Postpartum Nutrition Tips from Online Registered Dietitian – Quick-Fix Nutrient-Dense Meals for Moms


May is the month of motherhood, from prenatal to postpartum care, mindful eating, and energizing foods, working with an online dietitian nutritionist can help you with meal planning, breastfeeding, and preparing for the baby. Something not uncommon is for moms to be so busy with their new baby, they forget to take care of themselves. Really, who has the time and energy?

Take time to pause and nourish yourself with some quick-fix meals and snacks.

Here are some tips for new mothers to stay healthy — what you should be eating and why.

  • Hydration is critical. During labor, a woman loses a significant amount of fluids, which can lead to dehydration. After giving birth, the body goes through radical physical changes, including sweating and increased urination, which can result in fluid loss. Breastfeeding can also cause dehydration as it requires extra fluids to produce milk. Dehydration can lead to constipation, which is a common postpartum issue. Proper hydration is essential for overall health and well-being, and it can also help with milk production for breastfeeding mothers. New moms need at least ten glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle nearby while breastfeeding and add some citrus fruits for flavor.
  • Buy prepared foods or frozen meals with low sodium content and natural ingredients to save time in the kitchen.
  • Make easy-to-freeze meals in the weeks before the baby arrives. Turkey chili, lasagna, pasta sauce, and hearty soups are good options. Or try crockpot freezer meals, prepared and stored in zip-lock bags to take out, stick in the pot, and let them do their magic.
  • Instead of worrying about weight loss after giving birth, focus on nourishing your body with healthy and high-energy snacks. If you’re breastfeeding, you may need an extra 300-400 calories per day, or even 500 calories for twins.
  • Incorporate lean protein, such as chicken, eggs, lentils, dairy, and low-mercury seafood, into every meal and snack. Lean proteins are important for women after giving birth because they help to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that may have been damaged during pregnancy and childbirth. They are also important for breast milk production, which requires a significant amount of protein. In addition, lean proteins can help new moms feel full and satisfied, which can be helpful for weight management after pregnancy. They are a good source of iron, which is important for preventing anemia, a condition that is common among new moms.
  • A postpartum diet that includes healthy fats is important because fats play a crucial role in the body’s hormonal balance and brain function. Healthy fats are also necessary for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are important for overall health and wellness.  During the postpartum period, a woman’s body requires healthy fats to aid in the healing process and to support breastfeeding. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are important for brain development in infants and can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression in mothers. Sources of healthy fats include fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil. Healthy fats should make up 30% of your diet, so snack on nuts and avocado, and choose high-fat fish with low mercury content.
  • Choose high-fiber, whole-grain carbs, such as steel-cut oats, quinoa, and barley, and include fruits and vegetables in every meal. A postpartum diet high in fiber can help prevent constipation, which is a common problem for women after giving birth. High-fiber foods are generally nutrient-dense, which means they provide important vitamins and minerals that can help support postpartum recovery. Whole grains are a good source of B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, which are important for energy production, immune function, and muscle and nerve function. Finally, high-fiber foods can also help regulate blood sugar levels, which is important for women with gestational diabetes or those at risk for developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
  • Set an alarm to remind yourself to eat and nourish your body.

Easy-to-prepare, economical nutrient-dense recipes:

  • Breakfast burrito: Scramble some eggs with diced peppers and onions. Add a sprinkle of cheese and wrap in a whole-grain tortilla. Top with salsa and sliced avocado.
  • Green Smoothie: Blend together 1 banana, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of almond milk, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and 1/2 cup of frozen berries. This smoothie is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can be made in just a few minutes.
  • Quinoa and Vegetable Bowl: Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions. Roast 1 cup of mixed vegetables (such as carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers) in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Combine the cooked quinoa and roasted vegetables in a bowl and top with sliced avocado and a drizzle of tahini. This dish is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and can be made in around 30 minutes.
  • Egg and Vegetable Stir Fry: Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions) and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Crack 2 eggs into the pan and scramble with the vegetables until cooked through. Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa. This dish is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and can be made in around 15 minutes.