Previously written and published by our colleagues at Triangle Nutrition Therapy
Many thanks to Ashley Acornley (MS, RD, LDN) for providing this blog for our patients. She works at Triangle Nutrition Therapy. We appreciate her group and the care they provide our patients. Their contact information is at the bottom of the blog post.
— Dr. B
After nine long months of pregnancy, you finally have your pride and joy nestled in your arms. Now that the baby is here, how do you take care of your newborn, your family, and yourself at the same time?
It is important to remember to take care of yourself, because if you are not at your best, you cannot provide the best for your baby. Most new moms want to lose the baby weight and get back into their normal routine, and the best way to achieve this is through proper diet and nutrition. Your body needs to recover and heal from childbirth, and also needs a steady supply of nutrients and calories to produce milk if you are breastfeeding. So, the true purpose of nutrition and exercise is to refuel, re-energize, and recover!
Calorie needs vary depending on age, metabolism, and activity level. When breastfeeding, women need to consume an additional 500 calories per day and the rest of the calories needed for breastfeeding come from the fat stores that were stored during pregnancy. It is best to have a Registered Dietitian calculate your caloric needs because everyone is so different. It is recommended to eat frequently, consuming 5-6 small meals daily. Your meals and snacks should have a proper balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. The nutrients of concern in this stage of the lifecycle include calcium, folate, iron, protein, Vitamin C, fiber, and omega 3. It is also important to include an increased amount of fluid in your diet, especially if breastfeeding. If at all possible, reduce the amount of alcohol, caffeine, and simple sugars in your diet. Finally, it is important to get moving and exercise. Weight loss is best achieved when combining a healthy diet with a consistent exercise routine. Starting out with full body strength movements and cardio for about 30 minutes per session is recommended to get back into the swing of things. From there, the sky is the limit.
Triangle Nutrition Therapy can help achieve your post-baby goals! Our private practice offers nutrition counseling and coaching where we can help to translate all of the nutrition nuts and bolts into real food ideas. We can also help in practical ways by giving you meal and snack ideas, grocery lists, and customized meal plans, and we also offer metabolic testing. We also offer in-home personal training to achieve your fitness needs, so no need to find childcare. You can also do the in-home training with a friend. Please visit our website at www.trianglediet.com, or email Tracy (Tracy@trianglediet.com) or Ashley (Ashley@trianglediet.com) for more information or to schedule an appointment. PS We are in network with BCBS and Cigna.