The importance of watching your diet after a child birth
We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat” before — and perhaps way too often at this point. How far is the truth behind this phrase? Is it just passed from one generation to another just as a way to scare us? Or is there really some truth to it?
During the whole 9 months plus of pregnancy, the foods you ate were probably carefully selected to benefit both you and the baby. You may think now that you have given birth, you are free to eat whatever you want — but that is not how it is. Your diet now, during the postpartum confinement period, is just as important. You need energy to take care of your baby, and this energy only comes with the right intake, type and amount of food.
Is confinement food necessary? Certainly. Knowing the right foods to eat can greatly affect your postpartum recovery as well as breastfeeding experience.
In this article, we will look at the following things;
- The nutrients you may need
- And the amount of food a new mother should take
The first thing most women ask is how much should they eat. Now, this clearly depends on your health prior to giving birth. But naturally, since you’ve recently given birth, you will need an extra of 200-300 calories to keep your fuel levels topped up. In most cases, a new mother requires about 1,800-2,000 calories a day. This amount will go up if you are breastfeeding. Add an extra 500 calories to that. Remember, if you are feeding more than one infant, this number will only increase. To get the most accurate number, talk to your doctor.
At this point, your main focus should be restoring your health back by taking care of your diet and making sure you are getting enough nutrition after giving birth. Even though you are not – as defined in general – eating for two as it was during your pregnancy, you still need nutrients to keep up with the demands of your baby.
At every meal, try to ensure half your diet consists of fresh vegetables and fruits. The other half of your diet should consist of whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain bread. Try to limit your intake of packaged and processed foods because they are high in salt, contains unnecessary sugars, and saturated fat; all of which you do not require at this stage and should avoid.
If possible, create lists of things you are recommended to take so that you will see how big the variety of what you can have. You can also list down things to avoid after giving birth, like those mentioned two sentences before.
So, what should you really eat?
Proteins: After childbirth, a woman needs a whole load of proteins. You can get your daily intake of proteins from eggs, lean meats, seafood and beans. If you are a vegetarian, try soy products as they are highly-loaded with proteins. Protein is important as it helps the body to recover from the process of childbirth. 5 to 6 servings each day is mandatory, and one extra if you are breastfeeding.
Calcium: After giving birth, a woman needs to regain her strength from food to gather the nutrients she may need. Seeds and dark, leafy greens are fantastic sources of calcium. For a more familiar taste, soybeans are very calcium heavy. Look to tofu and edamame for calcium.
Iron: As you may have lost a lot of blood during childbirth, iron becomes important so that you can generate new blood cells. Eat a lot of red meat, tofu and beans.
There are some other things to take care of.
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 6 to 10 glasses of water per day. The ultimate goal here is to stay hydrated by increasing the intake of fluids. Thus, drinking fresh juice and milk can be done too.
- If you are unable to cook for yourself for obvious reasons, check out confinement food menus in Singapore. Catering is the best option if you don’t have anyone else to cook for you.
At Tian Wei Signature, we have our own in-house dietitian as well as award-winning chef who guide us in crafting the ideal confinement menu for new mothers. We serve both traditional and fusion meals to ensure everyone will have an exciting confinement and will not get bored of eating the same things over and over again.
To help with breastfeeding, we incorporate various lactogenic ingredients into our foods to ease your lactation. Liquid intake is extremely crucial at this point, which is why every meal is served with 1 litre of red dates tea. We also have more than 40 types of nourishing soups you can look forward to! Tempted to give our food a try? Just drop us a call and we’ll answer all your questions!