You love your newborn baby — their coos, cries, and tiny fingers are adorbs. But sleep deprivation has you feeling like an extra on the set of The Walking Dead. We hear ya. Maybe you’re trying this souped-up swaddle that promises to help your babe sleep longer, sneaking in sleep, or using delivery services to save you some time so you can nap. Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, the New York Times best-selling author of Beauty Detox and Radical Beauty and a brand-new mom, shares her best nutrition tips and ways to stay energized when you’re taking care of a little one and yourself.
1. Eat mood-boosting foods. Post-partum, your body will go through many hormonal changes, so your mood will fluctuate. And hello, you gave birth! Snyder recommends eating bananas, mushrooms, quinoa, brown rice, leafy greens, avocado, walnuts, and flaxseeds to help balance your moods. “It is best to eat the most nutritious foods possible, because you’re working hard to recover from the miraculous event of giving birth,” explains Snyder. (Photo via Timothy Nesmith)
2. Avoid dairy. Babies are often sensitive to proteins in cow’s milk. “It’s usually one of the first things breastfeeding moms are told to eliminate from their diets when their babies are fussy after eating or have bowel issues,” Snyder shares. Substitute your regular dairy foods with vegan cheeses, coconut milk yogurts, and hemp milk.
3. Sip on soups. “Soups are full of hydrating liquid and are great for digestion,” Snyder tells us. She recommends clear, veggie-based soups for optimum nourishment and hydration, which are essential for breastfeeding mamas. (Check out these 19 vegetarian soups for recipe ideas!)
4. Drink water. Dehydration is a real issue when you’re breastfeeding — or simply running around, trying to take care of your baby. It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re knee-deep in diapers. Snyder stresses the importance of drinking water: “Dehydration will make you feel more fatigued than you already are.” Keep water in your car, by your bed, and anywhere else you tend to be. “Drink as much water as you can between meals and only sip at meal times (too much water with food can lead to bloating).” If plain water is boring for you, add sliced cucumber, strawberries, or lemons to your drink. (Photo via Kimberly Snyder)
5. Prep easy meals and snacks. Since you have a lot less time to eat and prep food than you did pre-baby, Snyder recommends eating nutrient-dense meals to increase your energy and fuel your body. Make a big batch of quinoa and toss it with some greens, a few spices, and a little sea salt. Almond butter on celery sticks, hummus wraps with greens and tomatoes, and avocado on toast are quick and healthy options. Smoothies are a fast way to get a high-protein snack in when you’re hungry. Snyder’s Glow Bio line offers shippable smoothies, like the Glowing Green Smoothie and the Power Protein Smoothie.
6. Boost your breast milk naturally. Breast milk supply is important for new mamas, but it can be hard to maintain when you’re struggling with breastfeeding. “Ideally, try to increase your nutrition intake by 500 calories per day, and focus on protein intake, since it’s a key component of healthy breast milk,” says Snyder. If your supply is low, try incorporating herbs like fenugreek, fennel, and moringa, which all promote breast milk production. Oatmeal, she also shares, is an amazing food that encourages relaxation to help the milk let-down process, and the complex carbs are great for energy and a source of iron.
7. Stock your pantry with essentials. Snyder highly recommends keeping plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand for fast, easy, and fuel-boosting energy. While it’s not easy to go to your local farmers’ market every weekend when you have a newborn, you can order groceries online or use delivery services to do the shopping for you. Good grains like quinoa and oat groats; healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado; and some dark chocolate for sweet cravings are all wonderful for new moms.
What are some ways you stay awake while being a tired mom? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Timothy Nesmith)