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Nutrition After Birth

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It is important to quickly regain strength and energy after birth. You will require a lot of energy in the near future. It is now important to compensate possible nutritional deficiencies from your pregnancy to support vital development of both mother and child.

Your body is weakened after giving birth. You actually might want a vacation to get away from this stressful yet exciting experience. However, there are tasks waiting for a young mother like you that require a lot of strength and need you to be in a stable constitution. You might feel that you have reached your physical limits quickly from the all-round care of your little one.  But not to worry – with well-balanced diets, you can be ready to experience enjoyable moments with your little ones.

Usually, your family members and/or confinement helper will help you with your little ones.

The first priority should be replenishing your nutrient storage from pregnancy and birth.

To compensate for blood loss at birth, your everyday foods should include wholegrains, nuts, meat, fruits and vegetables, and foods with abundance of iron.

Essential fatty acids are very important for the regeneration of your tissue after birth. They can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and fish. You should consume oily fish at least once a week. 

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 (DHA) may reduce the risk of postpartum depression in healthy pregnant women.1 In countries with high fish consumption, women suffering with the risk of postnatal depression is moderately low.2

In pregnancy, calcium reduces from bones and teeth but may restored several months after delivery. It is important that you consume 2 glasses of milk daily. Calcium is also found in dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese and some vegetables such as kale and broccoli.

Your diet should comprise a variety of different food groups and daily intake of fruits and vegetables. However, pay attention to wholegrains or carbohydrates in your diet, such

 

An old recipe

The chicken soup is known as part of the diet in postpartum. This recipe is administered to every woman in China as their first meal after birth. This enables them to build up energy which is known as Qi or Chi in China, to assist the build-up of blood. The longer the soup is cooked, the more Qi it contains. 

Ingredients: 2-3 litres of water, 1 fresh chicken soup with bones in organic quality, a little rosemary, 2-3 carrots cut into pieces, fennel, celery and leeks to taste, 1 bay leaf, 1 handful parsley, 1 slice fresh ginger, salt, pepper.

Preparation: Fill a large pot with water and add all the ingredients and simmer with low heat for at least 3-5 hours. Take 2 to 3 cups of soup (soup only or with vegetables and meat) daily, in the first week after giving birth. This can help you regain your strength!

Tip:

If you have difficulty to seek for care in the postpartum period, a good idea would be to cook the stock, fill them in containers and freeze them, be sure to consume it within a few days.

You should give yourself and your body at least 9 months to rebound back to close to your old self. There will still be many regression processes that are ongoing. Allow yourself to enjoy the food that you like and you will gradually return back to how you used to be, just not as fast as how you wanted to.

References:

  1.  Hsu, Mei-Chi, Chia-Yi Tung, and Hsing-E. Chen. "Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in prevention and treatment of maternal depression: Putative mechanism and recommendation." Journal of Affective Disorders 238 (2018): 47-61.
  2. Yang, Yeonji, Youngyo Kim, and Youjin Je. "Fish consumption and risk of depression: Epidemiological evidence from prospective studies." Asia‐Pacific Psychiatry 10.4 (2018): e12335.

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