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Avoid snacking between meals, bite a fruit and some nuts here and there before meals, and the list goes on. There is so much contradicting information out there, on what a postpartum mother should eat or avoid. You need to decide which food to eat or avoid, what is good for the baby, and how to plan your meals among other worries.
Others will tell you to eat loads of food so that your baby can get adequate nutrients. With such kind of confusion and craze, you may find yourself lost and need help figuring out where to start your meal plan. You aren’t sure which rules to follow and which ones to ignore.
You may even avoid some food, thinking it will hurt your baby or slow down your healing process. While it is important to exercise extreme caution during your postpartum period, overdoing it will deny you important nutrients. With these rules, you can do no wrong as you are possibly following the best postpartum diet!
Stay Away From Carbonated Drinks
You will require adequate fluids to stay hydrated and facilitate milk production. Water is not the only drink you can have. Its tasteless nature puts some people off,especially those who may still be experiencing nausea.
Others quench their thirst with carbonated drinks such as sodas and processed fruit juices. If you want to enjoy your postpartum period, stay away from such drinks. Having carbonated drinks while breastfeeding shouldn’t be a problem but if it makes you feel bloated best to avoid them. Besides that, carbonated drinks and fruit juices are typically loaded with added sugars. In that sense, it is best to avoid them!
Fresh fruit juices in moderation are an excellent source of fluids and vitamin C but when too often, it encourages excessive sugar and calorie intake. .
Traditionally red dates teas are the best choice! It is believed to improve energy and restore Qi. It is also believed to replenish red blood cells.If you are looking at practising a traditional confinement diet which includes consuming red date tea daily, do enjoy them unsweetened to avoid unnecessary added sugar.
Say No to Extreme Diets
After pregnancy, your body will feel foreign to you. You might wonder why your clothes don’t fit, or why you look heavier than before. Such thoughts may force you to start looking for unorthodox ways to shed weight such as going on a postpartum diet to lose weight.
Relax, mama! Your weight should be the least of your worries. Remember, you are lactating, and your baby needs all the nutrients she can get. Dieting too early or too aggressively may potentially affect your milk supply and your process of recovery. Focusing on eating well and recovery during the first few months of postpartum is best! You need nutrients to recuperate from childbirth first. Once this part is properly taken care of, you can then plan your daily diet better when the time is right. You will lose the excess weight in no time as you recover well and continue to breastfeed. The good news is that breastfeeding will help regulate postpartum weight retention too.
If you have ideas on dieting and the “clean eating” fads, push them at the back of your mind for now.
Go for Small Regular Portions
Though weight should not worry you, eating like there is no tomorrow will not help you either. The rule here is to eat regular small portions of food throughout the day. If you eat in excess, your body will take whatever is needed for the period and store the rest as fat. Surely you wouldn’t want to gain weight so fast! Eating small portions of food at intervals will give your system adequate time to absorb the food and your gut will not be overwhelmed. You will also not experience any hunger pangs.
Practise a Well-Balanced Diet
Breast milk contains all the nutrients that your baby needs and is in the right proportions. This is quite comforting for you. You do not have to worry about preparing meals from all food classes every other day. Though that’s true of breastmilk, your dietary lapses will have a direct impact on your baby.
If you aren’t getting enough nutrients, the quality of breast milk will drop. If your body lacks sufficient nutrients from your diet, it will draw from the reserves leaving yours with potential nutritional deficiencies. Confinement food catering companies can help you make all the foods you need. Look for a reliable source and dial for deliveries. You will enjoy savoury meals without worrying about the dishes.
Avoid Caffeine and Opt for Soups
You will feel thirsty quite often because of breastfeeding. You will feel sleepy especially if you do not have adequate time to rest. This may tempt you to go for stimulants such as caffeine to help you stay awake.
A cup of morning coffee is not such a bad choice but not the best either. The caffeine can end up in breastmilk and consequently in your baby’s system and may make them restless and trouble sleeping. Thus, it is best to not take more than 200mg of caffeine per day which is equivalent to 1 cup of coffee per day. If you can avoid it totally, even better.
Instead of caffeine, opt for some of the best Chinese confinement food. Some of them include chicken and mushroom soups. Start your day with such soups, and you will have the energy for your roles.
Your nanny must prepare the right food for confinement period while observing all your dietary needs. However, some of the nutrients, especially those from vegetables may need to be recovered during the cooking process. Supplements such as calcium and iron are essential for your system. They will help you meet all your dietary needs for a functional system. However, note that these supplements are not a substitute for your food. Combine them with your diet, and you will have a complete meal.
