Nutritional tips for new mums

If, like the Duchess of Cambridge, you have recently given birth, here are a few simple nutritional tips for new mums by new mum and nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire, adviser to the Natural Hydration Council.


  1. Stock up. You and your partner will probably be too busy with your new baby to shop regularly, so try to plan meals ahead and stock up cupboards and freezers with key staples such as wholegrain rice and pasta, high-quality protein sources e.g. quinoa, lean red meat and chicken, and oily fish, along with a range of frozen fruits and vegetables.
  2. Cook in bulk. Buying in bulk and cooking in bulk (and freezing smaller meal portions) tends not only to be more cost effective but can help to save time in the evenings when you are likely to be bathing your baby and putting them to bed
  3. Don’t diet. Dieting can deprive the body of important nutrients that are needed to replenish what has been used during pregnancy and support milk production if choosing to feed your baby this way.
  4. Eat and drink regularly. Keeping simple snacks in your baby bag such as bananas or some mixed fruit and nuts along with a bottle of water may help to give you an energy boost and a refreshing lift when you need it.
  5. Drink water. Consume plenty of water. Aim for 2 litres of fluids daily, or 2.7 litres (about another three glasses of water) if choosing to breast feed (breast milk is about 90 per cent water). Water can come from both beverages and moisture providing foods such as melon, and yoghurts. In terms of beverages choices water is a good choice for new mums as it is calorie and sugar free.
  6. Opt for iron-rich foods. Pregnancy and birth can take its toll on your iron stores so it’s important to eat plenty of iron-rich foods after birth to top these back up. Lean red meat (beef and lamb) are particularly good sources of iron that are absorbed readily by the body. Other iron-rich foods include squash, pumpkin seeds, beans and lentils.
  7. B-vitamins for energy. Tiredness and fatigue can be all too common after birth. Eating foods rich in the B-vitamin family may help to boost your energy levels. These include: eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, lean red meat and wholegrains such as brown rice and wholemeal bread.
  8. Cook-some oily fish. Oily fish is great for your general health, skin and mental well-being. Oily fish are a source of essential omega-3 fatty acids i.e. those that our bodies cannot produce in adequate amounts, meaning that we need to get them from our diet. For breast feeding mums it is advised that no more than two portions of oily fish should be eaten as they could contain certain pollutants however, try not let this put you off eating oily fish altogether!
  9. Top up with a supplement. Being a busy new mum can mean that it can be difficult to get the amounts of nutrients that you need from foods alone. You therefore may consider topping up your dietary intakes with a general multivitamin and mineral supplement, or a specially formulated supplement if opting to breast feed
  10. Don’t forget about yourself. Remember to stop and do something for yourself. Be it to make a cup of tea, have a glass of water, or have a quick snack. You and baby will then feel better for this.

One Response to Nutritional tips for new mums

  1. Maximilian says:

    This is a great advice for the most part but is excludes us vegans. Especially on the sources of long chain fatty acids. Don’t suppose you could recommend some other natural sources for vegans?

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