What most women do not realize is that the most important thing, after labor, is not bouncing back as quickly as Kim Kardashian but, rather, making sure to eat healthy calories in order to help the body recover, all the while nourishing the little being that has been brought into the world.
Foods consumed by moms post-pregnancy play a vital role as the right meal plan can help to shed the baby pounds in a safe and healthy manner, while still passing the necessary nutrients to the baby.
When we get home from the hospital, though, most of us have family members who come with opinions on what we should or should not eat. Despite our better judgment, we tend to give in to them just to keep the peace in the home. Allowing ourselves to be bulldozed is the reason two years after the baby, we still talk of losing the baby weight. It is also the reason our babies exhibit colic symptoms.
A healthy meal plan often determines how smooth the parenting ride will be and that is why we have compiled a list of ten foods to avoid post-pregnancy and ten to gorge on.
20 Eat: Low-Calorie Dairy Products
Most mothers prefer to skip dairy products altogether, thinking that they will contribute to their weight retention. However, according to True Weight, these misgivings are not entirely true and they should not be a reason to avoid dairy products. The breastfeeding diet requires a dose of dairy products, whether cheese, yogurt or milk. Organic varieties of dairy are preferable to animal dairy, especially because they do not come with pesticides or chemicals.
According to MomJunction, dairy products are a great source of vitamin B, as well as calcium and proteins that are a huge requirement for the baby’s bone development. New mothers are advised to eat dairy products, not only to replace the calcium lost during pregnancy but also for the benefit of the baby. To do this, the daily recommendation is three cups a day.
19 Eat: Lean Meat
When mom loses energy, replacing that energy should be done prudently and not with empty calories. The best way to boost one’s energy is to eat lean meats as they are rich in proteins and vitamins, including vitamin B12. Lean meats will help the new mom regain the drained energy levels lost while breastfeeding.
18 Eat: Legumes
A breastfeeding mom doesn’t want fat accumulation in her body, after all, she has too much of that carried over from her pregnancy. The best way to prevent fat accumulation is to gobble up legumes.
Legumes and beans form a primary element in every properly balanced diet. Legumes are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and proteins.
There are a lot of different legumes with a variety of flavors and they are easy to digest. If cooked well, they are quite tasty. We do not tout for weight obsession just after childbirth, but getting into a fat reduction war using a proper diet doesn’t hurt.
17 Eat: Green Vegetables
They are not everyone’s favorite, but vegetables come with a lot of benefits. The health-conscious mom should be gorging on these in plenty and not only her. She should be sharing the benefits with the rest of the family. Vegetables are a great source of vitamin C and A and are rich in dietary calcium, as well as iron and fiber.
To fight that post-pregnancy belly, green veggies are rich in healthy antioxidants and are low on calories. Incorporate leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli into your diet. Not only for your sake but also for the sake of the baby as they are rich in vitamins.
16 Eat: Liver
What makes this food a superfood is the many nutrients it comes with, including a huge amount of vitamins A, B, C, D and E. It also comes with a lot of minerals and trace elements. To top it off, the liver has a great dose of the fatty acids DHA and EPA vital for the baby’s brain development.
15 Eat: Brown Rice
The fastest way to lose weight is and always has been, reducing carb intake. This is because carbohydrates are the greatest enemies of any weight loss journey. Moms may be thinking of cutting down this component from their meals, but remember the key here is a balanced diet.
Drastic changes made to any diet may affect your milk production and leave you feeling sluggish. With a new baby, this may not be a good idea as one needs a lot of energy just to get through the day. The recommendation is to choose carbs that are whole grain such as brown rice to raise your energy levels.
14 Eat: Salmon
Salmon is among the fish that pregnant and nursing moms are advised to eat. WebMD says salmon is the nutritional powerhouse for nursing moms. Being a fatty fish, it contains DHA, which is very important in the development of the baby’s nervous system.
Breast milk naturally contains DHA, but the levels in salmon are higher than those found in breast milk. For a natural mood booster for the exhausted mother, nothing does that better than salmon and will keep postpartum depression at bay, which is a real risk for most new moms. The US FDA recommends an average of two ounces of salmon per week.
13 Eat: Whole Grain Cereal
Our society has this longtime tradition of gobbling down wheat products in the morning for breakfast. When it comes to wheat, it can be the worst enemy of weight loss. The best food when it comes to breakfast that will keep those pounds at bay and is quite filling while lifting your mood are whole grain cereals.
Most cereals come fortified with minerals and vitamins that provide a large portion of mom’s daily nutrient requirements. The best source of calcium, proteins, carbs, and iron are oats, which are high in fiber and one great component for the new mom, they help relieve constipation.
12 Eat: Eggs
Eggs are superfoods capable of covering a person’s protein needs without requiring any extra source of protein. There are DHA fortified eggs that can be considered to help improve one’s fatty acid levels in the milk.
Some people have an allergic reaction to eggs so if you are among the lucky who have no problem with eggs then eating eggs is a sure way of meeting your daily protein needs. Boil or scramble the egg and serve with a salad and that becomes a complete meal for lunch or make it into an omelet for dinner.
11 Eat: Sesame Seeds
We all remember the first poo. Not that the subsequent ones were any better. Many moms are wishing they had this information then. Sesame seeds are full of iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, and phosphorus in levels that make this little-known seeds a great inclusion in the pregnancy diet.
