backup og meta

Postpartum Diet: What To Eat for Faster Recovery

Medically reviewed by Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Aug 10, 2022

Postpartum Diet: What To Eat for Faster Recovery

Many first-time mothers wonder what to eat after giving birth or what should they not eat in order to have more milk for breastfeeding all while having enough energy to take care of the baby all day. Having a healthy postpartum diet is really important because these foods can affect the mother’s recovery process and how they adjust to motherhood.

After giving birth, whether you breastfeed or not, it is extremely important to provide nutrients to restore your health. And so you should carefully study what to eat and what to abstain from to regain your strength and take better care of your baby. Read on to learn more about what makes up a healthy postpartum diet.

Postpartum Diet: What should mothers eat after giving birth?

1. Salmon

What should be included in a healthy postpartum diet are fatty fish like salmon. Salmon is a nutritious food that is very suitable for new mothers. Like other fatty fish, salmon is high in DHA, which is important for the development of your baby’s nervous system.

Although salmon is suitable for pregnant and lactating women, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still recommends that women should only eat salmon in moderation.

According to the recommendation, you should only eat about 330 grams of salmon per week because salmon still has a certain amount of mercury and this metal may not be good for babies. 

Mercury levels in salmon are still considered low, but the levels of mercury in swordfish or mackerel are so high that you need to avoid these two types of fish altogether.

After giving birth, the body will secrete DHA into breast milk, so you should add salmon to breast milk to have more DHA. In addition, the DHA in salmon can also help improve your mood. Some studies show that salmon may help prevent postpartum depression.

2. Low-fat dairy products

Consuming dairy products like yogurt or cheese is important when you’ve just given birth and are breastfeeding. Milk provides a good amount of vitamin D, which helps to strengthen the bones of mother and baby.

In addition, these foods also provide protein, B vitamins and calcium very well.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, mothers need a lot of calcium to help their baby’s bones develop well, so dairy products cannot be missing in the postpartum menu. It is very important to supplement calcium to meet your needs and the needs of your baby, or an average of 1000mg/day.

3. Beef

The postpartum period can be exhausting, so fuel yourself with iron-rich foods like beef. The iron in beef can help you maintain energy levels. When you have enough energy, you can better meet your baby’s needs.

In addition to iron, nursing mothers need additional protein and vitamin B12. Beef is a very rich source of both nutrients, so this is a food for mothers after giving birth. However, you should choose lean cuts of beef to limit the amount of fat.

4. Green, leafy vegetables and Beans

Green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli are rich in vitamin A, which is good for you and your baby. In addition, vegetables are also a very rich source of calcium, vitamin C and iron. This is also a very good food group for postpartum mothers because vegetables contain a lot of heart-healthy antioxidants but are low in calories.

In addition to vegetables, you also need to get nutrients from beans, especially dark beans like black beans or kidney beans. Beans are a very good food for mothers after giving birth thanks to their rich amount of iron and vegetable protein.

5. Fruits

Fruit is one of the good foods for mothers after giving birth. Postpartum and breastfeeding women should eat at least 150 grams of fruit or juice per day. You can add your favorite fruits but don’t forget to add citrus fruits for extra energy.

Postpartum mothers need more vitamin C than pregnant women, so they need to supplement this vitamin with citrus fruits.

Blueberries are also a very suitable choice to help you meet your nutritional needs. This berry is both delicious and packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for you. In addition, blueberries provide you with a healthy dose of carbohydrates to sustain energy throughout the day.

6. Eggs

What food can you eat while on a postpartum diet? Eggs are food for mothers after giving birth, both convenient and easy to cook, and meet the daily protein needs very well, so it will be an indispensable item in the menu for postpartum women .

Remember: you should choose the place to buy eggs carefully to make sure they are clean and fresh. You can also purchase DHA eggs to fortify the amount of this important fatty acid in breast milk.

7. Whole grains

As a mother, you may have to stay up all night to take care of your baby, so you always need energy. The healthy and high-energy postpartum mom food you can try is whole grains .

Many grains are also fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients to help you amply meet your daily needs.

If you prefer, you may also replace it with whole grain bread. 

8. Brown rice

If you want to go for a postpartum diet that can also aid in weight loss, you don’t always have to cut out carbs completely. Go for white rice alternatives like brown rice to maintain your energy. Brown rice will also help you get the calories you need to make better quality milk for your baby. Note that when eating brown rice, you must cook it properly and chew it thoroughly for better digestion.

Postpartum Diet: What to Avoid 

When building a postpartum diet, what to eat is just as vital as what to abstain from to achieve better health during this time.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a favorite spice of many people. And despite its pungent taste, it’s perfectly safe for you and your baby. However, if you eat a lot of garlic, some studies suggest it affects the taste of breastmilk. And other research has found that it can trigger colic in some babies. 

2. Coffee

Though consuming coffee can help you feel more alert and energetic, but it can negatively affect your baby’s sleep. The caffeine in the coffee you drink can make your baby sleepy and irritable.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate also contains caffeine, so it will have the same effect as coffee on your baby’s sleep. If your baby shows signs of insomnia and fusses when you eat chocolate, stop this for a while.

4. Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages such as alcohol can interfere with breastfeeding. Therefore, they are always off the list of foods for mothers after giving birth. The consumption of drinks by the mother can significantly reduce the amount of milk, at the same time make the baby lack of alertness, fatigue and abnormal weight gain .

5. Peanuts

Peanut can easily cause allergic reactions and these reactions are often very serious such as hives, difficulty breathing, diarrhea. So you should be careful to avoid foods with peanuts during this time.

6. Spicy food

Consuming too much spicy food is something to avoid during the postpartum recovery period.

Eating spicy foods can not only irritate the mother’s digestive system, but can also have an adverse effect on the baby’s intestines and blood quality.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Aug 10, 2022

advertisement iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

advertisement iconadvertisement
advertisement iconadvertisement