Motherhood completes a woman. While the little bundle of joy takes all the attention, the new mom is all pampered by her mom! With demanding months ahead,here’s a gentle know-how guide of nutrition in a nutshell for the new parent.
- It is a very cultural thing for a new mom to be taken care of by the maternal side. And moms go all out to dote on their daughter and grandchild. Every family has traditions, rituals and even diet patterns that has been handed down and followed during the post-partum phase. Suggestions and advise will pour from the “been –there-done –that” kith and kin.
- The post delivery period for a new mother is as important as the preparation for the delivery itself. It is a time to recuperate and bond with the new arrival. While the new born takes the spot light, it is the mother that requires all attention. Post-partum can be very demanding and depressing for a first time mother. Hormonal changes, changes in the routine, especially the meal and sleep time, breast feeding and the lack of rest will require major adjustments. While pregnancy gained weight will be a cause for concern, put it aside for the time being and turn to your mother, the best advisor and caregiver for expert guidance. Trust the parental resource and you will not realize the phase pass by.
- The first major change for a new mom is breast-feeding. Feeding the baby is important and can be draining for the mother; she therefore has to be supplemented adequately. The right nutrients pumped at the right time will boost the much-desired energy for the feeding mother.
- Staying hydrated is the most important thing to keep in mind for a nursing mom. Breast feeding can be an energy drainer and keeping hydrated will not only assist hydration but also help in the production of milk. And the best all time, all rounder and easily available drink is WATER.
- Breast milk is packed with calcium besides other nutrients and calcium is important for the development of the baby’s bones. Therefore it is important for the mother to have her share of calcium and the best source is from dairy products. Milk, cheese, butter and yogurt are great providers of Vitamin D as well.A good breakfast can be a wonderful start to the flow of the nutrition through the day. Similarly a glass of warm milk is also recommended to finish the day, as the baby could feed in the night too.
- Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and is a must for new mothers. It is normally considered a no- no because of the belief that citrus can bring forth pneumonia especially post delivery. On the contrary, Vitamin C is much needed for the nursing mother. Leafy green and veggies too are suppliers of Vitamin A. Besides providing vitamins the greens are great anti oxidants. Spinach is an excellent choice. However it is better to restrict the intake of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower as these can upset a baby’s stomach.
- Extra protein is a must on the diet list.Meat, fish and eggs are a good source of protein. These foods are also rich in iron. Energy levels can take a dip for the feeding mom and proteins can be a good booster. Pulses are an option for the non-meat eaters and these should be for the new mom.
- Assorted nuts make for a good snack. They are a superb supplier of iron. Mothers who have had c-section would have had blood loss and nuts replace the iron content in the body. Whole wheat bread should be on the breakfast menu as it consists of iron. Folic acid is important for the baby’s growth and the new mom’s well being.
By Sunethra Selvam