"Eat ENOUGH food. This is where you need to put your big girl pants on, ignore the ridiculous cultural push to lose the "baby weight" as fast as possible... and eat like a grown-ass woman."
And, it is said in Chinese medicine, what you eat and how well you take care of yourself during this crucial time has the power to impact your health 20, 30 or more YEARS down the track.
There are other important things to think about in your Golden Month, which I mention here - but of course, being a nutritionist, I believe the food you eat after having a baby is crucial.
Nutritional requirements during recovery and breastfeeding unsurprisingly increase, and in the case of some specific nutrients, quite significantly so.
If you're breastfeeding your requirements for protein, zinc, iodine and vitamin A literally double.
And to produce milk, you need to be getting more overall calories than even during your third trimester of pregnancy; around 500-600 calories more for the first six months postpartum if breastfeeding exclusively (as recommended by the World Health Organisation), which is an extra meal or 2-3 extra snacks a day.
Of course I don't recommend calorie counting and nothing is set in stone - listen to your hunger and fullness cues and you will be fine. Note: If you have a history of or current disordered eating you may find it difficult to follow your body's hunger and fullness cues, in which case seeing a HAES or non-diet health professional would be super helpful for you.
Even if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed, extra nutrition is required to heal from childbirth and replenish your body after nine months of pregnancy.
And if your kids are more school age than newborn, you need some serious fuel to keep up with all the crazy demands asked of you, mama. You have important shit to do and you need energy and nutrients to do it.
So without going into a huge amount of detail on exact postpartum nutrition requirements, here are the three big nutritional principles from TCM you can aim to follow in your Golden Month.
And by the way, nourishing yourself well is as crucial in healing immediately after childbirth, as it is 10 years postpartum. These three tips apply just as much years after your last child is born, as they do as soon as the baby is born.