The combination of these minerals helps to regulate bowel movements. Sesame seeds are great in chutneys, sweets, and curries, or sprinkled on a salad. If you are a new mom, this is a perfect food and to make those toilet visits a little more pleasant, this is the food you should gobble down.
10 Avoid: Fish
Some types of fish are laden with mercury and mercury seeps into the breast milk, especially if one eats high amounts of certain fish. If there are high levels of mercury in the breast milk, it can affect the newborn’s neurological development.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “If a breastfeeding woman consumes a high amount of mercury-rich foods, it could harm the development of baby by transferring into the breast milk and then onto the baby.”
The recommendation by the FDA is that “breastfeeding women should avoid eating swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico as they contain high amounts of mercury.”
9 Avoid: Chocolate
Comfort food for a woman is a necessary evil and most of us cannot survive without a dose of this decadent delicacy. Unfortunately, the suffering mother now has no way of getting the comfort she so deserves as chocolate, according to MomJunction, is made of theobromine, which has the same effect on the human body as caffeine.
Babies of mothers who eat too much chocolate suffer from crankiness, fussy behavior and lack of sleep. It is prudent that mothers who find their babies suffering from this stop eating chocolate, at least until the child stops breastfeeding. Stopping chocolate is also a good idea as you will be able to shed off those pounds.
8 Avoid: Parsley And Peppermint
Some women like to go all out when it comes to their meals and it is not uncommon to find them garnishing their food in peppermint and parsley. These two herbs, though tasty, if eaten in large amounts can reduce the supply of breast milk.
Every time a breastfeeding woman eats herbs it is important to monitor the milk supply, especially at times when the baby is going through a growth spurt because this is the time the baby requires a lot of milk. To understand the potency of peppermint, after weaning, mothers often eat sage and peppermint to reduce the milk supply.
7 Avoid: Hot Sauce And Spices
We all love spicy foods due to their flavor and also because spices tend to turn bland foods into a meal fit for the kings. Most of us tend to overindulge in spicy foods, which are not a good idea, especially when one is breastfeeding.
This is because spicy foods quickly pass through the milk to the baby and they can affect the baby’s intestines as well as blood flow. It can also make a baby fussy and irritated. Even with all the flavors and joy to our palate that spices bring, spicy foods should be avoided for at least the first six months after the baby is born.
6 Avoid: Fried, Oily Foods
After childbirth, the idea is to reduce body fat in order to regain the original shape or something close to it. While oily foods can be amazingly delicious and none of us can really resist it. However, it is not advisable as it leads to a buildup of fat in the body and it makes it difficult to fit into that dress you love so much.
The best diet is to choose fats that come from walnuts, flax seeds, soybeans and other monounsaturated fruits. The foods to truly avoid are fried foods, sweets, and any other fatty food. Oily foods can pile up fat in your body, making it difficult for you to regain your original shape. Do not eat sweets, butter, or other fatty foods.
5 Avoid: Beans And Other Gas-Inducing Foods
The most devastating thing for a new mother is to see her baby do is to wriggle in pain and to know that she caused it. To prevent the severity of colic and associated stomach issues, new mothers are advised to stay clear of foods that cause gas, belching, as well as acidity.
These foods come with great flavors but they are deadly when it comes to babies as they can irritate her digestive system. For the sake of the newborn, new moms are advised that the foods to avoid are soft cheese, beans, oats, carbonated drinks, cabbage, and ice-cream.
4 Avoid: Peanuts
Many families have an allergy to peanuts. If this is the kind of family you come from, it is advisable to steer clear of peanuts until the baby is weaned. The allergic properties of peanuts tend to pass through breast milk and on to the baby, leading to wheezing, hives, and rashes.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of food even a few nuts can cause allergens in the mother’s milk for as much as six hours. It has now emerged from research that those children whose mothers eat peanuts while breastfeeding can develop an allergy to peanuts for a lifetime.
3 Avoid: Stay Clear Of A Dairy
This food is a double-edged sword. Dairy comes with a dilemma for all new mothers. Young babies tend to be intolerant to cow milk and whenever the breastfeeding mother eats any dairy foods, the lactose passes into the milk and it can become an irritant for the baby.
Mothers who eat dairy should be quite observant and if they see symptoms of eczema, sleep issues, skin issues, colic or vomiting in their babies, then it is time to stop eating dairy. Mom could try lactose-free products or an alternative ‘milk’ product such as soy or almond milk.
2 Avoid: Wheat
Checking the diaper is something most moms are squeamish about but this could be what saves your little munchkin. At every diaper change, mothers are advised to check the diaper, not only for consistency but also as a way of telling whether the baby has some digestive problems.
Most newborns have gluten intolerance and it often results in fussiness, sensitive tummies, and bloody stool. The best way to know if the baby is gluten intolerant is to remove wheat from the diet and introduce it gradually or wait until the baby hits the 6-month milestone.
1 Avoid: Garlic
Not many of us can stand the smell of garlic, but it is a common ingredient in most tasty foods. Many families cook their food with garlic because of its medicinal value. Garlic is said to be a superfood, but even with its amazing properties, garlic is the kind of food that should be eliminated from the breastfeeding woman’s diet.