The importance of food for your healing body after baby

Kamilah Harris, owner of Birthworks South Florida has spent years providing doula services to new and expectant mothers. Her tips for maintaining nutrition after giving birth are simple, healthy, and tasty.

By Lizzie Horton

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Parenting

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We have all heard the old adage, “You are what you eat.”

It turns out that this saying is even more true for post-partum moms, according to Kamilah Harris, owner of Birthworks South Florida.

“For new moms, it can be hard to find time to eat,” says Harris.  “Regardless if you are deciding to breastfeed or formula feed, you need to make sure you eating to replenish your supply,” she explained.

Harris often tells her post-partum clients that meal prep can be key to keeping energy levels up and feeling more energized throughout the day.

Her tips for healthy eating after baby?

  1. Drink as much water as you can! Harris says new moms need as much as 2 liters of water a day at a minimum.
  2. Watch drinks with caffeine because it can affect your baby if breastfeeding.
  3. Eat 5 small meals a day to keep your energy levels up. It’s also challenging to sit down for 3 small meals when caring for baby. Eating smaller meals allows you to eat quicker and digest food more easily.
  4. Have a snack and fluid every time you sit down to nurse, if breastfeeding. When nutrients leave your body, you need to replenish.
  5. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and caffeine and fried foods that can be more difficult to break down.  All of these foods require more energy for your body to process and therefore take energy from you as opposed to giving you energy.

We all know finding time to meal prep can be quite difficult, when you are already exhausted from a lack of sleep and caring for a new life.  She suggests making meals that are easy to prep and can be stored for up to a week and heated for convenience. If you don’t have time? Ask a friend or family member to help, or hire a doula.

Harris often makes mason jar bowls for her clients. “I love bowls because they are simple to store and heat,” she explained.  She prepares everything from salads to grain bowls with protein to overnight oats for her clients.  Her favorite grain is one you might not have heard of, however, a lesser known superseed from Ethiopia.

“I love to use teff because it is high in vitamin A and B and is more nutrient dense,” she shared.  “It also helps with populating gut flora and is a natural probiotic.”

Scroll below for her favorite Teff Bowl Breakfast Recipe.  It’s quick and easy and can be stored for days.

“No matter which bowl you make, it is important to make sure you have a nice balance of daily nutrients,” Harris shared.  Things like grains, vitamins, fiber, protein and a fruit or vegetable are good to start with.

Replenishing vitamins and nutrients is extremely important because hormones are often out of sync in a post-partum body.  “Hormones leave your body so rapidly that you are often depleted nutritionally,” Harris shared.

Simple and Nutritious Teff Grain Bowl

  • Two and a half cups of liquid (we prefer oat milk but add whichever milk you like)
  • One cup of Teff grain
  • Cinnamon
  • Nut butter of your choice
  • Fruits of your choice
  • And hemp seeds or crushed nuts or seeds
Layer the ingredients as you prefer!
So give it a whirl, have a healthy meal, and allow your body to heal and work better.

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