Never Skip Your Meals
No matter how full your plate is with duties and motherhood responsibilities, you must always spare time for your meals. The postpartum breakfast should be your starting point. Fill up your plate with nutritious vegetables and cereals during breakfast. You can prepare a menu to make it easier for you. If you have a nanny around your home, guide her on the kind of foods you require during breakfast. Ensure every meal has a fruit to give you the necessary vitamins. If you are too busy, why not sign up for confinement food delivery services from a reputable company? They will save you the trouble of making the meals and deliver them right to your doorstep. Remember to eat regular meals in small portions throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
When trying to figure out the best diet for postpartum mothers, one aspect you must not leave behind is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby will leave you thirsty and hungry. Take as many fluids as you can to keep your body hydrated throughout the day. Water is an essential component whether breastfeeding or not. It will help flush out toxins from your system, leaving your skin glowing and improving your digestion. It will also support milk production. Apart from water, add nutritious fluids such as red dates teas, chicken soup, porridge and fruit juice. In case you are leaving the house, carry your water bottle with you.
Eat More Nutritious Foods
The people helping you around should know what a balanced diet entails.The main focus should be towards replenishing your loss of energy, blood, and nutrients to support postpartum recovery and breastfeeding. For instance, green leafy vegetables should always be part of your diet. They are an excellent source of iron, which is needed for your recuperation. Apart from vegetables, a high protein diet is also required to support muscle repair especially in the abdominal area and pelvic muscles.
All in all, the right post natal food for a new mother should at least follow the quarter quarter half healthy plate rule. Seeking consultation from a Dietitian is best to obtain individualised dietary recommendations especially if you do have any other underlying medical conditions to consider. Here’s an example of a 3-day confinement menu that will nourish and heal your body that your partner or family can help to prepare.
Traditionally, Chinese confinement dietary practices include a variety of herbs believed to improve Qi, restore energy, replenish blood, remove lochia and dampness. Some ingredients are also believed to support milk supply in mothers who breastfeed too!
Taking herbal tonics is especially advised for mothers practising confinement. One of the popular folk remedies for confinement is SHENG HUA TANG (生化汤), a Chinese soup for breastfeeding, well-recommended by many TCM practitioners.
Why is Sheng Hua Tang so popular? It is a soup traditionally known to be consumed after childbirth to promote faster recovery. Depending on the recipes, there are about 7 herbs (Chinese angelica root, Chuan Xiong rhizome, Safflower, Yi Mu Cao, peach kernel, baked ginger and licorice)(Chinese angelica root, chuanxiong rhizome, peach kernel, baked ginger, prepared liquorice root) in Sheng Hua Tang. In short, the Sheng Hua Tang contains all the most recommended herbs for a new mother so it can spare you the hassle of having to go out of your way to obtain them. Now let’s see how it works with confinement.
Sheng Hua Tang is traditionally recommended to be consumed to clear any blood stagnation in the body and promote dispel of lochia in Mothers. In China, some believe that Sheng Hua Tang helps to reduce uterine bleeding, too, even in women post-medical abortion.
The next one is baked ginger; as its name goes, we bake it until it turns black. TCM believes the baked ginger has the effect of removing dampness.
To have Sheng Hua Tang breastfeeding mothers would be recommended to take a break before proceeding to nurse right away. You can also finish your breastfeeding sesh first before enjoying your Sheng Hua Tang!
If you need help figuring out where to start on this kind of food, various companies in Singapore can get you the necessary food for confinement mothers.
A well balanced postnatal food means you should have a sufficient supply of carbs for energy, protein to repair and build stronger muscles, adequate vegetables to provide fibre and all the antioxidants! All of these can be obtained from your common ingredients such as rice, fish, chicken, and of course, fruits and vegetables. Trust us, you don’t have to look far!
If you simply do not have a lot of time to either plan or cook your own postnatal foods, leave it to the trusted hands! But whose hands do you trust? Sure, our mom and grandmother cook up the most delicious foods that fit our taste perfectly.
However, you should also take into consideration that our loved ones need rest too and having to be in the kitchen all day every day for the next 30 to 40 days is a challenging task! At this point, you do not only want good taste. You should want to obtain as many health benefits as possible and your loved ones are too tired out.
So, why don’t you leave it to our dietitian and award-winning chef? Our meals are crafted especially for new mothers to not only boost their recovery but also make your confinement a lot more exciting! Our menu comprises both traditional and fusion dishes so you can have the best of both worlds.