits in a bowl and make a salad or try it with granola and nut butter! For those who have concerns with digestion, you can have blended fruits or smoothies as options.
Vegetable Sticks with Hummus
Since you really need to go easy on sugary snacks, another option for in-between meals is vegetable sticks with dips such as hummus or cheese. You can never go wrong with snacking fruits and vegetables, the key is to be creative with mixing and matching them!
Give your body what it needs.
Replenish the body’s nutrients, prioritize your recovery, and prepare for lactation.
Don’t focus too much on losing weight right away.
The weight will naturally be shed off with the demands of breastfeeding. Don’t put extra “weight” on your shoulders by attending to too many things at once: caring for your child, coping with lack of sleep, and focusing on abrupt weight loss.
Ideally, time your meals properly.
Don’t miss on breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and take healthy snacks in between. This will help replenish your energy and lessen your stress.
Be mindful of your food intake.
Even if your baby is literally out of your body, it will still be affected by the food you eat through the milk you produce. Pay attention to what you eat.