Go ahead. Give yourself a pat on the back for bringing a healthy baby into this world. Just as your little one's nutritional needs are starting a new chapter, so are you.
Read below for some tips based on your plans and new mom needs for the next few months.
Are You Breastfeeding?
Good nutrition means good milk.
If you're breastfeeding, dieting and eating well is essential for maintaining an adequate milk supply. So don't skimp.
Get your extra calories in healthy ways.
You need even more energy now than you did when you were pregnant. Doctors say the average new mom diet requires 340-400 more calories a day while she's breastfeeding than she did during pregnancy. Be sure to make them nutritious ones, too. Your baby will make sure she gets all the nutrients she needs, even if it means putting you at a deficit.
Otherwise, your milk supply can become depleted.
Eat healthy fats.
Your baby's brain is going through a big growth spurt right now, and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA are important building blocks of that growth. It's a fact that most Americans don't get enough DHA in their diets to satisfy what the experts recommend. So, you know fatty fish can be an excellent source of DHA. To be sure the fish you're eating is safe from mercury, check with this FDA resource. DHA supplements are another good option.
Avoid unhealthy habits.
Continue to avoid alcohol, cigarette smoke, medications and foods that can contain toxins or pesticides. They say: "Everything you inhale or eat goes directly to your baby.”
Are You Formula-Feeding?
Feed your baby's brain.
Even though you're no longer pregnant, your baby is still relying on you for nutrition. With all of that rapid brain development going on in there, you'll want to be sure that the formula you choose has levels of DHA and ARA recommended by experts. DHA and ARA are two important fatty acids found in breast milk that support brain development.
This "fourth trimester” is just as developmentally challenging for your baby as the first three were, and just as physically demanding on you. A balanced diet can help give you the energy you need.
Remember to eat.
It's easy to forget with so much on your mind these days. Try and plan out healthy menus in advance, and pack healthy snacks for when you're out and about.