food rules for new mums

3 food rules for new mums

Apart from focusing on key foods and nutrients, there are 3 ground rules on eating for new mums below:

Food rules for new mums – Number 1

Remember to eat! Skipping meals is often unavoidable, but going all day with no food leaves you at the mercy of all the snack foods you promised yourself you were not going to eat when you had the baby. You also miss out on nutrients like iron, which can leave you feeling even more tired. Try to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, even if they are not at the conventional times.

Food rules for new mums – Number 2

Say yes to anyone who offers to cook or deliver meals. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to do this for you. It really is worth buying in some ready-made meals to have in the freezer or plan ahead and cook and freeze a few stews, casseroles and Bolognese sauces to have at your fingertips when a crying baby makes actual cooking impossible.

Food rules for new mums – Number 3

Stock your freezer and store cupboard. Frozen bread and baked beans make an instant meal when you haven’t had a chance to get to the shops and tinned fish is great in sandwiches – just add an apple to get one of your five-a-day. Some foods last longer in the fridge than others so they make good options when shopping. Some great foods to stock up on are:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Limes
  • Small pitta breads
  • Whole grain sliced bread
  • Sliced ham
  • Tins of fish
  • Tins of sweetcorn
  • Baked beans
  • Other beans (if you like chickpeas or kidney beans)
  • Good salad dressing
  • Cheese Cherry tomatoes
  • Apples Milk or calcium-fortified soy milk
  • Yoghurts
  • Sunflower seeds

Using Your Stores

Sliced bread and pitta pockets can be stored in the freezer and defrosted in the toaster to eat filled with ham and tomatoes or tinned fish mixed with sweetcorn.

Apples and cherry tomatoes can be eaten alongside your sandwich for some extra vitamins so even if you don’t get a chance to cook dinner, you are still getting some of your five-a-day.

Veg sticks are another great way to boost vitamins and fibre – try this recipe: cut up carrots and cucumber into sticks. Add a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle over a small amount of salt. Leave for five minutes and enjoy (this makes a great replacement for crisps and other salty snacks).

Add sunflower seeds to yogurts for a quick, filling snack or sprinkle them over sliced tomatoes and cucumber with a splash of salad dressing.

Add a tin of salmon for extra protein.

Bean salads a small tin of chickpeas or kidney beans with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, salad dressing and grated cheese.

And finally, don’t stress if you don’t have the perfect diet/figure/house when you have a new baby. ‘Supermum’ is a myth, and getting stressed about the perfect diet is just going to make a demanding time more difficult. It takes most women about six months to get their head around a first baby, so relax, take your time and take any help offered!

More like this:

Top 5 life hacks for new mums
The first 72 hours
Tuna fish cakes


Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….


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Ask Tracey

Midwife Tracey Donegan answers your questions about pregnancy and birth

Q When should I have my first pregnancy scan? And how many scans should I get throughout my pregnancy?

Your first scan is known as your dating scan and is routine in all hospitals. Most mums will have this scan at their booking visit, which can be anywhere between 12-18 weeks. The earlier the scan the more accurate it will be. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages some hospitals will scan you earlier. Contact your antenatal clinic for more information. In Ireland, most women will have two scans in a healthy pregnancy – a dating scan and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, some units provide a dating scan only. Private scans are also available in most cities and many parents use these services for additional reassurance and to find out the sex of their baby.