Those early days with a newborn baby can be pretty relentless. Factor in unwelcome guests such as cluster feeding, colic, engorged breasts and even fourth-trimester anxiety, and day-to-day life can feel pretty exhausting. As a result, those small but valuable moments of self-care and attempts to look after anyone other than your baby can be a real challenge.
It’s important to remember that to provide the best care for your baby, you must be looking after yourself too. Getting rest when you can as well, staying hydrated and eating a balanced and nutritious diet is now more important than ever, giving you the energy you need to get through even the most challenging of days.
If you’re feeling particularly tired or overwhelmed, here are some suggestions for energy-boosting snacks for the fourth trimester that can help you take the newborn days in your stride.
Packed full of fibre and potassium whilst being low in sugar – bananas can not only keep you fuller for longer but can crave your sweet tooth whilst avoiding the unwanted energy crash that comes with sweet and sugary treats. They are also fairly convenient to eat and easily accessible, allowing you to eat even one-handed whilst holding your baby or cut into small bite-sized chunks to snack on whilst breastfeeding.
Late afternoon and early evening can be the most challenging part of the day as a new Mom. That 3 pm slump can leave you feeling tired and lethargic, which is when reaching for a coffee or sugary snack may be even more tempting than usual. Instead of sugary snacks or crisps, why not opt for a small handful of nuts such as walnuts or almonds? Full of both protein and fibre, they will give your energy levels a much-needed boost that will help you stay awake until bedtime – no matter how sleep-deprived you may be!
A big boost of vitamin C can do wonders for your energy levels and improve your overall mood and well-being too. Vitamin C can also help you absorb iron from your foods – something which can be particularly helpful if you’re a little iron deficient on anaemic after pregnancy. Using fresh or frozen fruit, mix up a smoothie with natural yoghurts to create a refreshing and satisfying treat. Some of the best energy-boosting fruits include oranges, bananas and watermelon – but any fruit-based natural sugars will do! Pick your favourites and throw them all in!
Switching to whole grain options for your everyday foods such as bread, rice and pasta is not only a more healthier choice but offers slow-release energy that can provide boosts throughout the whole day. Having a more substantial breakfast such as eggs on wholemeal toast, can keep you topped up nicely until lunch, and prevent you from reaching for the biscuit jar.
Probably the most important of them all – keep your hydration levels up. It is recommended that you drink around 2 litres (approximately 8 glasses) of water a day, and doing so can really make a difference to your mood and energy levels by flushing out toxins and replenishing the water lost through breastfeeding. Whilst you may notice that increased fluids mean your trips to the bathroom increase initially, your body will soon adjust and start to reap the benefits.
What other energy-boosting snacks would you recommend for the fourth trimester?