It goes without saying that the marathon of labor, followed by the 24/7 demands of early motherhood, is extremely physically taxing on the new mother’s body. To help your body recover (and have the energy and strength needed to care for your little one) prenatal & family nutritionist Nicole Silber, RD, CSP recommends adding these 5 ultra-nourishing foods into your daily mix.
- Walnuts: Getting in omega 3’s and DHA is just as important now as it was during your pregnancy. Don’t be quick to eliminate fat in hopes of losing baby weight. Eating sufficient fat – especially the heart-healthy fats in walnuts – can actually help you lose weight, increase the amount of DHA in your breast milk, boost your energy, and improve your mood. If you don’t like eating walnuts whole, try adding them chopped to yogurt or oatmeal. If you have a tree nut allergy (or walnuts are just not your thing!), salmon, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, omega 3 fortified eggs, and chia seeds are also great sources.
- Asparagus & Parsley: Both of these greens are natural diuretics. Use these two delicious ways to help reduce swelling and to get rid of the extra water weight.
- Dates: These sweet fruits are rich in calcium (especially important for breastfeeding mothers) and rich in sorbitol, which promotes bowel regularity. They are sweet though (which is why they are good!), so beware of the fruit sugar. Keep to 2-3 dates at a time. Chop them into yogurt or cereal, or pair them with some walnuts for a power snack.
- Hot Water + Lemon: Motherhood calls for selfless, sleepless nights, which can lead to irritation, and dehydration. With the dozens of new tasks on hand, drinking is often forgotten. Add to this the fact that your fluid requirements are even higher if you are breastfeeding, so the potential for dehydration is even greater. Hot water with lemon not only helps you get in the needed ounces, but also has a calming, soothing and de-bloating effect.
- Bone Broth: You read that right. Bone broth, made from bone marrow, is a nutrition powerhouse full of protein and minerals like phosphorous. This liquid is an immune system and joint booster, and it counts toward your hydration as well. Don’t worry. You do not have to make homemade bone broth to reap its benefits. Brands like Pacific Foods sell it pre-packaged.
Nicole Silber, RD, CSP, CLC is a registered dietitian, board-certified specialist in pediatric nutrition, and certified lactation counselor. Nicole has worked with hundreds of children, mothers and families with chronic medical conditions, pre and post-natal nutrition, gestational diabetes, food allergies, picky eating, oral-motor and sensory processing disorders, infant nutrition, breastfeeding, gastrointestinal conditions, prematurity, underweight and obesity. Currently she manages her private practice and frequently teaches Tiny Tasters Workshop series. Prior to her current roles, she served as a clinical nutritionist at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at New York Presbyterian/Columbia, where she covered the antepartum and postpartum units, and at NYU Langone/Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center. Nicole lives in Westchester County with her husband and her daughters, Lily & Luna.