Nutrition for new mums – it’s all in the preparation!
I’m kicking off my blogs with this topic because it’s something that has been real life for me recently, with a now-14-week-old baby! It is something I think about every day; because “post-partum” isn’t just the first few weeks after having a baby. It continues until, well, forever really!
However, those early weeks are when your body is recovering from a huge, life-altering event. Your body has been through a lot, not just during the birth, but for nine months prior, too! So, those early weeks are particularly important in terms of nutrition. Not that I’m perfect at it, because I’m not. Post-partum cravings are REAL, and we all deserve treats once in a while! To me, that is ‘perfect nutrition’ – it’s all about balance.
Nutrition for new mums rule #1: Go easy on yourself
Good nutrition for new mums is a constant struggle, especially in the hazy early weeks with a newborn. But also during the chaotic weeks that follow, adjusting to life with a small baby (and a toddler, if it’s not your first)! Good nutrition for mums is hard because it just doesn’t take priority; the needs of your children do. Your fatigue, lack of time and limited motivation stall your efforts and derail the healthy eating habits you worked hard on during your pregnancy.
But, you know what? Don’t beat yourself up. Yes, it’s all a bit bloody hard, but we mums need to make ourselves a priority sometimes, especially when it comes to nutrition. A healthy family needs a healthy mum – so, don’t let your nutrition fall to the bottom of the priority ladder!
To keep myself on track and stay healthy during this chaotic time I get back to basics and follow my 5 tips below (most of the time, anyway)…
Nutrition for new mums rule #2: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
When you open your fridge or pantry doors, what are you faced with? Sugar-filled snacks and empty carbs? Nothing you can really make a meal from? You mean, you don’t have a fresh batch of protein balls sitting in the fridge ready for the 3pm slump? (Me neither – I keep meaning to make some for myself!) Well, if you want to nail this nutrition for new mums malarkey, the first step is being prepared!
5 top tips to be prepared:
- Meal plan. Spend some time on a Sunday meal planning for the week ahead. Knowing what you are going to eat helps immensely with sticking to healthier eating habits, and takes the stress out of deciding what to have for dinner.
- Shop online. Shopping online really helps if you dread taking the kids to the supermarket, or find you buy way more than you mean to and/or are tempted by the treats, which always end up in your trolley. Don’t just think of large chain supermarkets. I get a box of local organic veg, at a really reasonable price, delivered fortnightly.
- Stock up. Stock the fridge and cupboards with healthy, easy snacks and some shortcuts. On the nights you’re stretched for time, use microwave rice – it’s a godsend. I don’t use my microwave all that much, but for the odd occasion it’s very handy. Chop some crudités the night before, when you’re making dinner, and serve with a dollop of healthy, preservative-free hummus (I buy the Pilpel brand).
- Make ahead. Bake and make snacks one day a week for the week ahead. A batch of protein balls (there are soooo many great recipes online), healthy banana bread or veggie loaf. For a savoury snack, eggs are a fantastic source of protein and fat, and awesome for satiety and energy. In a hurry? Pop it in a pan of water to boil whilst you change a nappy, or get the kids’ shoes on! Or boil up 5 on a Sunday, and you have a super-quick snack for each weekday ahead, as they’ll keep in the fridge perfectly (with the shells on).
- Make enough for leftovers! Make tomorrow’s lunch or dinner easy peasy.
Preparation only scratches the surface of good nutrition for new mums. It’s important you eat well, for the sake of your energy, immune system (thanks, day care, for yet another cold!), your sanity and mental health, and your happiness – and, therefore, the happiness of your kids. Which leaves us with the question “So, what do I eat?”. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about that! Hold on to your hats for next week’s installment, which shares what to eat post-partum…
Until then, if you need to prioritise your health, and get some extra help to boost your energy, immune system and/or weight loss, then get in touch NOW to book your postnatal consultation.
In the meantime, check out my FREE eBook for some delicious, quick and easy lunch recipes that will help boost your energy and balance your hormones: