3 Key Steps To Remember
Not only is your body recovering and healing from childbirth, but breastfeeding also puts additional demands on your body that must be met by adequate nutrition. Feeding your body might feel like an afterthought compared to the needs you are meeting around the clock for your new baby, but good nutrition does not have to be a complicated thing.
Proper nutrition is a crucial element to restoring your body and maintaining your overall wellness, allowing you to not only heal from the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, but in serving as a key foundation to your ability to flourish as a mother. Adequately feeding yourself can seem nearly impossible in the midst of diapers, sleepless nights, appointments and more, and cooking - well, that might be thrown out the window all together. Simplifying your approach to nutrition can enable you to optimally care for yourself during this important time of your life.
Keeping it Simple
Simple is key, especially when you are running on minimal sleep and counting on a pot of coffee to get you through the day. The key to feeding your body and nourishing both you and your baby during this time of postpartum healing is to minimize food preparation while getting in whole food sources that will nourish you. Focus on the main macronutrients that your body needs, and build meals and snacks in ways that combine key components of good nutrition: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
As overwhelming as things may feel during these newborn days, remember that good nutrition and health does not need to come from slaving in the kitchen or cooking for hours on end. Planning ahead is helpful, so you can ensure you have staples on hand for putting together a quick meal or snack. Breastfeeding does put additional energy needs on the body, with lactating mothers needing an additional 500 calories each day. Whatever your decision is for feeding your baby - whether breastfeeding or bottlefeeding - you still need to be intentional about keeping wellness a priority and nourishing your body consistently.
Aiming for Progress, Not Perfection
The last thing you need on your plate at this point is added guilt or stress. Food is not meant to be a stressful thing and in its basic, most simple form, is meant for nourishment and pleasure. Your body just created a miracle and deserves to be treated with respect and care. Proper nutrition is a tangible means of doing such, but this by no means need to be a “perfect” thing. Enjoy eating when you can, feed your body good food often, and remember that your efforts in self-care are an extension of love to the precious being you created.