Now that I’m a new mum, one of my primary concerns apart from caring for my little man is ensuring that my body is nourished as much as possible to help my body heal and give my baby the healthiest start in life whilst breastfeeding.  I’m not rushing to lose the weight that I gained during pregnancy as I want this to be done in a sensible and balanced way.  To be fair, this is the last thing on my mind now with a newborn baby to care for.  I know that with some well-balanced nutrition and a wholesome approach things should hopefully fall into place slowly but surely.

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I do think that there is far too much pressure on new mamas to drop the pounds after birth, but I’m going to do my best to ignore the BS and concentrate on doing things my way.  This will involve my usual balanced approach of wholesome and nutrient dense food, but you can be sure as hell that I will still be eating cake and pizza too. 

Recently, I was offered the chance of an interview conducted on my behalf with AXA PPP healthcare physiologist David Williams, who specialises in dieting and sport and exercise science.  For this particular post the questions are centred around postnatal nutrition and care. 

Are there any restrictions on what can I eat now I’ve had the baby?

There’s no real reason to cut out any specific foods once you’ve given birth, and it’s important to get back to a healthy, balanced diet as soon as possible. The healthier your diet, the more prepared your body will be for the healing process, whether from a natural or caesarean birth. Foods that were out of bounds during pregnancy, such as shellfish, should be fine to consume again after the birth, and they contain essential Omega 3. It’s vital to remember that you will transfer whatever you eat to your baby if you are breastfeeding, so try to have things like caffeine and alcohol in moderation, and stick to a maximum of two cups of tea or coffee per day. Make sure you keep a close eye on your baby all the time to see if they are reacting differently to your milk. Some babies can react badly to the protein in cow’s milk for example, so if you are consuming cow’s milk and then breastfeeding, keep your eyes peeled for any rashes and get in touch with your health worker as soon as possible if you notice anything unusual.

What advice can you give on losing weight and regaining my shape post-birth?

Although losing the ‘baby-weight’ is a concern for most new mothers, it’s important to do this sensibly and carefully. You need a lot of energy early after giving birth, and trying to lose weight too quickly can delay your recovery. Always wait until your first post-natal check has passed before you consider any weight loss plan, and make sure you approach it in the right way. The female body prepares incredibly efficiently for all stages of pregnancy, including the weeks and months after the baby is born. Be guided by your appetite, eat well when you’re hungry, and remember to eat enough if you are exercising. Include fresh fruit and vegetables, good fats (such as those found in avocado, nuts, oily fish and olive oil) and slow-release carbohydrates (such as wholegrain produce, oats and sweet potatoes) in your diet. Avoid refined sugars, found in sweets, chocolate and biscuits, wherever possible. As a guide, losing 1lb per week through a combination of a healthy diet and exercise is both healthy and achievable. This gradual rate of weight loss won’t affect the quality of your milk, but losing anymore may that mean that you and your baby become malnourished.

Ultimately, caring for a newborn baby is physically demanding and it’s crucial to keep your energy levels up. Avoid calorie restricted diets at all costs and focus on a balanced diet coupled with a gentle exercise routine. This will allow your body to steadily return to its pre-pregnancy weight, and ensure you and your baby remain healthy and happy.

Do I need any essential vitamins after giving birth? 

Many women suffer from anaemia after pregnancy. You can increase your iron levels through supplementation, but always check with your health worker first. Incorporating lean meats, leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and fresh nuts into your diet should naturally boost your iron levels. It’s also important to keep your Vitamin D and C levels up. Vitamin C can be readily found in citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes and peppers. The best source of vitamin D is summer sunlight on your skin.  The amount of time you need in the sun to make enough vitamin D is different for every person.  However, you don’t need to sunbathe: the amount of sun you need to make enough vitamin D is less than the amount that causes tanning or burning. Vitamin D can be found naturally in oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), eggs and meat. However the levels found in foods are often insufficient, so it may be worth consulting your health worker about Vitamin D supplements post pregnancy.

