New Mama Nutrition Tips
Updated: Apr 12
Being a good mom means being the healthiest mom you can be. Don’t forget about yourself in your new equation. Treat yourself well and the impact will travel!
The Big Stuff:
Why nutrition matters in the postpartum period:
- Healing (you have a wound, it needs protein, vitamins and calories to heal!)
- Hydration (You lose a lot of fluid postpartum, lactating or not)
What about weight loss:
- For lactating mothers, don’t lose more than ~4.5 pounds per month (beyond the initial in-hospital weight loss).
- Calories shouldn’t be below ~1500.
- If you were well nourished prior to this, you should be able to exercise without compromising lactation.
- In general it is a good idea to lose no more than 10% of your body weight in a 6 month period. Weight loss that is more extreme than this may cause side effects like gallstones and may be less likely to last.
How to think simply about maintaining a balanced diet:
- Think about the MyPlate, 50% is produce, 25% is protein, 25% is starch.
- At every meal and snack ensure you have a source of protein, a healthy fat and a high fiber carb. (The carb will give you the energy you need right now, the fiber will fill your belly, the fat will coat your stomach and slow the digestion of your meal, the protein will give you the energy you need for later and will help your body with maintenance).
- Hydration! Aim for half your body weight in ounces
How to eat healthy when you are sleep deprived and have no time and only one hand:
Stash these snacks everywhere:
- 100 calorie packs of nuts and dried fruit
- Apples/grapes.. Any fruit you find easy to eat with one hand and that won’t rot if you forget about it for awhile! (You can pre-make a snack bag with grapes and ¼ c. nuts).
- Water bottles (yes, you might have a water bottle on the right end of the couch, but what if you get stuck under baby on the left side! Seriously, stash bottles everywhere).
- Rx bars
- Grass fed beef jerky
Keep these easy to grab and eat foods in your fridge:
- Chia squeeze pouches
- Yogurt pouches.. Yes they are meant for kids but they are great for a one hand snack!
- Baby carrots and cheese sticks (eat together with a side of high fiber crackers).
- Hard boiled and pre-peeled eggs with sugar snap peas or mini bell peppers
Frozen foods that make quick but healthy meals or snacks:
- Cauliflower rice, 3-minute frozen brown rice, peeled/cooked shrimp, spinach, seasoning.
- Frozen squash or sweet potato chunks, grilled chicken strips, frozen sliced peppers.
- Frozen lentils, spinach, seasoning.
- Tres Latin pupusas (at sprouts)
- Hilarys broccoli casserole bites (at sprouts. Gluten Free, Soy Free, Nut Free)
Storebought foods that make quick meals easy:
- Salad or stir fry kits. All you need is to add protein (canned beans, frozen shrimp, tofu squares).
- Baked pre-seasoned tofu squares
- Roasted chickpeas, edamame or soy nuts
- Minute oatmeal with a spoonful of nut butter stirred in
When people want to help you:
- It is OKAY to ask for what you want/need. Show your gratification and tell that person that you are on casserole overload and would greatly appreciate some protein and produce. Usually they are happy to know they are the *one who brought you the thing that makes you really happy!
- If somebody wants to buy you a gift card, you can direct them to these healthy meal resources (the food comes to your house ready to heat and eat, some is frozen so don’t have to rush to eat it all at once).
On the run? What to get at Wawa:
Order This: Egg breakfast bowl
Why it’s great: High protein egg breakfast without all the refined carb from a typical breakfast sandwich.
Order This: Hummus with pita rounds and a bag of baby carrots
Why it’s great: Each ingredient of this snack gives you filling and cholesterol lowering fiber.
Order This: Chicken salad snack tray
Why it’s great: High protein, easy to eat quickly!
Order This: Hard boiled eggs and apple slices
Why it’s great: This is a well rounded snack. The eggs offer you protein and fat, the apple slices offer carb, fiber and some hydration.
Order This: Roasted chicken hot bowl with bean base, ask for extra vegetables in the base.
Why it’s great: According to the wawa calorie calculator, this is a lower sodium option (compared to the other options), high fiber and high protein. It also contains a proper amount of carbohydrates for one meal (the other bases are too high).