Menu

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.

FEATURED VIDEO

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.

In This Article

    Sunday Citizen

    I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

    I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

    If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

    So I went room by room (yes, even my 4-year-old's room) and swapped in, layered or added in these 13 products to get us ready for winter:

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

    Letterboard

    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    Chrissy Teigen opens up on losing her baby: 'Our grief was so public'

    "He just wouldn't survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either."

    Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

    Chrissy Teigen (and any parent mourning their baby) gets to grieve however they want to. And for Teigen, a person who lives life out loud on the Internet, sharing her story was part of mourning, and she just shared more of it.

    When Teigen and her husband John Legend lost their third child, Jack, about halfway through Teigen's pregnancy, many internet commenters were shocked that Teigen chose to share photos of the event on Instagram. But in a powerful essay for Medium, Teigen made it clear that she doesn't care what people think about those pictures. She posted them for herself and for mamas who've lived it.

    FEATURED VIDEO

    "I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it's something you wouldn't have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren't for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like. These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me."

    Keep reading Show less
    News