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Baby Matters

Bloat, and the Baby Blues

January 1st, 2016

By Loretta Friedrich, C.H.N.

Happy new baby! Happy new... wait a minute. Your baby is here but you may find it a bit of a stretch to celebrate. Are you experiencing any bloating, gas or indigestion? What about forgetfulness, lack of energy or low mood? You are not alone! The good news is you can find relief that can help with tummy trouble and brain blips. However, if you are experiencing an overwhelming sense of despair or unusual / unexplained abdominal pain or discomfort, please immediately seek professional or medical help.

Nutrition Aid and Support

No food should ever be touted as the “magic pill;” some nutrients offer more digestive aid and cognitive support than others. Consider the following to help to steady the stomach and boost your brainpower:

Fiber – Flatulence may indicate a sluggish system. Natural fiber can help to keep you moving while providing much needed nutrients for brain health. Include seeds like ground flax or chia, and vegetables in your daily diet for marvelous movement. Did you know that dates and avocado also contain fiber too? Native fruits like organic apples, pears, and peaches with the peel are good choices as well most berries. You can make a yummy chia seed pudding by mixing 1/3 cup chia seeds with 1 ½ cups dairy or non-dairy milk like coconut milk or almond milk. You can consume in about an hour or soak overnight to enjoy for breakfast. In the morning, mix this quick meal with fruit and a small handful of nuts for heaps of nutrition, fiber and taste.

Oil – Many studies emphasize the importance of consuming good oil to help mood fluctuations, provide beneficial energy, and encourage sleep. Coconut oil, ultra-premium extra-virgin olive oil, or camelina oil can be used in salad dressings and as finishing oils. Drizzle over popcorn for an easy, flavorful and fiber-strong snack. These particular oils are also ideal for cooking, baking, and light sautéing since they all have a high smoke point (475°F). Additionally, if you choose to eat avocado, your body will benefit from both fiber and oil.

Hydration – It is vital you receive enough liquid to assist with postpartum recovery. Fluid is needed for milk production, energy, clear-thinking, bowel movement, and weight release. Enjoy herbal tea, coconut water, and fresh organic lemon, berry or lime water. I suggest you increase liquid levels by eating watery vegetables and fruits like cucumber, celery, and watermelon. Consider avoiding caffeinated and sugary drinks to limit unnecessary stimulation for both you and baby. You want to sleep, right?

Food for Thought or Not

Spices - If it is not usual for you to consume spices you may not want to experiment at this time; however, in the Ayurvedic world spices like cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric are said to assist with postpartum recovery. (If you are not sure please check with your doctor especially if you are taking medication or are breastfeeding.) Cinnamon for example, can be used in stews, smoothies, porridges, and hot drinks to add flavor and balance blood sugar which helps disposition.

Foods to avoid – To protect your baby while nursing, you may want to avoid eating allergic-potential foods like peanuts, citrus, and even dairy. No matter what, it is best not to consume copious amounts of processed food, sweets, and stimulants whether or not you are breastfeeding. You want to keep your mood balanced and digestion at its peak to protect against the bloat and baby blues.

Loretta Friedrich is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, educator, speaker, writer, food lover, community supporter, health advocate, and owner of Sprout Natural Nutritional Consulting. Visit for more information.

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