What Should You Eat Right After Birth?

Eat the right foods to keep you going after delivery.

What Should You Eat Right After Birth?

Giving birth is hard on the body, and one of the best ways to take care of yourself and ensure that your body smoothly transition into postpartum mode is by eating varied and nutritious foods. That's right: food is medicine, and after birth, there are healing powers in every bite you take -- that is, if you eat smart.

Do you want to kickstart your milk supply or avoid the discomforts of postpartum constipation? Or perhaps, you just want to recover from a c-section and up your energy as quickly as possible. The foods that you choose will depend on your goals. So we've put together a food guide to help you get the nutrients you need to stick to your postpartum plans.

Here are 6 postpartum situations, and what you should eat to help you get on the right track after giving birth.

1. Kick-start your milk supply. To start making milk and make lots of it, you want to focus on lactogenic foods and spices that can help increase your milk supply. Foods such as oatmeal, flaxseed and garlic are great to get that flow going and are easy to add to your daily meal plans. Read up on additional lactogenic foods here.

2. Make your breast milk as nutritional for baby as possible. Here's where variety is key! Infants need it all: protein, fat, carbohydrates, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. So if you want to give baby the nutrients that he needs, variety is key. Opt for healthy fats, like avocados, lean proteins, like chicken or a low-mercury fish, and whole grains, like brown rice. For lots of fiber and iron, choose leafy greens like kale and spinach. Though these nutrients will help with your little one's development, remember that all that nutrient-rich food is for you too! When breastfeeding, your body needs the extra calories.

3. Recover from c-section. Eating protein-rich foods throughout the day will help you have more energy to recover, as well as facilitate tissue repair. If you're pressed for time, protein shakes are a great alternative not just for protein, but for a variety of nutrients that are key for recovery (like vitamin C and calcium. Other protein-rich foods that are easy to add to your diet? Cottage cheese, bone broth, and Greek yogurt will help you heal faster and enhance good bacteria balance to prevent any post-surgical infections.

4. Reduce scaring and heal from stitches. Foods with Vitamin C, Beta-carotene and Zinc have been known to help healing wounds and scars. Vitamin C is especially crucial because it promotes the formation of collagen, which itself helps restore skin cells. Bell peppers, strawberries, oranges and other citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C. Both beta-carotene and zinc boost the immune system and enables skin tissue to heal more quickly. So don't forget your carrots, sweet potatoes, seafood and red meat!

5. Boost your energy level. Staying hydrated is actually a great way to keep your energy up. But after birth, it may not be enough. So opt for the superfood chia seeds and foods that have a lot of B12, like seafood, liver and eggs. Try to avoid processed and sugary foods because they only provide a short-term energy boost followed by a blood sugar crash, which actually make you feel very tired. Nuts, legumes, sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice are all low-glycemic carbohydrates that will provide the body long-lasting energy.

6. Fight postpartum constipation. One word: fiber. It helps you hold on to water, which softens stool, and makes it easier for food to travel down the intestine. Fiver can also speed up digestion and stimulate bowel movements. Incorporate leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, legumes and oatmeal into your diet to try and get things moving.

14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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