Proper postpartum nutrition is a crucial part of postpartum care and wellness. A healthy postpartum diet, whether you breastfeed or not, can affect how the mom recovers and how well they adjust to motherhood. We know you have prepared a lot to make sure that your baby gets the best kind of care and nutrition so that they will grow up well. You deserve to get the best kind of postpartum care for yourself, too. Being well-nourished helps speed up your recovery, promote adequate milk production, and support overall well-being.1 Your diet should be healthy and diverse— eat a greater amount and variety of healthy foods, including milk, to help you feel strong and well.2
What Kind of Food Should You Include in Your Postpartum Diet?
The postpartum diet is not too far from the usual healthy eating plan. Make sure to fill up on the following food to get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs:1
Vegetables: These are a rich source of iron, calcium, and Vitamin C, as well as heart-healthy antioxidants. Make sure to include green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach to get your boost of Vitamin A which is good for you and the baby.3 Other veggies you can add in your diet are bell peppers, avocados, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, cabbage, and carrots.1
Special shoutout should also be given to Malunggay, a superfood that contains 90+ nutrients, including all the 9 essential amino acids.8 This vegetable is beneficial for new and soon-to-be moms because aside from helping milk production for nursing mothers, it can also help them replenish lost nutrients, relieve constipation, normalize blood sugar levels, promote hair growth, and strengthen the immune system.8
Photo by freepik from Freepik
Fruits: Postpartum and breastfeeding mamas should eat at least 150 grams of fruit or juice in a day. They also need more vitamin C than pregnant women, so they can supplement this by adding citrus fruits to their postpartum diet.3 Some fruits you can add are blueberries, mangoes, melon, apples, and bananas.1
Whole Grains: You need a lot of energy after giving birth, mama. Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat bread1, are fortified with the daily essential vitamins and nutrients that you need. They can help you maintain your energy and could help you make better quality milk for your baby.3
Water: It is important for mamas to stay well-hydrated. It is important that you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day to prevent dehydration as well as to help you recover well from childbirth.1
Lean or Low-Fat Protein: Another way to help maintain your energy levels postpartum is by consuming iron-rich proteins such as poultry, tofu, beans, peas, lentils, and lean beef.1 Consuming lean beef can also supply you with additional Vitamin B12 which is good for nursing mothers.3
Salmon3: Since salmon is a fatty fish that is rich in DHA and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, it is suitable for mamas who just gave birth. DHA is a nutrient that is important in helping out the development of your baby’s nervous system. Though it is still recommended to take salmon in moderation because it can contain mercury which is not good for babies.
Low-fat or fat-free dairy: Consuming these can provide our new mom a good amount of protein, Vitamin D, B Vitamins, and calcium. These are essential vitamins and nutrients that can help strengthen the mom and help the baby's development too.3
When it comes to milk, Mamas can drink Enfamama A+. It is enriched with a unique blend of DHA & other essential nutrients that helped to support you during your pregnancy, These can also help support your lactation and baby’s development.
Aside from the food mentioned above, mamas should also monitor their intake of Iodine, Choline, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids because they can help support baby’s development as you breastfeed them.1
Postpartum Diet Meal Suggestions and Recipes
Now that we know what kind of food to eat as part of your postpartum nutrition, it’s time to put them to practice. Here are some healthy recipe ideas to jumpstart your postpartum diet meal planning.
These nutritious recipes are perfect as light meals to give you the vitamins and nutrients your postpartum body needs to recover.
5-Ingredient Protein Overnight Oats4
This easy-to-make and nutritious meal is high in fiber and packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, and iron which are all good to include for postpartum nutrition. You can customize this meal according to your liking, even adding your favorite fruits and/or nut butter for that extra kick of vitamins and nutrients. Check out Clean Plate Mama’s recipe for overnight oats
Photo from Clean Plate Mama
Spinach Mushroom Frittata5
This nutritious and light meal is packed with protein and healthy fats that you can easily make and customize with your favorite vegetables and proteins. The addition of spinach to the frittata can give you that boost of Vitamin A that is good for you and the baby.3 Follow this easy-to-make recipe from Low Carb Quick which you can also make ahead and heat up for when you need a quick and filling meal.
Blender Oatmeal Pancakes6
This is an easy-to-make, yummy, and filling breakfast that is packed with nutrients from whole grains, dairy, and fruits. This specific recipe from Daddio’s Kitchen recommends adding some spinach for the extra nutrients you can get from your leafy greens.
Photo from Daddio’s Kitchen
These nutrient-dense recipes are a bit heavier, perfect for lunch or dinner. Easy to create when you are looking for that hearty and comforting meal that is good for your recovery and can support your overall well-being too!
