Similar to craving hydration, electrolytes and carbohydrate rich food after running a marathon, after giving birth your body will be hungry for hydration and nutrient dense foods. Think of foods and meals that champion iron (to cater for blood loss), protein (tissue repair), good fats (inflammation reduction), grains (energy and milk supply) and of course, fibre or food rich in probiotic properties (digestion and bowel movements).

If you’re breastfeeding, don’t be alarmed by big hits of hunger. The production of milk requires a lot of energy, and the more you fuel up, the more balanced and calm you will feel and the better your supply. Please note that adequate calorie intake is not the only factor affecting a woman’s milk supply.

To prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too low, which may cause feelings of lethargy, fatigue and shakiness, be mindful to snack often throughout the day. Steer clear of sugars and processed foods and if you drink coffee, ensure you maintain good levels of hydration. A big water bottle will be your best mate.

Many women rave about the benefits that come with incorporating Chinese Medicines and herbs into their meals during the postpartum period. Bone broths and congee are highly regarded for their tissue repair qualities, and warming foods such as cooked vegetables, soups and eggs will favourably nourish your inner body with vitamins, minerals and omegas.

Finally, research has shown that deficiencies in particular nutrient sources such as iron and zinc, can increase a new mothers risk of postnatal depression and anxiety. Loading up on red meat, poultry and hearty grains is a good way to ensure you’re nurturing your body with adequate meals in terms of their nutrient levels.

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Food to prepare and have on hand

Ask loved ones to support you by bringing you a fresh meal and/or freezer ready meal. Curries, soups, broths, salads loaded with leafy greens, roast vegetables and warm grains, pastas, quiche and of course, a few good ol’ lasagnes to line your freezer … just say yes! Think comforting, balanced and warmth inducing foods to stock up on.

Throughout the day, snacks are king, to keep your energy levels sustained, your mood in check, your milk production humming and your inner body healing. Raw balls, lactation teas and cookies, nut and seed bars, vegetables and dip, cool fruits, wholemeal toast with nut butter or avocado, breastfeeding safe protein bars or smoothies and/or a warm cup of broth or soup. Postpartum is a time to cater to your body's needs like never before.

Supplements to take

Postpartum supplements can be a fantastic way to ensure you’re feeding your body with adequate vitamins and minerals to both sustain healthy levels and balance lingering deficiencies. While the postpartum experience is varied for all women, navigating sleep deprivation, adjusting to breastfeeding and supporting the tender state of your body, can be a good time to look into a supplement/s to ‘pick up the slack’.

Supplements that hero safe and helpful herbs, vitamins and minerals can offer new mothers effective and efficient ways to care for their mind and body, while getting through the first few tough months. For mood and sleep (magnesium and saffron are wonderful), energy (vitamin B-12, iodine, iron), lactation (protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, iron), and digestion (probiotics, vitamin C, ginger, digestive enzymes).

Around the 3 or 6 month mark postpartum, it could help to test your bloods and check for any noticeable deficiencies, simply ask your GP for a referral. You might be completely fine or you might spot a very treatable issue which could save you from future health implications such as low iron, leading to fatigue.

Shop the memo range of supplements here and remember to check anything over with your health practitioner prior.

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