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Mother’s Day Special: Healthy Food For Moms After Second Pregnancy

Mother's day is an international festival celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May. The day marks the importance and contribution of mother, motherly figures and maternal bonds in the family and society.

Pregnancy is the most delightful yet tough phase in many women's lives. Second pregnancy could be a bit different from the first due to different symptoms such as big bump and more kicks, along with exhaustion that comes with handling another child while being pregnant.

After the second pregnancy, women need additional calories and micronutrients to support their body, maintain lactation and to meet the daily energy requirements to taking care of two children.

Studies say that lactating women need extra calories of around 500 Kcal per day, which equals two extra meals, during the first six months to continue providing nutrition to the baby while breastfeeding, and to her body. [1]

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If a proper diet is not maintained, it may sometimes lead to deprivation of certain nutrients due to extra domestic workloads, mental tensions and untimely meals.

In this article, we will discuss some of the healthy foods for moms after their second pregnancy. These foods must be an essential part of their daily diet to improve their overall health. Take a look.

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Healthy Food For Moms After Second Pregnancy

1. Carrots

Carrot is rich in vitamin A; some studies say that lactating women need one high dose of vitamin A to support their body by maintaining the daily energy requirements and to transfer it to the feeding child for their growth and development. [2]

2. Meat

Meat or meat products are a good source of dietary iron in a heme form. A human body is able to absorb around 25 per cent of heme iron that comes from meat products, while 2-13 per cent in non-heme forms that come from plants. Iron helps prevent weakness and lethargy after the delivery. [1]

3. Papaya

Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is also a vital antioxidant vitamin. It helps replenish the lost vitamins of the body and boost immunity after the second pregnancy. [3]

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4. Seaweed

This edible sea vegetable is one of the richest sources of iodine. According to the American Thyroid Association, breastfeeding mothers should consume around 290 mcg of iodine daily to prevent the risk of thyroid dysfunction in the baby. Iodine also helps in infant growth and neurological development.

5. Chickpeas

A breastfeeding mother requires around 500 mcg of folic acid to meet the daily requirements. This nutrient is transferred to the baby through breastmilk. As chickpeas are a rich source of folate, they may help provide nutrition to both the mother and the baby. [4]

6. Mango

This delicious summer fruit not only helps prevent summer-related illnesses such as sunstroke and dehydration, but is also essential for the mother's body to increase the content of breast milk, maintain the overall health and support the development of the child.

7. Fish

Fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and swordfish are excellent sources of iron and omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA). These nutrients help in the psychomotor neurodevelopment of the baby in the first few months supplied through breastmilk. [5]

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8. Spinach

This green leafy vegetable is packed with vitamin A and supports the mom's body during lactation period. One must remember to not overcook spinach as it may reduce the content of vitamin A in the vegetable. [6]

9. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is overloaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Consumption of this excellent summer food may help moms after their second pregnancy to boost their health and immunity.

10. Beans

Beans such as red kidney, lima and navy beans contain a large amount of iron in the form of non-heme. Iron helps prevent the risk of anaemia post delivery caused due to excess blood loss. The nutrient also helps build red blood cells in both mother and the baby.

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11. Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein, vitamin D and iodine, three of the vital nutrients required by moms after the pregnancy, especially the second pregnancy. This food item prevents the risk of nutritional deficiencies in lactating women and improves their health. [7]

12. Bell peppers

This veggie is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin E, iron and folate. Bell pepper supports the grown and development of the baby and also supports the maternal body by increasing the production of red blood cells.

13. Sweet potato

Just a medium sweet potato is enough to provide the daily vitamin A requirement to breastfeeding moms. Vitamin A is vital to improve bone health, vision, immunity and production of red blood cells.

14. Orange

According to a study, the recommended amount of vitamin C for breastfeeding women is 120 mg daily and for feeding babies is 40 mg daily. Orange is a good source of vitamin C and thus, may help achieve the recommended nutritional amount in both mother and the baby [8]

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15. Broccoli

This green leafy vegetable is packed with antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C. After the second delivery, this veggie may help provide the required content of vitamins, when consumed daily.

16. Sunflower seeds

A great source of vitamin E and folic acid, sunflower oil helps support the growth of feeding babies and is crucial to preventing the risk of leukopenia, anaemia and thrombocytopenia in mothers. [9]

17. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a powerhouse of vital nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin A, protein, iron and phosphorus, all the nutrients which are essential to promote good immunity and mental well-being of the mother after the second pregnancy.

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18. Wheat germ oil

Wheat germ oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin E and antioxidant minerals like zinc. When consumed after the second pregnancy, it can help promote skin wellness and prevent the risk of dryness, spots and eczema.

19. Milk

Milk is rich in calcium, a nutrient that is essential for a mother to maintain bone mass and for babies to prevent the risk of rickers. The recommended intake of calcium in lactating women should be 1 g per day. Less than 300 mg per day of calcium can cause calcium deficiency in both mother and babies. [10]

20. Cashew

Nuts like cashew provide nutrients such as zinc, vitamin K, iron and protein. Its consumption is related to the improvement of the immune system in mothers and increased production of breastmilk.

21. Chicken

For mothers who have had C-section delivery, foods such as chicken breast which are rich in phosphorus, protein and zinc, can help speed up the recovery process, boost the production of milk and prevent the deficiency of the aforementioned nutrients.

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To Conclude

Importance of a good lifestyle and dietary habits, especially after the second pregnancy, increases to ensure the maternal physiological and psychological well-being and to support the infant's health.

If you are a second-time mom, include the aforementioned foods in your daily diet and celebrate the day in a healthy way.

Happy Mother's Day!