Childbirth is a tiring experience which is an energy sapper, and is followed by breastfeeding and adjusting to caring for a newborn. It’s no wonder new mums feel that their energy levels are low! The good news is that there are dietary changes you can make to make you feel a little better.
The first thing you need to do is watch out for dehydration. Breastfeeding causes you to lose more fluids so make sure that you’re getting enough water, juice, and other fluids to make up for it. Avoid caffeinated drinks and try to make sure that you have bottled water with you all the time. Remember that dehydration can make you tired and mimic the feeling of hunger, so if you’re feeling fatigued and are always hungry it might just be that you’re not drinking enough water.
Next on the post pregnancy diet must do list is to eat breakfast. It’s no lie that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that’s even more true when you’ve just had a baby. Eat a healthy breakfast of high fibre cereal, fruit and milk, or try wholemeal toast with cream cheese and a glass of milk. Even a fruit, yogurt and oat smoothie can make a big difference if you’re not feeling up to a meal or if you’re rushed. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism and it’s important to keep your post childbirth energy levels up!
Another trick that will keep your energy levels up, and your metabolism ticking over properly, is to eat smaller meals, more frequently. Sitting down to three heavy meals a day can make you even more fatigued if you are already experiencing flagging energy levels. Yogurt and fruit, a whole wheat roll or bagel are all quick, easy snacks that you can eat throughout the day that will keep your body fuelled and you feeling energetic.
Avoiding caffeine and sugar is also a good idea. They tend to give you a quick, artificial high, but that’s always followed by a drop in energy. Instead choose fruit or fruit juices and drinks like water or herbal tea that won’t cause a spike in blood sugar and will keep you from crashing. The same goes for energy bars and drinks. They’re usually packed with sugar and caffeine so if you do buy them check the labels. Good choices are those based on complex carbohydrates with protein and fibre.
Don’t try to diet too soon either. Your body needs extra fuel now to cope with the demands of your baby and with breastfeeding. Stick to a sensible eating plan and try a little moderate exercise. Also remember that food isn’t a replacement for sleep! If you’re feeling tired even though you’re eating well and staying hydrated there’s a good chance that all you really need is a nap! So take one and keep those energy levels up.