Post-partum health tips: how to hit the ground running!

Mother holding new born baby

In part two of her series, nutritionist Stacey Gross discusses some post-partum health tips on how to quickly get back to your normal routine! Read part one here.

Now that you have the full and in-depth deets on the processes that I underwent post-partum, here are some great post-partum health tips starting with:

I took some key supplements

Ashwaghanda: an adaptagenic herb that helps modulate stress

B-Complex: supports the nervous system, cell repair, hormone metabolism

Cod Liver Oil: supports the nervous system, cell repair, insulin sensitivity, healthy inflammatory response, lactation

I got outside

Another hormone, melatonin, which is regulated by our circadian rhythms and exposure to light, is also important for overall hormonal health. Hormones are intricately connected, so when one hormone is out of whack, others most likely will be too.

Exposing your eyes and skin to the sun during the day and experiencing close to complete darkness at night helps to regulate melatonin and in turn regulates serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones. This helps other hormones fall into place as well. An added bonus is exposure to fresh air surrounded by nature. Have you heard of forest bathing? Some cultures recommend it as a prescription to health.

I moved my body

The root of all disease is stagnation. This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine concept and as anyone who has experienced a yoga high or runners high can attest to, euphoria experienced after exercise can be amazing. Not that I was sprinting anywhere quickly, post-partum, and a mere walk around the block was challenging at first, but moving my body most days helped to ease the tension from caring for a newborn with sleepless nights and countless hours sitting in a chair nursing. In addition, exercise causes the heart to pump faster carrying blood and nutrients around the body.

I ate supportive foods

This is an important time to mention the following post-partum health tip: the holistic approach to health views the whole body as interconnected. Hormones are especially interconnected and sensitive to each other. To help replace the nutrients that I lost through birth, pregnancy, and breast feeding it was extremely important to eat a nutrient-dense diet post-partum.

Growing a baby is hard work, hard on the body, and hard on the nutrient stores it is capable of collecting. Even with the increase in blood volume during pregnancy, there is considerable blood loss with birth as well as tissue damage from birthing a placenta, and even physical trauma. Iron, zinc, selenium, B-vitamins and amino acids all play a part in rehabilitation here. Zinc is crucial for cell repair and supports the immune system, which is critical for a newborn, while breastmilk contains minerals and a good portion of fat, so eating enough of these during the postpartum period is important for milk supply. B-vitamins help support the nervous system, hormone metabolism, and cell repair.

Hormones are created from cholesterol, which is also found in every cell of the body giving cell walls their structure.

To support a developing fetus and for rebounding hormones postpartum, it is important to consume some cholesterol.

Cholesterol-containing foods are mainly from animal sources, which also contain additional vitamins and minerals important during pregnancy and post-partum. Vitamin A supports hormone health and tissue repair. Calcium, magnesium, and other minerals support the bone health of mom and baby. Sulfur in onions and garlic support the liver which metabolizes hormones.

Antioxidants found in vegetables help to calm inflammation that can inhibit healing. Fiber from vegetables helps to keep the bowels moving which, for comfort reasons, is especially important following birth. Complex carbohydrates provide slow-digesting carbohydrates, which release steady energy while caring for a newborn. This helps to regulate insulin, which in turn helps to normalize all other hormones.

Here are some of the meals that I relied on to help support my recovery as well as aid milk supply to ensure healthy growth of my newborn.

Lamb Stew with Mashed Garlic Sweet Potatoes

Lamb: some key nutrients it contains are amino acids, B-vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron

Broth: some key nutrients it contains are amino acids, gelatin, calcium and magnesium

Onion, Carrots, Celery: some key nutrients they contain are antioxidants, trace minerals, folate, sulfur, fiber

Garlic: some key nutrients it contains are manganese, B6, selenium, antioxidants, sulfur

Sweet Potato: some key nutrients it contains are fiber, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, trace minerals

Pastured Butter: some key nutrients it contains are vitamin A, selenium, healthy fats, cholesterol

Buckwheat Soda Bread loaded with Pastured Butter and Organic Apple Butter

Buckwheat: some key nutrients it contains are trace minerals, antioxidants, fiber

Pastured Butter: some key nutrients it contains are vitamin A, selenium, healthy fats, cholesterol

Apple: some key nutrients it contains are fiber, antioxidants, minerals

Turkey with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Turkey: some key nutrients it contains are B-vitamins, selenium, iron, zinc, amino acids

Brussels Sprouts: some key nutrients it contains are fiber, trace minerals, vitamin A, choline

Nettle Tea: some key nutrients it contains are B-vitamins, vitamin A, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals


Now that you’ve got my post-partum health tips down, I hope that your recovery goes as well as mine!

Stacey Gross smiling Stacey Gross Master Nutrition Therapist Stacey Gross is a Master Nutrition Therapist and owner of Real Food, Real Health, LLC. As a Master Nutrition Therapist, she counsels individuals on how and why to implement diet changes for improved health and quality of life.