A Nutritional Guide For Healing After a C-Section

How to Optimize C-Section Healing with Nutrition

If you are wondering how to heal from a c-section with nutrition you are in the right place! Optimal nutrition is essential after a c-section to support tissue healing, digestive function and regain strength. We often hear about the importance of nutrition in pregnancy but we hear WAY less about how to nourish our bodies postpartum. In this article, we will discuss the basics of postpartum nutrition as it pertains to caesarean birth recovery.

5 Nutrients to Focus on for Optimal C-Section Recovery:
  1. Protein
  2. Fibre
  3. Healthy Fats
  4. Iron
  5. Vitamin C
  6. *Honourable Mentions: Zinc, Vitamin A, Hydration
  1. Protein: Postpartum, our protein requirements increase to support healing, breastmilk production, blood sugar regulation, energy and more.

Postpartum we require 1.8g of protein per kg of body weight (Example: 65kg postpartum mom requires about 117g of protein per day)

Protein Sources:

  • 4oz chicken, turkey, or beef: 30g protein
  • 1 can Light Flaked Tuna: 26g protein
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder: 15-30g protein
  • 1 egg: 6g protein
  • 6oz Tofu: 18g protein
  • 0.5 Cups Greek Yogurt: 12g protein
  • 1 cup Soy milk: 8g protein
  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin seed butter: 4g protein
2. Fibre: Constipation and gas are common after a c-section. To keep bowels moving smoothly we need fibre in our daily diets.

After a c-section we require 25-30g of fibre daily

Fibre-Rich Foods:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds: 6g fibre
  • 0.25 cup chickpeas: 8g fibre
  • 0.5 cup raspberries: 4g fibre
  • 5 dried prunes: 5g fibre
  • Apple: 3g fibre
3. Healthy Fats: Omega-3 fats help to reduce inflammation and increase breastmilk production post c-section.

Aim to include a source of healthy fats with each meal and snack.

Sources of Healthy Fats:

  • Fatty fish – Salmon, Trout, Sardines
  • Nuts and seeds – especially
  • Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds
  • Soy products – Soy milk, tofu
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
4. Iron: During pregnancy, iron levels drop and this combined with blood loss during a c-section make this an important nutrient to eat postpartum!

Iron stores are important for energy, mood and healing. *If your iron stores are quite low, you may require a supplement or an iron infusion to support your body – speak with your healthcare provider about these options*

Individualized requirements ranging from 25mg+ of elemental iron daily

Iron-Rich Foods:

  • 4oz beef: 3mg iron
  • 4oz chicken: 1.5mg iron
  • 2 eggs: 1.5mg iron
  • 0.5 cup white beans: 4mg iron
  • 0.5 cup cooked lentils: 3mg
  • 1 cup raw spinach: 3mg
    Tip: Consume Iron-rich foods with vitamin C sources (such as citrus fruits and bright-coloured veggies) to increase iron absorption
5. Vitamin C: Vitamin C supports the formation of new collagen which is crucial in the healing of tissue after a c-section.

We require 1000mg Vitamin C daily

Vitamin C-Rich Foods:

  • 0.5 Red Bell Pepper: 100mg vitamin C
  • 1 Orange: 70mg vitamin C
  • 1 Kiwi: 65mg vitamin C
  • 0.5 cup strawberries: 50mg vitamin C
  • 1 cup cooked kale: 50mg vitamin C
6. Honourable Mentions:
  • Zinc: Important for healing of tissues. Include foods such as pumpkin seeds, beef, lentils, and Greek yogurt
  • Vitamin A: Important for healing of tissues. Include foods such as sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin, carrots and peppers
  • Hydration: Important for reducing constipation, supporting healing and breastmilk production. Aim for 3L of water daily.

Now you know how to heal from a c-section with nutrition. Would you like to know which supplements to add it to speed c-section healing? How about safe exercise to support regaining strength and healing core and addressing disatisis? This is exactly what we do at Flourish! Book a Complimentary 1:1 Discovery Call now to learn how to optimize healing from a c-section and Flourishing postpartum!

Book a Complimentary 1:1 Discovery Call 

Congratulations and Welcome to Flourish!

Dr. Jaime Enns

Book a Complimentary Discovery Call with a Flourish ND now to learn more about how you can heal and thrive post c-section! 

Does Caffeine Impact Fertility and Pregnancy?

Does caffeine impact fertility and pregnancy?

The short answer is less than 200mg caffeine is safe for low risk pregnancies or less than 100mg for high risk women. 

  • In 1997 a study found that caffeine consumption >500mg/day increased the time to took to get pregnant by 11%
  • In 1998 the research said that Caffeine alone did not impact getting pregnant but it enhanced the negative effect of alcohol on conception probability
  • In 2011 it was found that unknown cause of miscarriage is significantly higher in women who drank caffeine preconception, or during first trimester. Miscarriages associated with caffeine are commonly of normal karyotype (no genetic abnormalities causing miscarriage) and risk increased at as low as 100 mg of caffeine per day
  • In 2018 research suggested huge biases in the previous coffee and miscarriage research
  • In 2019 a study found Caffeine increases miscarriage risk
  • In 2020 Coffee/caffeine intake is associated with bleeding in early pregnancy

Bottom line  – Does Caffeine Impact Fertility and Pregnancy?

  • The average woman who is trying to get pregnant should aim for <200mg/day. Remember black tea and chocolate will also contain caffeine so keep this in mind if you love coffee!
  • If miscarriage risk is increased cut that in half and aim for <100mg of caffeine per day

You’re probably wondering what 100-200mg of caffeine looks like. Here is a recent Instagram post I did about caffeine content of two of the most popular Canadian coffee shops: 

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