After giving birth, it is essential to take care of your body and nourish it with the right foods. Anti-inflammatory and nutrient-rich foods help inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, molecules that regulate inflammation levels. Eating the right foods can help heal your body, rebuild your tissues, protect your mental health, produce nutrient-rich breast milk (for those who breastfeed), and restore your nutrient levels. Here are 15 of the best foods for postpartum recovery that will help you enter the fourth trimester with your best foot forward.
Good quality bone broth is a warm and cosy drink with many benefits. It is gentle on the digestive system, making it one of the best foods to eat immediately after delivery. Bone broth has a high content of collagen, which is vital for restoring and rebuilding tissues after childbirth. It can help heal the wound where the placenta was, rebuild tissue in the uterus and pelvic floor, and revitalize stretched skin. Bone broth also has plenty of protein to give you much-needed strength after labour.
Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, kale, and arugula are full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which will help boost the immune system and produce some good bowel movements after delivery. Eggs are rich in protein, and yolks contain vitamins A, B12, D, E and K, as well as folic acid, choline and omega-3 fatty acids. They are an inexhaustible source for postpartum recovery and will help your immune system and your level of strength. Due to vitamin K, B12 and folate, eggs help blood clot, promote healthy blood flow, and help wounds to clot and heal faster after delivery.
Ginger can be used in teas, soups and marinades to help with nausea after giving birth. Good quality liver has a high content of vitamin A, folic acid and zinc. It also contains a lot of iron to help replenish and restore blood. You lose a good amount of blood when you give birth, especially if you have a haemorrhage.
Good sources of oats can help increase breast milk production. They are also a good source of iron to restore blood and fibre to combat postpartum constipation.
Salmonis high in vitamin B12, omega-3 and DHA. They are also high in antioxidants to help cleanse the body after delivery and omega-3 fatty acids to help minimize postpartum blues.
Protein is important for postpartum recovery and for cell growth and repair. Good sources of protein include yoghurt, milk, lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, tofu, beans, and nuts. Aim for five to seven servings of protein every day.
Estrogen-balancing foods will help regulate postpartum estrogen levels. Eat foods high in fibre because the excess fibre in your diet binds to estrogen thus removing excess estrogen from the body. Beans, lentils, pears, avocados, apples, chia seeds, raspberries potatoes with skin almonds and peas are all good sources.
In South Africa protein-rich foods are encouraged while cold foods are avoided as they are thought to reduce milk production. In the Amazonian state of Pará boiled chicken is ideal for the first week postpartum while a wider variety of foods are allowed afterwards including game meat certain fish acai berries manioc rice and beans.
But before you enjoy all those favourite foods you sacrificed during pregnancy during your postpartum recovery look at nutritious foods as medicines that will help you heal and feel your best.