Life after your baby’s birth will never be the same again. The phase of your life with a newborn is the most exhausting one. The sleepless nights, the ever-demanding newborn, the countless nappy changes, the frequent feeding sessions… it is impossible to get enough rest in the first few months. But as a mother of a young baby, it is highly important that you take care of yourself.
Choosing to eat healthily and intake of the essential nutrients is not only helpful for you to keep yourself energized but it also ensures right nutrient supply to your baby, if you are breastfeeding. How to really get proper nutrition for yourself during pregnancy or with a newborn at home, when a few winks of sleep is hard to come by?
Some of the essential nutrients required for a young mother are:
#1. Proteins – This is the building block of the cells. It is needed for building new tissues and healing of injuries and wounds. This is very much essential for the baby and you, especially if you have had a C-section.
#2. DHA – DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), an Omega-3 fatty acid is an essential fatty acid which is not synthesized by our body. It has to be consumed through food only. DHA is a very important nutrient that ensures optimal development of the brain and nervous system of your baby. After delivery also, your baby needs DHA for brain development.
#3. Iron and Folates – Iron is needed to recover from the loss of blood during delivery and to maintain energy throughout the day. It is very much essential for breastfeeding mothers as babies receive iron from breast milk. Folates are essential for your blood production and also for your heart health. It is important that you consume enough folates to recover from the blood loss after delivery.
#4. Fennel (Saunf) and Fenugreek (Methi) for Milk Production – Saunf Water and Methi are natural remedies to boost breast milk supply and flow; It also improves the quality of breast milk.
DHA is a type of Omega-3 acid which is not produced in our body. It has to be obtained from diet or through supplements. The best source of DHA is fish, which is not generally recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers due to high mercury content in many fish species. Also, it is not a viable option for vegetarians.
Mama Earth DHA is a purely plant-based supplement with vegetarian outer covering. It is 100% vegetarian and 100% safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers. It is the best DHA supplement as it is not just from natural sources but also does not have the aftertaste of fish oil.
This is a herbal supplement which contains plant extracts which promote healthy lactation and increase milk production. This is the best supplement for mothers who continue to breastfeed their babies no matter how tired and overwhelmed they are.
It contains herbal extracts of:
#1. Fenugreek seeds – This is a traditional food given to new mothers to increase milk production.
#2. Moringa – This is a super food which not only doubles the milk supply but also has good iron content. It is a natural galactagogue which increases the flow of mother’s milk.
#3. Fennel Seeds – This is very useful in eliminating gas and also improves digestion.
#4. Alfalfa – This is a rich source of many nutrients and micronutrients like iron, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin E and many minerals in traces.
All these herbs together provide a wide array of essential nutrients and micronutrients for a nursing mother.
There are certain additional things you can follow to ensure you get proper nutrition:
#1. Never miss breakfast
This is the most important meal of the day and no matter, whether you have slept through the night or not, have a wholesome breakfast which contains proteins and complex carbohydrates.
#2. Eat small meals throughout the day
Having small and frequent meals instead of 3 full meals. It helps in keeping you energized throughout the day.
#3. Do not diet or be overly concerned about losing weight
This is especially true if you are breastfeeding. Your main concern should be about having a balanced diet with essential nutrients rather than losing weight. In fact, you require additional calories if you are breastfeeding.
Also, your body needs nutritious food to recover from the physical stress of delivery.
#4. Keep yourself hydrated
Drink lots and lots of water. Your body needs fluids to make breastmilk and to recover from the delivery.
#5. Take nutrition supplements
Taking supplements is one of the efficient ways of meeting your body’s postnatal demands. With a demanding job of caring for a newborn, you might not be able to fetch, prepare and consume foods which provide the required nutrition.
No matter how much you try to have nutritious food, sometimes food alone is not enough to meet your nutrition demands. At such times, it is advisable to take a supplement rather than miss out the nutrients.