Giving birth is both exhausting and emotional. After the birth, you may feel very tired and with your hormones once again changing, very emotional. Physically, you may feel sore, especially if you have had stitches. A member of your health care team will make sure that you are recovering from the birth and help you with any questions you may have regarding your health or the health of your baby. These pages aim to provide guidance on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle after you have had your baby. You may feel that you donµt have the energy to look after yourself. It is essential that you do, so that you are able to look after, and enjoy, your new baby and the rest of your family.
Keep eating a healthy diet
It is very important to maintain a healthy diet. Not only do you need the energy in the short term to look after your baby, a healthy diet will have long term health benefits for you and your family. You may feel that you don’t have the time to cook, so try quick, healthy meals like baked potatoes with a variety of fillings (e.g. tuna fish or baked beans).
A healthy diet
- Bread, other cereals and potatoes (including breakfast cereals, pasta and rice). These foods should make up the main part of your diet.
- Fruit and vegetables (including fresh, frozen and tinned varieties, salad vegetables, beans and lentils, dried fruit and fruit juice). Eat at least five portions a day (fruit juice counts as only one portion however much you drink in a day).
- Milk and dairy foods. Eat or drink moderate amounts and choose lower fat versions whenever possible.
- Meat, fish and alternatives. Alternatives include eggs, beans and lentils, nuts and textured vegetable protein. Eat moderate amounts and choose lower fat versions whenever possible. Try to eat at least one portion of oily fish (e.g. sardines or salmon) a week.
- Foods containing fat and sugar . Eat sparingly, i.e. infrequently and/or in small amounts.
Your weight and shape
Your body has undergone enormous changes over the last nine months and it is going to take time to get your body back into shape. It may take another nine months or longer. Immediately after the birth, your tummy will still be a lot larger than it was before you were pregnant. Eating healthily and exercising regularly will help, but don’t try to lose weight. Looking after a newborn baby can be very tiring and trying to lose weight after your baby’s birth can make it more tiring and hard work than it needs to be.