For new moms, here is your guide on how you can help your body recover and give you the needed energy to care for your little one.
How much should I eat?
In the months after your childbirth, you need between 1,800 and 2,200 calories each day. If you are nursing, you need up to 500 more. If you are underweight, working out more than 45 minutes each day, or breastfeeding more than one infant, that number could be higher. Talk to your doctor to determine the right diet and vitamin supplementation.
What nutrients do I need?
Even though you are no longer eating for two, your body needs to restore a lot if important nutrients. Every meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The other half should include whole grains like brown rice, whole-grain bread, or oatmeal. Try to limit packaged, processed foods and drinks that are high in salt, saturated fat, and extra sugars.
Each day, you also need enough of:
• Proteins: Aim for five servings, or seven if you are breastfeeding
• Calcium: About 3 servings of low-fat dairy or 1,000 mg
• Iron: Upper limit of 27 mg if you are lactating
What foods do I need to avoid if I am breastfeeding?
• Alcohol: Experts have different opinions on how much (if any) is safe for a baby and how long you should wait to breastfeed after ingesting alcohol. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
• Caffeine: Do not drink more than 3 cups of coffee or soda a day, as this can upset your baby’s sleep and temperament (they may become irritable).