Fuel your body in the Fourth Trimester
No matter how amazing your birth was, your body needs time to rest and recover. It isn’t just about connecting your core and pelvic floor again either. Did you know one of the most important things to help your body heal after pregnancy and birth is to eat and hydrate well and make sure you have good bowel movements (meaning not getting constipated).
The fourth trimester is also not the time to think about cutting calories - eat enough to fuel your body and eat good quality food. Don’t skip breakfast (or any meal for that matter).
Eat good quality protein, and lots of it. Protein is found in meat, fish, dairy and pulses and contains amino acids which are the building blocks of collagen. When our bodies and tissues are trying to heal and recover after birth, collagen is really important as we need it to help heal tissues (especially when thinking about pelvic floor tears during delivery and in the case of a diastasis).
Add lots of fresh veg to your diet to give your body lots of fibre to help with regular bowel movements (which are so important for everyone). Constipation really isn’t great if you are suffering from a Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) so it is especially important to eat and drink properly if you have POP.
Stay hydrated. Aim to drink 1-2 litres of water a day. Our cells need to be hydrated so oxygen can get to any wounded tissues and collagen is also 70% water.
You may decide to take a postnatal vitamin supplement to help make sure you are getting the right level of all vitamins and minerals needed and add in Omega 3 as well for it's anti-inflammatory properties.
It can be hard as a new mum to find time to eat anything in those first few weeks, but looking after your body and fuelling it well is really worth the effort and can actually help you heal faster.