Postpartum Diet, Nutrition &Amp; Exercise Goals

You have spent nine months preparing for your baby's birth. You have probably read every book, article, and website to make sure you were eating right, exercising at the appropriate level, and taking the necessary vitamins and supplements. Your preparation has paid off!
Goals: Diet, Nutrition & Exercise | Physical, Emotional & Sexual Needs

Now that you have given birth, it is important to keep up the healthy habits you practiced throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor or nurse is the best resource for making sure you are on track. To get ready for your six-week post-delivery visit, review this planner and bring it with you to your check-up. Use it to help discuss your health and well-being with your caregiver.

Diet, Nutrition & Exercise Goals

Weight Loss
Returning to pre-pregnancy weight is a common concern and goal for women. Combining a healthful diet with exercise will help most women lose weight gradually during the months after delivery.


GOAL: Lose weight gradually

  • 4.5 lbs per month maximum after first month post-delivery (except high pre-pregnancy weights)
  • Be patient
  • A minimum of 1,800 calories per day (you may need more if breastfeeding)
  • Drink plenty of fluids (moderate caffeine intake, limited alcohol)

    NutritionA well-balanced and nutritious diet is key for the health and well-being of women throughout the post-delivery period. Nutrients such as calcium and iron are essential for women before, during, and after pregnancy. Vitamin and mineral supplements can help women ensure they consume the nutrients they need.

    GOAL: 1,000 ? 1,300 mg of calcium daily

  • Food sources include low-fat and fat-free dairy products and green leafy vegetables -- such as broccoli, kale, and collards.
  • Most multivitamins and prenatal vitamins, for example, supply less than one-third of the 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium recommended daily.
  • If food choices fall short of supplying the recommended amount of calcium, taking a calcium supplement such as TUMS® with meals can help fill the calcium gap. (Click hereto see Nancy's favorite TUMS -- Smooth Dissolve in assorted fruit flavor. They're the best ones I've found!)

    GOAL: 15 ? 18 mg of iron daily

  • Food sources of iron include lean beef, dried fruits, figs, tofu, oysters and spinach.
  • You may require additional iron from an iron supplement when the interval between pregnancies is short.

    Exercise regularly after delivery and make it a part of daily life. The appropriate level of exercise will depend on your level of fitness and recuperation from delivery. (See fitness features here.)

    GOAL: Strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles; reduce the risk of urinary stress incontinence

  • Ask your caregiver about performing Kegel exercises

    GOAL: Keep bones strong, tone and shape your body

  • Do weight-bearing exercises such as walking or cycling that complement calcium to maintain strong, dense bones.
  • If you're breastfeeding, nurse your baby before exercising to minimize discomfort.


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