The postpartum diet: 13 tips for mothers to get back in shape. Weekly menu
The postpartum diet to get back in shape
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You have recently given birth and you look in the mirror: you would like to go back to your jeans soon, but the baby requires a lot of energy, especially if you are breastfeeding, and it is not certain ...
You have recently given birth and you look in the mirror: you would like to go back to your jeans soon, but the baby requires a lot of energy, especially if you are breastfeeding, and this is certainly not the time to follow a slimming regime. The 'secret' to feel good and fit, without weighing too much on the scales, is: choose a balanced diet, which combines the various foods in the optimal way and which does not make you lack the essential nutrients in this period. Read also: the menu of the post-partum diet, day after day
, clinical assistant of Dr. Attilio Speciani (well-known Milanese immunologist and allergist, scientific director of the website www.eurosalus.com) and PhD student in experimental and clinical nutrition and, Nutritionist Biologist also from the team of Dr. Speciani, after having recommended the ad hoc diet for pregnancy, give us the right 'tips' to feed ourselves correctly after the birth of the baby.
Here are the basic tips to follow to get back in shape:
1) Varied and colorful nutrition and one 'abstinence' day every two weeks
Here is a recipe for a complete dish
2) Down with fatigue!
Especially in the first days after giving birth and especially if you are breastfeeding your baby, it is easy to be overwhelmed by fatigue. The first remedy? Feed yourself completely and give up on drastic diets, which would deprive the mother's organism of the energy it needs so much in this period, both to look after the baby and to produce milk.
"Do not forget that many forms of depression can arise precisely due to tiredness and the feeling of not being able to respond to the needs of the baby: it is not really the case to miss the precious 'fuel' coming from food!" highlights.
3) Have a big breakfast
The first 'refueling' must be done as soon as you wake up. A complete breakfast serves to stimulate the metabolism and keep it high for the following hours, preventing mood drops and providing us with the right energy supplies that will allow us to face the tiring hours that await us with more determination.
"Our organism is no different from the organism of our primitive ancestors, for whom the main problem was to die of hunger," he stresses. “Waking up in the morning without having the possibility to put something in your teeth activates the oldest part of our brain, generating, even if unconsciously, a deep anguish for fear of a famine. On the other hand, starting the day with a really hearty breakfast is the best way to start off on the right foot ".
4) Carbohydrates and proteins: always together
Both at breakfast and in subsequent meals it is essential to always combine carbohydrates and proteins, which together guarantee the correct glycemic balance (avoiding 'spikes' of blood sugars), support muscle tone and preserve tissue elasticity, counteracting stretch marks and skin relaxation. .
5) Stock up on calcium and magnesium
Breast milk is rich in calcium and magnesium, so mom draws on her own reserves to produce it, which must never go red. Where to find them? In mineral waters, cheeses, oil seeds such as sesame seeds, eggs and dark chocolate. Calcium and magnesium are essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth and their balance is of great importance in regulating the conduction of nerve stimuli and in modulating the inflammatory response.
6) Omega 3 and omega 6: essential, in every sense
They are polyunsaturated fatty acids, 'good' fats that the body cannot produce by itself and for this reason they are also called essential fatty acids. They contribute to the production of milk (which contains a good percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids), they also keep cell membranes healthy and are therefore of great importance in guiding the physiological growth of the child.
"It is not necessary to take supplements of these substances" specifies Dr. : “It is much better to introduce them with foods, which contain them in the optimal proportions without the risk of excesses or imbalances between the components. They can be found mainly in all types of fish and in oil seeds, such as almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios, linseed, sunflower, pumpkin ".
7) Sugar? Better to avoid it
When it comes to energy foods, one immediately thinks of refined sugar. "Instead, it should be limited as much as possible, especially on an empty stomach, because it significantly increases blood sugar and can consequently cause reactive hypoglycemia that makes you feel tired and depressed" he advises. "If we want to indulge in a sin of gluttony, we can consume a dessert on a full stomach, better if prepared with whole grains (such as a homemade cake with whole wheat flour) that keeps glycemic peaks at bay".
8) Practice physical activity
As soon as you can, resume physical activity, without exaggerating but with constancy: even a simple daily walk of half an hour to an hour with the wheelchair is fine, trying, day after day, to gradually increase the pace. Moving allows you to restore the balance of the osteo-articular system, especially at the level of the back-pelvis, which during pregnancy supported the greatest loads. In addition, physical activity increases muscle tone, converting fat mass into lean mass and helping the body to get back in shape. Regular physical activity is also the best way to prevent postpartum depression, as it releases endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters that help to better react to all the changes that the arrival of a baby brings.
10 exercises to get back in shape: legs, abdomen, buttocks, arms and posture
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Gymnastic exercises to tone the legs, abdomen, buttocks, arms and posture. The fitness program is suggested by Rossella Ghidelli, personal trainer
9) Specific advice for the nursing mother
"If the advice given so far is valid for all new mothers, women who breastfeed their baby must bear in mind that during breastfeeding, the nutritional status and diet of the mother can influence the quality and quantity of milk produced: a caloric restriction, even if moderate, reduces the volume and in part also the relative composition of the specific nutrients. "Furthermore, the energy and nutrient needs of the breastfeeding woman are greater than during pregnancy and are linked to the need both to produce milk and to replenish maternal supplies".
10) You need 500 kcal more
How much should your calorie intake increase? "The National Research Council recommends an increase of about 500 kcal per day compared to the energy needs during pregnancy and an increase in the protein content of about 17-20 grams per day (equal to about 2 eggs, a 100 gr slice of chicken or 100 gr of robiola) "respects the. "The daily doses of calcium and vitamin D - 400 mg of calcium and 10 mg of vitamin D per day - should also be increased to prevent maternal bone demineralization". Where to find Vitamin D? “To summarize it, it is sufficient to expose your face and hands to the light (even simply by walking with the stroller in the hottest hours of the day)” she replies. "Then there are foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D, such as milk and yogurt, especially if whole, cheeses, eggs, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines".
11) Drink more
During breastfeeding, water intake should abundantly exceed 2 liters: "not to increase the quantity of milk produced, but to maintain the mother's water balance and ensure good milk fluidity" observes. The best waters? Those with low sodium content and with a nitrate concentration below 10 mg / l.
12) Foods to avoid?
- potentially allergenic foods, rich in histamine or histamine-releasing, such as peanuts, crustaceans, molluscs, chocolate, strawberries, game, bouillon cubes, preserved foods, highly fermented cheeses.
"This does not mean completely eliminating them from the diet, but consuming one type at a time and one portion at a time, in order to verify the possible reactivity of mother and child" he underlines;
- spicy foods, such as chilli, pepper, nutmeg, curry, which can give the milk an aroma that the baby does not like; once again just try small quantities;
- foods that can give milk unpleasant flavors, such as onions, garlic, asparagus, cabbage, artichokes, mushrooms, to which the child tends to get used to it easily. Even in this case it is enough to start with small quantities: do not forget that human milk transmits antigenic substances to the infant and therefore it is important for it to come into contact with different foods and flavors.
13) Coffee and alcohol
While breastfeeding, it would be advisable not to consume more than 1-2 cups of coffee a day, without adding sugar or sweeteners and preferably in the first half of the day, to avoid interference with night sleep; spirits are to be totally avoided, while for wine and beer the limit not to be exceeded is respectively 1 glass or 1 can of 33cc (if you really can't do without it!).
Read also: the menu of the post-partum diet, day after day
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