5 Important Nutrients for Postpartum Recovery

In Myanmar where culture is very family oriented, a mother in postpartum recovery is the concern of the whole family. Everyone inputs what they think is the best for the mother, but all do agree that it is important that mothers get healthy nutrition to aid in their recovery after delivery. While there are many myths and interpretations about postpartum diets, it is crucial that there is a healthy balance of these five nutrients for optimal recovery. Before subscribing to a certain type of diet, it is important to consult a Medical Professional in that area to see if it is suitable for you.



Blood loss is a common occurrence during delivery and for mothers who bleed more than usual, may feel faint, shortness of breath and loss of appetite. This is because through bleeding, the body is losing iron and the mother may have an iron deficiency to begin with. If the bleeding after delivery does not stop, it is a condition known as lochia. In such times, iron is crucial in order for the body to make new blood cells for the ones lost. Supplying a postpartum recovering mother with iron-rich foods like lean meats, liver, clams, oysters, fortified cereal and green leafy vegetables is recommended. As Myanmar women tend to practice religious food observances during crucial points of their lives, if going vegetarian, under your doctor’s advice, you may take iron supplements to fill in what you are missing from non veg food items. To increase iron absorption, postpartum mothers can either eat more vitamin c rich foods or take vitamin c supplements. Though in Asian tradition, ‘tea’ may be considered the universal cure for anything, please avoid drinking excessive black tea as the tannic acid in tea may decrease the absorption of iron.


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essentially crucial for development of healthy nerve tissues, stimulating brain functions, and proper blood cell production. Because mothers with Vitamin B12 deficiency are prone to anemia, it is recommended that they eat plenty of clams, tuna, liver, beef and salmon, pretty much any animal product. If a mother does not much prefer eating meats or seafood, she can look for fortified cereals and dairy products that contain vitamin B12. A vitamin supplement can be added to the diet if the mother has vegan dietary needs or if there is difficulty in consuming meat and most vegetables.



Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid, through supplementary foods is essential because a human body alone does not produce enough of it. DHA is one of the main components of brain tissue. Besides helping reduce inflammation, it can also help reduce the risk of postpartum depression. DHA alone may not be able to provide full coverage on preventing postpartum depression; having higher levels can help regulate it because the part it plays in serotonin production. Food items like Salmon, sardines, fortified eggs and certain dairy are known to be rich in DHA. A mother also has the option to use the aid of DHA supplements, but only after the guidance of a Medical Professional.



Choline, a form of vitamin B that is not commonly mentioned when it comes to postpartum recovery diet, but actually is very much needed. It supports many bodily functions and for the overall health of a mother. A mother’s body makes this vitamin, but needs to incorporate food such as eggs, quinoa and organ meats like liver into postpartum meals to get adequate amounts. Choline helps ease the symptoms of decreased focus and memory loss after delivery.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D supports a mother’s general immune system, reduces her risk of postpartum depression and alleviates anxiety. While just by being out in the sun allows your body to produce Vitamin D, opportunity to do so may be lacking sometimes. The body actually needs that extra boost of Vitamin D because it does not produce enough at the rate it needs, especially if a mother is going to be indoors most of the time. Fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, fortified dairy, eggs and orange juice are great sources of Vitamin D. A healthy diet and good nutrition is not only important during pregnancy, it is also important postpartum because it helps the body to heal.



  1. https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/nutrition/important-nutrients#