Mama Nourishment – What do we need?

Although pregnancy and childbirth is a beautiful and natural process, it puts enormous strain on your body and depletes you of much needed nutrients. The body requires energy to heal after birth, and with significant blood loss –  iron and other nutrients must be replaced. Most new mums are too busy looking after their new baby to focus on their health. Sleep is at an all time low, stress is at an all time high, and time is at an absolute premium – I get it. How can one look after a baby AND themselves!? You learn what to eat, when to eat it,  and you ask your loved ones for support. Looking after mama is an ABSOLUTE MUST.

Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients

 

Here are some vitamins & minerals important post birth, for breastfeeding, for immune support and for energy.

To begin.

Mama pick me up ‘Meal in a Jar’ Smoothie:
  • 1-2 Bananas (frozen is a bonus)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Tbsp. Cacao
  • 500mls Almond Milk/Milk of Choice
  • 1 Handful of Spinach/Kale
  • 2 Tbsp. Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Blend!

What We Need  & Why
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA)

A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids has wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits post birth and helps combat and prevent post-partum depression and anxiety.

Recent studies have also linked omega-3 fatty acids to reduced risk of allergies in children

Best Food Sources

White fish, salmon, sardines, If necessary, supplement with a good quality fish oil that is clean with EPA of 600mg and DHA of 400mg per 1g.

Vegetarian sources: Flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts

  • Calcium

We need calcium for our bones and teeth, our nerves need it stay healthy, and our blood uses it to regulate our pH balance. The demand is greater when we are breastfeeding, as both you and the baby need it.

NB: Vitamin D aids calcium absorption.

Best Food Sources

Cheese, yoghurt, tinned salmon, legumes, sardines, dark leafy greens, bone broth, tahini, almonds, parsley, sesame seeds

  • Iron

Post-partum iron supplementation may be required when blood loss during delivery is high. Depleted iron stores can result in fatigue, irritability and a lowered immune system. Consume foods rich in iron to increase essential iron stores.

Best Food Sources

Haem Iron: red meat, poultry, fish

This type if iron is more easily absorbed

Non-haem Iron: dark leafy greens such as spinach; soaked legumes, eggs.

NB: Always consume non-haem iron with vitamin C rich foods to increase absorption

Tip: Simply squeeze lemon juice over your spinach leaves.

  • Magnesium

You need magnesium to relax. Magnesium relaxes muscles, in a fine balancing act with calcium (calcium is required for muscles to contract, and magnesium to relax). It also helps to balance blood sugar levels; stabilising mood and is involved in energy production

Best Food Sources

Millet, wholegrains, legumes, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, dark green leafy vegetables, bone broth, cacao

  • Protein

Protein is required for effective recovery from childbirth. It is involved in the repair and replenishment of body tissue.

NB: Breastfeeding mothers have increased requirements. During this time a mother can become depleted very quickly if intake is not monitored and kept up. As a general rule, most people require 1g of protein per kg of body weight. This needs to be increased to 1.4g/kg body weight rule, especially if mother is losing weight too fast or if baby isn’t thriving. A simple increase in protein remedies the deficiency quickly.

Best Food Sources

Fish (white fish and salmon), red meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds and quinoa.

Immune Boosting:

 

Even if you were never sick before, you probably will be as a new mum. Its very easy to get run down with babies and toddlers to look after. Very easy. Here are some important nutrients come cold & flu season.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, helpful in increasing iron absorption, and immune system function. It is heavily depleted in times of stress! Vitamin C is also involved in the formation of collagen, so has the potential to increase wound-healing capacity.

 

Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, kiwifruit, papaya, blackcurrant, red pepper, Brussels sprouts, kale, parsley, broccoli, spinach

 

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is needed for antibody production, and helps integrity of mucosal lining such as nose, mouth and throat!

 

Beta-Carotene: Liver, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato. Barley grass, cod liver oil

 

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is involved in immune system modulation (regulating). Adequate levels of vitamin D are also important for calcium absorption and calcification of bone.

 

Vitamin D: Eggs, Butter, mushrooms, sunlight
Energy:

 

I am a mum to a toddler, and I would never say no to 2 things. More sleep and more energy. Get some B’s into you.

B Vitamins

 

B Vitamins are involved in various functions necessary for brain and neurological function. They support depleted adrenal glands (adrenal glands support both mental and physical stress).

 

Simple terms: B Vitamins are required for energy, and feel good factors

Brewer’s yeast, wheatgerms, rolled oats, rye, wild rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, lentils, red meat, pine nuts, sesame seeds, buckwheat, poultry, legumes