Key foods to help stimulate growth during postpartum.
After pregnancy and childbirth, ensuring that tissue is continuing to grow is important for the healing process. Whether it’s for wound healing, stretch marks or getting your hair feeling thick and full again, nutrition can play a key role.
Hair loss, in particular, can be quite distressing for some women, and it can be hard to understand why it is happening. When we are pregnant our increased level of oestrogen prevents our hair from falling out. Once baby is born hormone levels drop dramatically and you will start to notice that your hair loss increases each day. It takes around 3 months for the extra hair we held onto during pregnancy to completely shed, which is when most mums start to notice the change in how their hair looks and feels… Que the clumps of hair in the shower!
So, with that in mind let’s take a look at some of the main nutrients to include when trying to promote growth:
Protein is the main macronutrient involved in tissue growth, from everything from muscles to hormones. So, to make sure your body recovers quickly, and growth is stimulated, eat plenty of foods high in protein throughout the day. To maximise growth, spread your intake evenly throughout the day if you can, for example 3 high protein meals, plus snacks.
Collagen is a protein in the skin, muscles and joints giving them their strength and elasticity. It is central to the growth and regeneration of new tissue in the body and is what gives skin its strength and elasticity. Collagen is formed naturally in the body, but certain foods can help to stimulate its production.
Vitamin A is another important nutrient to stimulate growth. Not only does it promote collagen formation, but it is also needed by pretty much all of the cells in the body so is a really important one to include postpartum.
Protein which can be found in: Meat, Poultry, Dairy products such as, milk yoghurt and cheese, Bean & Legumes and Soya Products
Collagen which can be found in: Eggs, Meat, Dairy and Nuts *Foods high in vitamin C also help to stimulate collagen production within the body so include plenty of these too.
Vitamin A which can be found in: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Pumpkins and Dark green leafy veg such as spinach and kale.
* Always consult your GP if you experience any side affects during postpartum that do not ease or get better over a period of time.