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What Not to Eat After Giving Birth



5 min read

Food to Avoid After Giving Birth

by Team Thinx | 01/28/2024

When you are on your postpartum journey, it involves not only embracing the joys of motherhood but also making mindful choices about your diet and postpartum nutrition for optimal recovery and well-being. In this guide, we'll explore what not to eat after giving birth, shedding light on dietary choices that can impact postpartum recovery. From potential reasons to avoid certain foods to suggesting healthier alternatives, this article aims to empower new parents with the knowledge they need for a nourishing postpartum experience.

a mother's diet and breastfeeding

In the initial days of postpartum recovery, the importance of a well-balanced diet cannot be overstated. As a new mom, what you eat directly influences your energy levels, the quality of your breast milk, and your overall recovery. In this section, we'll establish the connection between a mother's diet and breastfeeding for a deeper dive into what not to eat postpartum.

what not to eat postpartum

Bringing a new life into the world is a transformative experience, and postpartum nutrition plays a crucial role in recovery and well-being. While there's a lot of wholesome food to embrace, it's equally important to be mindful of what to avoid. Here's a list of what not to eat postpartum, offering insights into dietary choices that can impact your postpartum journey.

  1. high-mercury fish: Avoid fish with high mercury content, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Opt for low-mercury alternatives like salmon, trout, and shrimp for essential omega-3 fatty acids without the risk.

  2. processed foods: Steer clear of heavily processed foods, as they often contain added preservatives, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Focus on whole, nutrient-dense food to fuel your recovery.

  3. caffeine in excess: While a moderate amount of caffeine is generally considered safe, excessive intake may interfere with your sleep and contribute to dehydration. Monitor your caffeine consumption, including coffee, tea, and energy drinks.

  4. spicy foods: Spicy foods can potentially upset your baby's delicate stomach through breast milk. Limit your intake of spicy dishes and pay attention to your baby's reactions.

  5. raw or undercooked seafood and eggs: To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, avoid raw or undercooked seafood and eggs. Opt for fully cooked alternatives to ensure food safety.

  6. highly allergenic food: If you're breastfeeding, be cautious with highly allergenic food like nuts, shellfish, and dairy, as they could potentially cause allergic reactions in your baby.

  7. alcohol: While moderate alcohol consumption might be acceptable for some, try to limit or avoid alcohol during breastfeeding,

  8. excessive dairy products: Excessive dairy consumption may lead to digestive issues for both you and your baby. Monitor your intake and consider alternatives if you notice any negative reactions.

  9. food known to cause gas: Certain foods like beans, cabbage, and carbonated beverages can cause gas, potentially discomforting both you and your baby. Gradually introduce these foods and observe any reactions.

  10. sugary treats: While the occasional treat is fine, be mindful of excessive sugar intake. Opt for healthier sweet alternatives and maintain a balanced diet.

  11. highly spiced or flavored food: Intensely spiced or heavily flavored food might alter the taste of breast milk. Moderation is key to ensuring your baby's acceptance of breast milk. 

Life after giving birth involves making informed choices for the benefit of both you and your baby. By being mindful of what not to eat postpartum, you can contribute to a healthier and more comfortable recovery period. Remember, every individual is unique, so be sure to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized dietary guidance.

healthy alternatives

Navigating the postpartum dietary landscape involves more than knowing what to avoid — it's about embracing healthier alternatives. Let's quickly explore practical and nourishing options that can contribute to your postpartum well-being and support a smooth recovery.

  1. nutrient-rich substitutes: Swap processed snacks with nutrient-dense alternatives. Choose whole fruits, veggies, and nuts as satisfying snacks that provide essential vitamins and minerals.

  2. lean protein sources: Opt for lean meat and protein options like skinless poultry, fish, tofu, or legumes. These choices offer a protein boost and nutrients without excess saturated fats.

  3. healthy fat: Incorporate sources of healthy fat, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. These fats are crucial for postpartum recovery and can be part of a well-balanced diet.

  4. dairy alternatives: If dairy is on your avoid list, consider plant-based alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk to meet your calcium needs.

  5. hydration heroes: Especially for nursing mothers, prioritize hydration with water, herbal teas, and fresh juices. Staying well-hydrated is essential for postpartum recovery and supports overall health.

  6. whole grains: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread for a fiber-rich alternative to refined grains.

  7. mindful sweet choices: You can satisfy your sweet cravings with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. These options provide sweetness without the added refined sugars.

  8. balanced meal planning: Plan balanced meals that include a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This approach ensures you get a variety of nutrients essential for recovery.

navigating your postpartum journey with Thinx

Navigating postpartum nutrition involves steering clear of dietary pitfalls while embracing choices that foster recovery and being your best self. Thinx is here to support you on this journey with our range of postpartum underwear, aligning with our mission to be an innovative leader in creating comfortable and inclusive period products for all of life's leaks. As you prioritize your well-being, remember that the choices you make extend beyond your plate.


WebMD. New Mom’s Guide to Nutrition after Childbirth. 

Quantic Web Technologies. Food Items to Avoid after Pregnancy. 

HDCF ERGO. Know All about Postpartum Diet Restrictions. 

by Team Thinx

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