Expert advice about nutrition following pregnancy is available from AXA PPP healthcare’s ‘Ask the Experts’ service, where you’ll receive a response to any medical question from an expert within a couple of days.

How did you deal with your own postnatal nutrition?  

Do you think women are pressurised to snap back into shape right after birth?  How do you think that you will approach your own weight loss after having a baby? 

*In collaboration with AXA PPP healthcare

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{Recipe} No Bake Peanut Butter and Coconut Balls

by Jemma Andrew-Adiamah on October 9, 2014

in Recipes

Recently I’ve been on a bit of a mission to prepare lots of snacks and stock up the fridge and freezer with food before our little one arrives. One of my all time favourite recipes to make is for snack balls, which is another fabulous idea that I discovered through blogging. 

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My most popular recipe on the blog is my Macadamia and Coconut Protein Truffles, a spin on the very delicious Bounce Ball version.  I just love no bake snacks like this as they are easy to whip up when you are short on time and you can just store them in the fridge or freezer for a rainy day or when you get an attack of the munchies.  Also, they are easily portable and can be popped into your bag for when you are out and about. 

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Due to their convenience and the speed in which they can be made I came up with another snack ball recipe, which I hope you will love as much as me. It combines two of my favourite ingredients of all time, coconut oil and peanut butter…what’s not to love?  This recipe makes roughly 12 snack balls so that should be plenty to keep you going for a while, if you can keep your hands out of the fridge that is. ;-)

No Bake Peanut Butter and Coconut Balls
Yields 12
A tasty blend of peanut butter and coconut in an easy snack ball recipe that requires no baking!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp peanut butter
  2. 3 tbsp coconut oil
  3. 12 dates
  4. 1/2 cup oats
  5. pinch rock salt
  6. handful of dark or milk chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the ingredients together except the chocolate chips in a food processor.
  2. When the mixture becomes smooth gently stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Shape the mixture into balls by rolling it in your hands.
  4. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or more to allow the balls to chill and firm up.
  5. Store in the fridge or freezer...enjoy!
Celery and Cupcakes http://celeryandcupcakes.com/
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I’ve found these great for afternoon snacks or for when I’ve got the evening munchies.  My reason for making these were actually for breast feeding purposes as it can make your appetite go through the roof.  It’s nice to know that I’ve got something healthy on hand to tide me over when hunger strikes.  The healthy fats from the coconut oil and the peanut butter definitely make these filling and nourishing for your body.

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Not only are these vegan, but you could make them gluten-free by using gluten-free porridge oats. The addition of chocolate is optional and gives you a chance to control the sugar content. I actually used chopped pieces of a bar of 90% dark chocolate, which gives me that cocoa hit with very little refined sugar.  For more healthy homemade snack ideas, check out my recipe page!

Do you snack between meals?  Does making your own homemade snacks appeal to you or do you prefer to buy them? What are your favourite go-to snacks?

{ 16 comments }

Welcome to the world baby Aiden!

8 October 2014

The past couple of days have been magical… On Friday 3rd October, Aiden Joshua Sebastian made his grand entrance into the world at 2pm, weighing 7lb 6oz. Thankfully, no induction was needed and we managed a wonderful natural labour, which will be on the blog soon.  It did get a bit hairy at the end as AJ […]

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{Guest Post} Prioritising Sleep In Your Life

4 October 2014

Like all new mums know, sleep deprivation comes with the job.  Your own needs are put to the bottom of the pile and whether you want to take a nap during the day most of the time this never happens.  Sleep deprivation is something that I’m going to have to get used to as a […]

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{Fashion Friday} Layering it up

3 October 2014

So now we are officially in autumn, I love this season. There have been some sunny spells this week, but I’ve definitely felt a chill in the air come evening time. Weather this fickle really makes it hard to get dressed in the morning and you can run the risk of wearing too much or […]

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Tried and Tested in September

2 October 2014

Happy Thursday lovely people!  Hope that you are all having a great week so far, the weekend is so close now.  My September review round-up post includes some awesome brands and products. Always disclosed is whether I have been kindly sent these products for the purpose of a review or if I’ve purchased them myself to try and […]

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