When I became a doula, it was important to me to support women in the…
Did you know that 1 out of 5 women goes INTO pregnancy deficient in iron? And stays that way through pregnancy and childbirth? And that we lose half a quart of blood during a vaginal birth, and twice that in a belly birth? So many women are completely unaware of this, which leaves them much more susceptible to anemia and a whole host of other issues that come along with iron deficiency.
Iron is really important because…
- It’s a mineral NOT naturally produced in our bodies
- It helps your body make red blood cells and hemoglobin. This helps replenish your blood supply and carry oxygen throughout your body to energize your cells (very important for postpartum recovery)
- It also helps remove Carbon Dioxide from your body
- It helps with circulation and healing of the uterus, connective tissue, and more
So, how can you actively replenish iron to ensure you support your body after birth? Simple. Make sure you eat iron-rich foods, such as…
- Red meat
- Organ meats like liver
- Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens
Plant-based sources of iron (called non-heme) are not as easily absorbed in our bodies so it’s important to pair them with foods high in vitamin C which increases the bioavailability of iron. Foods high in vitamin C are:
- Bell peppers (especially the yellow peppers)
- Kiwi (also very high in fiber which is helpful in the poop department)
Speaking of fiber… notice how the vitamin C-rich foods (of which there are certainly many more) are also high in fiber? We like that. During postpartum (and always), making sure we have a regular intake of fiber will help ease digestion. And pooping. If you are suffering from hemorrhoids this is especially important because any level of constipation or hard poops can make the situation worse. And it hurts like hell.
Foods high in fiber…
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Chia seeds (so easy to add to everything!)
And what does fiber need to move easily and efficiently through us? Hydration! (It always comes back to water doesn’t it?) Water is good for everything. Seriously. It helps prevent constipation, it supports your blood volume, and honestly? Every single system in our bodies needs proper hydration to function well.
When you are recovering from an event like childbirth, all of these systems need extra support. Your body is working overtime in every department. And since you’re already hard at work, I want to make it easy and accessible for you to nourish and replenish your glorious mom bod (read more about that here) with this delicious, hydrating, fiber-filled, iron-building smoothie.
Send your partner or mom or friend or whoever this article so they can make you one 🙂
Meet the Postpartum Power Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1-2 cooked beets, roughly chopped
- 5 or so leaves of kale or chard
- Large handful of spinach
- 2 oranges, peeled
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- ½ an avocado or 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
- A few ice cubes
- Optional (scoop of collagen powder for bonus support in tissue repair)
- Throw it all in a blender and blend.