Let’s be honest. Becoming a new mother is probably one of the finer moments in life, as you fall in love with your precious little one and watch as he or she quickly develops into a wonderful little person. There’s a lot going on as you get comfortable with your new role, and even the foods you eat determine how well you’ll adjust to the very busy demands of motherhood. Feelings of strength and stamina are two essentials needed when caring for a newborn. Focus and concentration are also overlooked, but as important.
If you are breastfeeding as many new moms decide to do, then your diet becomes even that more important, especially to your own body. The experts have found that even if the nursing mother is not eating properly, her breast milk is still meeting the baby’s nutritional requirements. However, you can easily feel wiped out or depleted.
The good news, is that breastfeeding creates more hunger in a new mother, but what you put into your body should matter. Dietitians advise that nursing mothers eat several smaller meals a day, adding in a few healthy snacks to keep energy levels at a higher rate. It is unwise for a breastfeeding mother to skip meals to try and lose weight, because this action could diminish her milk supply.
The food experts suggest that plenty of water is the key to a healthy body and that drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, sodas and teas should be limited. No more than three cups a day is advised, because an excess of caffeine can end of in your breast milk.
A healthy mind needs the proper physical nourishment to operate at the right level. Fattening, sugary snacks do nothing significant for the brain. Instead, a new mother should enjoy apples or some nuts like walnuts and seeds. For example, sunflower seeds are a super choice, because they contain fiber, as well as folic acid and can be tossed into salads, eaten by the handful or added to muffins when baking, etc. Plus, nuts and seeds contain omega 3swhich are excellent for concentration. Olive oil, wild salmon and avocado also contain this healthy fat that zaps brain fog.
Dietary pros also recommend getting in at least one fruit and vegetable at each meal, because these are loaded with vitamins and minerals and actually help with memory. Consider this also when eating beets. Their natural nitrates actually increase blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. A blueberry smoothie is one way to whip up a healthy snack with ingredients that provide lots of good nutrition and protects the brain from stress.
Foods that are iron-rich also give a new mother added pep during her busy schedule, creating a dose of good brain power. Lean proteins like steak and chicken provide that energy boost along with beans, greens and the super-food kale. Iron-healthy foods eliminate cranky, tired feelings.
Try adding a little turmeric powder to your cooking. The bright orange-yellow spice has been popular in the daily diet of southeast Asians for generations now. It’s an anti-inflammatory, keeps the immune system healthy and boosts your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you alert and able to process information.
It’s okay to have an occasional glass of wine. Just remember, balance is key for new mothers.