How to keep your energy levels up as a new mum

Nutritional therapist Nicky Duffell shares with us her tips for keeping energised in those early baby days

When you’re a new mum your energy is low; you’re not sleeping, all your focus is on your new baby and your nutrition stores will be depleted from pregnancy and childbirth. Chances are you’ll be grabbing the quickest and easiest thing to eat and not giving it much thought. But making a few small changes can really help to keep you nourished and give you a bit more energy in those early days. Here’s a few tips to help you feel alive:

  • Eat 3 meals a day. It can be hard when you’re looking after a baby but in order to have energy you need the fuel for your body. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as a minimum; even if breakfast happens to be at 11am when the baby is sleeping.
  • Eat protein with every meal. Protein takes longer to digest and therefore gives you sustained energy. Good sources of protein are nuts, seeds, eggs, cheese, fish and meat.
  • Always have a nutritious snack at hand; fruit and nuts, yoghurt and fruit, crudités and hummus, oatcakes and nut butter. If you’re hungry make sure you eat.
  • You’ll likely want to reach for the sugar but that’s the worst thing you can do for energy so try to avoid biscuits, chocolate and cakes. These foods spike your blood sugar, so insulin is released to take the sugar out of the blood, insulin usually overcompensates and then you end up with low blood sugar and in an energy slump. It becomes a vicious circle as you’ll want to reach for the sugar again. So avoid these foods they only deplete your body of energy in the long run.
  • If you feel like you need a hit of energy and want something sugary have an ’emergency only’ stash of energy bars such as Nakd, Aduna, Raw Bit and Planet Organic (but keep them for emergencies only as they’re still high in sugar).
  • Don’t try to be superwoman in the beginning. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Sleep is when the body repairs itself, it’s also the time you rest and recuperate, so don’t worry about the chores or anything else just rest.