You have spent the past 9 months (and likely a fair few months in the lead up) taking great care of yourself; giving your body what it needs, when it needs it and caring for the small being growing inside you. That likely included nourishing your body in an entirely different way.
So what happens next? The postpartum period is classed as the 6 weeks post childbirth. It is where you, the mother, return to your physiological non-pregnant condition. This is the period where you require the upmost care.
And now that small being is here in person and is still the number 1 focus of your every waking moment, how do you maintain that level of care and nourishment for your own body?
Here is how:
Zinc: zinc is essential for the development and maintenance of immune function before and after birth, it speeds up healing and helps prevent postpartum depression. The recommended dose of zinc post partum is 30mg per day.
Get more of it in you by munching on: meat, liver, eggs, seafood, legumes, wholegrain, miso, tofu, brewers yeast, mushrooms, green beans and pepitas.
Iron: iron might be necessary after birth to restore circulation and stored iron, preventing anemia due to blood loss during labor. The risk of acute post partum hemorrhage is also decreased with optimal intake of iron. Intravenous iron has been found to be safe and efficient in restoring iron levels but is only used in extreme cases of deficiency and the recommended dose of iron post partum is 25-80mg per day, depending on your individual levels.
Get more of it in you by munching on: liver, organ meats, red meat, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes, fruit, dried fruit, grains, tofu, molasses, green leafy veggies, beetroot, and yolks.
Vitamin E: – vitamin E can be depleted within 24 – 48 hours after delivery, even in none complicated births. When vitamin E is depleted it affects the ability of the body to heal and if this is the case the recommended dose to replenish is 400 IU per day.
Get more of it in you by munching on: cold pressed oils, nuts and seeds, spinach, kale, sweet potato, avocado, brown rice, egg yolks, liver, soya beans, asparagus, butter and milk.
Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) – EFA’s assist in reducing post partum depression and aid in infant growth development. DHA (an EFA) is particularly important for infants and this is transferred through breast milk.
Get more of it in you by munching on: deep sea cold water fish i.e. salmon, trevally, cod and herring.
Remember, these are general guidelines and you should always consult your doctor to assess your own individual needs.