Pregnancy and the postpartum period provide an excellent opportunity to permanently adopt healthful nutritional changes, including increased fruit, vegetable and whole grain intake. Aim to follow a healthy, nutrient-dense diet similar to that recommended by USDA’s MyPyramid (www.MyPyramid.gov/). For at least the first month or two postpartum, also be sure to continue prenatal vitamins to help replenish your nutrient stores. Consider an omega-3 fatty acid (DHA, EPA or ALA) supplement for your heart health, and, if you’re breastfeeding, to help your baby’s cognitive, visual and cardiovascular development.
Keep in mind that breastfeeding moms expend an additional 500 calories per day. Not only does this help to kickstart your postpartum weight loss, but breastfeeding also provides innumerable benefits to you and your baby!