Chicken Tinola with Malunggay9
This hearty and comforting Filipino dish is good to include in your postpartum diet because chicken is a good source of protein7 and malunggay can help mamas raise their supply of milk7,8. Check out this delicious Chicken Tinola recipe from Riverten Kitchen
Easy Crockpot Lasagna10
This easy to make slow-cooker lasagna recipe by Homemade Heather is not just delicious but also very nutritious. This recipe is perfect for when you want to create something low-maintenance during busy days because all you need to do is put all the ingredients in a pot and leave it be.
Photo from Homemade Heather
Stir-Fried Pork with Mushrooms11
This recipe from theAsianparent is rich in fiber and protein as well as active anti-inflammatory ingredients which can help give mamas the energy they need as well as help speed up your recovery.
SNACKS / DESSERTS:
These healthy recipes are perfect for when you need that extra kick of energy to fuel your new routine or a quick treat after a hearty meal.
Banana Chia Seed Pudding12
This healthy snack recipe from Weeknight Bite can satisfy your sweet tooth. This recipe is super easy to make PLUS it is high in fiber and is also a great source of protein & Omega-3 Fats.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Energy Bites 13
These deliciously sweet and salty bites from Pinch of Yum pack a nutritional punch, that is perfect to give you that boost of energy you need during the day (or even during those late nights) or if you’re just looking for a nice treat.
Photo by Pinch of Yum
Sneaky Vitamin C Smoothie 14
Smoothies are a quick and easy way for moms to get the necessary vitamins and nutrients they need for their postpartum diet. This refreshing and delicious one from Delish Knowledge is packed with Vitamin A and C, plus a bit of protein and fiber that you need to nourish your body.
Photo by Alex of Delish Knowledge
For busy mamas who do not have time to prepare meals, or unsure how to, no need to fret! You can also opt to avail of meal delivery services that specialize in postpartum recovery, just like GeLai Philippines They aim to let mamas experience holistic postnatal recovery by providing meals at their doorstep so that they can rest and recover leisurely.15 You may contact GeLai Philippines through their Instagram (@gelai.ph) or via their email firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
Remember that when creating your postpartum diet to choose from a wide variety of food groups to create your well-balanced meal. Also, make sure to consult with your doctor regarding your caloric intake since this will depend on different factors such as body size, activity levels, and more. Furthermore, consulting your doctor regarding postpartum nutrition is recommended because nutritional needs can differ from one mama to another.
For more content about postpartum nutrition and postpartum diet, Join Club Mama Today. Happy healthy eating, mama!
1. Postpartum Nutrition: What to Eat After Giving Birth, available at https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/postpartum/postpartum-diet-nutrition-questions-answered. Accessed on 5 December 2022
2. Postnatal Care of Mother and Newborn, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK304191. Accessed 5 December 2022
3. Postpartum Diet: What To Eat for Faster Recovery, available at https://hellodoctor.com.ph/pregnancy/mother-care/postpartum-selfcare/postpartum-diet/. Accessed 5 December 2022
4. Overnight Oats with Protein Powder (5 Ingredients!), available at https://cleanplatemama.com/overnight-oats-with-protein-powder-5-ingredients/ Accessed 5 December 2022
5. Spinach Mushroom Frittata, available at https://lowcarbquick.com/spinach-mushroom-frittata/ Accessed 18 January 2023
6. Blender Oatmeal Banana Pancakes, available at https://daddioskitchen.com/2021/03/10/blender-oatmeal-banana-pancakes/ Accessed 15 December 2022
7. Formentera, R. Let’s Talk about Postpartum Nutrition!, available at https://babyandbreakfast.ph/2022/09/18/what-to-eat-after-childbirth/ Accessed 5 December 2022
8. Malunggay: Superfood for Pregnancy and Post-Natal Care. https://www.enfamama.com.ph/articles/malunggay-superfood-pregnancy-and-post-natal-care Accessed 5 December 2022
9. Chicken Tinola Soup for Increasing Breastmilk Supply available at https://www.rivertenkitchen.com/chicken-tinola-soup-for-increasing-breast-milk-supply.html Accessed 17 January 2023
10. Easy Crockpot Lasagna Recipe, available at https://homemadeheather.com/crockpot-lasagna-freezer-meal-recipe/ Accessed 18 January 2023
11. 6 Confinement Food Recipe na Makakatulong sa Iyong Postpartum Immunity, available at https://ph.theasianparent.com/confinement-food-recipes Accessed 5 December 2022
12. Banana Chia Seed Pudding, available at https://www.weeknightbite.com/sweet-home/banana-chia-seed-pudding Accessed 17 January 2023
13. Peanut Butter Pretzel Energy Bites, available at https://pinchofyum.com/energy-bites Accessed 15 December 2022
14. Caspero, A., Sneaky Vitamin C Smoothie, available at https://www.delishknowledge.com/sneaky-vitamin-c-smoothie/ Accessed 15 December 2022
15. Go, D., LOOK: This Delivery Service Offers Meals for Moms Who Just Gave Birth, available at https://www.wheninmanila.com/look-this-delivery-service-offers-meals-for-moms-who-just-gave-birth/ Accessed 5 December 2022