3 foods to help your body heal during the postpartum period
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Nourishing your body with food during this demanding time is key way to keep up your energy levels and to help your body heal from the huge undertaking of carrying your baby for almost ten months, and delivering that baby into the world. Why not try adding some of these simple ingredients to your everyday meals...
Turmeric root is a wonder food which is incredibly supportive during the postpartum period. It’s super anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits help the body to recover after pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, the uterus grows to the size of watermelon (from it’s usual size of a walnut!) and being known as a uterotonic, turmeric helps to stimulate the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size.
Try adding freshly grated turmeric root to soups and stews, to warm milk for a nourishing bedtime drink, or steep in boiling water with fresh ginger and honey for a warming infusion.
Also a rhizome (root), ginger is known to support a healthy immune system and to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, this magical ingredient is well known for improving digestion.
During pregnancy, the organs in the body shift to make room for the baby to grow and develop, which can lead to digestive issues after birth as the body readjusts. And if these wonderful benefits aren't enough to encourage us, being a lactogenic herb, ginger also supports a healthy supply of breast milk!
Other warming spices include cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Adding black pepper when using turmeric is ideal, as the two spices together make a powerful combination; black pepper has the compound of piperine, which dramatically enhances the absorption of the compound curcumin which is found in turmeric.
Leafy greens such as Kale, Chard, Broccoli and Spinach have a high iron content. This essential mineral is responsible for the creation of red blood cells, in turn promoting the healing of the body after pregnancy and birth.
During and after pregnancy, it is common to experience anemia (iron-deficiency), due to the increased blood volume in the body during pregnancy (blood volume in the body increases by 50% during pregnancy) and the blood loss during delivery. As well as being an antioxidant, these nutrient dense foods are naturally low in fat and sodium, and rich in folate, vitamins A & C, fibre and calcium.
Healthy fats such as organic grass-fed butter and coconut oil are a great addition to your pantry, especially during the postpartum period.
Grass-fed butter contains a much higher amount of fat-soluble vitamins (including Vitamins A, E, D & K) compared to non-organic butter, and adding it to your cooked vegetables will help you to better absorb the vitamins and minerals from your leafy greens. You can also use it to cook meat with will allow your body to digest protein more easily. What’s not to love!
Coconut oil is a fantastic saturated fat which is high in essential omega-3’s, including lauric acid which is a fatty acid also found in breast milk.
As well as using coconut oil for cooking (great for cooking things at a high temperature), this wonderful oil can be used as a moisturising body oil for both Mum & Baby.