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Exploring nutrition with Pauline: what should I eat when I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

You will be pleased to know that a postpartum diet is similar to what we encourage pregnant women to eat, especially when breastfeeding. So that is one less thing to worry about as baby brain kicks in!

These diets include:

  • Predominantly whole foods — lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good quality proteins. This means eggs, chicken, fish, seafood, nuts/seeds, organic tofu, full-fat dairy.

  • Whole sources of carbohydrates like fruit, whole grains, and starchy vegetables and pairing carb sources with filling, protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, beans, nuts, and seeds.

  • Healthy fats to help with satiety, but focus on portion sizes that promote health and prevent added weight gain.

The following guidelines when planning your meals are useful to keep in mind:

  • Include healthy protein sources at each meal.

  • Include vegetables in at least two meals.

  • Start your day with fiber in conjunction with protein for the perfect combo of energy and sustenance (plus, fiber can help with post-labor constipation...).

  • Eat foods rich in nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, and selenium to help keep your immune system strong.

  • If you have been feeling a little off, eat some bananas, which have lots of potassium.


Key Advice

  • Eating a healthy postpartum diet is a key factor in recovering from pregnancy and childbirth as well as losing weight — if that’s your goal.

  • Before you make any significant tweaks to your current diet though, take some time to just enjoy the gift of being a new mum. Allow room for recovery.

  • Be kind to yourself. Move your body when it feels right. Rest when you need to.

  • Take it slow, and eat for hormone regulation, mental health, and sustained energy. The weight will come off eventually, and you’ll feel much better in the meantime.

And, if this is your first child, welcome to the best club of all – the Mothers Club!!


This blog is part of a series Exploring Nutrition with Pauline. Pauline Jacob is a Thao Dien based Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach and mentor and a member at Cross Fit Thao Dien.


See this article on the Precision Nutrition website for more tips and infographics on nutrition while pregnant.

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