Congratulations on the birth of your little bundle of joy! This is undoubtedly a momentous occasion for a new mum. After giving birth, you may experience changes in your body, energy levels, hormones, and emotions, which is completely normal and expected.
Taking good care of yourself is essential. This will enable you to take better care of your child. Eating healthy and wholesome foods while breastfeeding helps with milk production. Therefore, I have compiled a list of meal ideas, these are nourishing and nutritious plus these remarkably increased my breast milk supply.
Before we dive right into it you should check for any food allergies. I have never had any problems with these meals. However, it is wise to consult a registered dietitian or healthcare provider before trying them.
Soups, stews and stocks
Being an Asian, warm soups are a go-to meal for us. We love to have all kinds of soups, stews and stocks. For me personally it’s always seaweed or chicken corn soup. Remember adding leafy greens to your soups make them nutrient rich and help replenish your body.
Not only are soups the ultimate comforting meal but they also help increase breastmilk supply. Moreover the meal prep becomes so easy and stress free. That you always have a healthy recipe that literally takes no time at all.
I love to have lotus root soup; it’s simple, delicious and fulfilling. You just need to add chicken, lotus root and herbs of your choice to an instant pot, put it on simmer. And there you have a scrumptious soup ready in minutes.
Be sure to add fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish to your diet. Consuming dairy is important. Yoghurt, particularly Greek yogurt, is a good option. However, if you are lactose intolerant, consider other options such as almond milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk.
Loaded sweet potato can also be a great way to consume good carbs, proteins and fats for the day. Top it with grilled chicken, olives, jalapenos, corns, butter and cheese. Sweet potatoes are a great source of iron, calcium, selenium, vitamin B and C. Sweet potatoes are also high in beta-carotene and a rich source of fiber.
Nuts and seeds are a rich source of fats and a powerhouse of polyphenols, try eating a handful everyday. These help promote good gut bacteria hence keeping your digestive health in check.
Steer Clear of Potential Irritants
I was always told by my Gran to avoid particular food items during pregnancy. Fish with high levels of mercury, pineapples, rarely cooked meat, sushi, acacia gum and alcohol to name a few. Well, the good news is that you can resume eating most of the foods if you were forbidden from while you were pregnant.
However, I would still suggest that you monitor what you eat while breastfeeding. According to La Leche League (LLL), the foods that you eat are passed on to your infant through your breastmilk. That is one of the reason why you should avoid these while breastfeeding. Some of the probable irritants could be:
- Dairy Products
- Peanuts or Peanut Butter
These are in my opinion some of the foods to avoid as these can make your baby gassy or can even develop a mild allergic reaction like diaper rash, bloody stool, patchy red skin or in severe cases hives.
Hydration is the Key
Don’t take this lightly because staying hydrated has it’s own benefits. Drinking enough water means enough electrolytes that eventually keeps muscle cramps, headaches and low energy levels at bay. Water consumption ensures that you are alert, active, have better energy and enhanced cognition. Plus it also eases the symptoms of constipation by keeping things moving.
Asian Recipes to the Rescue
When I gave birth for the second time, my midwife was an Asian. She introduced me to some unique, highly nutritious and incredibly delicious recipes. A few ingredients used in these recipes were new to me, I had never heard of them before. However these became a permanent addition to my pantry.
I am going to share some of my most favorite ones here. I will also link the ingredients so that you can easily find everything for your perfect meal.
Chicken Ginger Stew
This is one of the best and satisfying meal out there. You need chicken, ginger, garlic (optional), onion, tomatoes and a few whole spices like cloves, cumin seeds, star anise, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, red chili powder and some garam masala. Just add everything to an instant pot along with water and let it simmer, the more you let it cook the better. After you are done cooking, add olive oil to it and enjoy with brown rice.
This recipe is a great source of protein, carbohydrates and good fats.
Fortifying Trail Mix
For this fulfilling and healthy snack you need fox nuts, melon seeds, almonds, cashews, pistachios, semolina, coconut, rock sugar. Roast everything one by one in clarified butter except for rock sugar. Cool everything off and grind, mix everything together and there you have a nutrient powerhouse. Take a spoonful with milk any time you want for increased milk supply and energy.
You can also make a granola bar from these dry fruits just by replacing semolina with rolled oats and rock sugar with honey and dates. Put this sticky mixture in a tray lined with parchment paper, cut in bars and you are good to go. Don’t forget to exclude acacia, as that won’t taste great in a granola.
This is a true miracle, golden milk has been consumed in order to treat internal wounds and ulcers since ancient times. Turmeric, green cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorn, and ginger is added to milk and then simmered on low heat. Add a tablespoon of organic honey and drink while warm. From it’s anti oxidant contents to it’s soothing and anti inflammatory properties, this drink a must have for new mamas.
Don’t Forget your Herbs and Spices
Studies have shown that herbs like Moringa Oleifera helps with breast milk production but be very careful and always consult your healthcare provider before consuming any such herb. Cumin seeds and fennel seeds also have significant benefits especially for breastfeeding moms.
Eating a healthy and wholesome meal is an essential part of your recovery process. Keeping a check on your calorie intake while consuming all key vitamin and minerals is also crucial. This also keeps your weight in check.
However I would say that before jumping on the get fit bandwagon, give yourself some time to heal, regain your energy and replenish your body with all the meal ideas discussed above.
As loosing those extra pounds is not going to be aim here at least for a few weeks, just closely monitor if you have an underlying medical condition.