Pregnancy is definitely no walk in the park! Everyone prepares for you the nine-month-long journey, but very few brace you for the whirlwind of a rollercoaster ride that’s yet to follow. Postpartum comes with its own set of worries — a new baby brings along physical, mental, and environmental changes. A postnatal diet is a rather significant factor in the life of a new mother — let’s just say, it’s the linchpin to better physical and mental wellbeing, for both mother and child. Clinical nutritionist and wellness consultant, Neha Sahaya explains the importance of a postnatal diet and charts out everything a new mother should be putting into her body.
Postnatal diet, hormones, & body
“Your body undergoes a major transformation during pregnancy and an equally major one after delivery. Post-delivery, women’s oestrogen and progesterone levels dramatically drop,” says Sahaya. Hormonal changes often have a domino effect on one another, which can dramatically impact mood, energy, metabolism, organ function, and general physical and mental wellbeing.
Postnatal diet follows the same diet mantra as pregnancy — you are still eating for two! “How you nourish your body in the postpartum period is not only important for the mother’s health, but if you’re breastfeeding, for the baby’s growth and development,” Sahaya adds. According to the clinical nutritionist, postnatal diet is significant in speeding up post-pregnancy body recovery, balancing hormones, boosting energy levels, preventing bone loss and hair loss, and also promoting milk production. “What you eat and drink, plays an important role in the quantity and quality of milk.”
What should be in your postnatal diet
Sahaya believes that a postnatal diet should be nothing but a healthy eating plan, paired with good quality multi-vitamins and other supplements (guided by a nutritionist or doctor if required). She says, “By having real and natural, whole foods your body will get the vitamins, minerals, and fibres you need to sustain your energy and keep your body well nourished, and boost milk production.”
The nutrients she recommends including in your diet and why:
1. Iron – Childbirth entails a natural loss of blood, and therefore it’s important to replenish your iron supplies.