Every mamas birth story is unique whether you have a c-section or a natural birth we all need support and recovery post birth. But if you've have a c-section or vaginal delivery with episiotomy you need to allow more time than usual to enable your body to heal while coping with the demands of a new born.
Rest, fluid and avoiding lifting is good advice but when juggling a new born and recovering from labour especially from surgery, extra support is needed.
There are key nutrients you can include in your diet that will help boost the wound healing process and speed your recovery.
Read on for key nutrients and foods that can help you.
A powerhouse nutrient for skin health. It is important for collagen production and stimulates the repair of the skins outer layer. It is a powerful antioxidant that also helps to protect your skin tissue and keep your immune system in tip top condition. Studies have found that supplementation with Vitamin C improves wound healing, prevents keloid formation (excessive scar formation) and enhances collagen production. Not only that, increasing Vitamin C in your diet can improve skin elasticity, facial wrinkling roughness and colour.
Good food sources: Kakadu plums, Acerola, Amla fruit, Kiwi Fruit, Papaya, Bell Peppers, Broccoli,
Not only do you need more Vitamin A when breastfeeding, it is important for vision, immune health and neural development in your Bub, Vitamin A is an important nutrient in wound healing. In wounded skin, Vitamin A stimulates skin cells to turnover, increases the rate of cell repair and restores the structure of the skin. Not only does Vitamin A help with the inflammatory phase of wound healing it also helps to enhance collagen production.
Good food sources: Goji Berries, orange and yellow fruits such as carrots and sweet potato, cantaloupe and apricots. Plus dark leafy greens are a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Eating protein is a must to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for wound healing. It is essential in the creation of collagen, connective tissue and epithelial (skin) cells. Protein is broken down into amino acids which are the building blocks for tissue repair. They are fuel for antibodies and macrophages to keep your immune system healthy. A lack of protein can extend the inflammatory stage of wound healing, impair collagen production and increase the risk of a wound not healing. So make sure your including lots of quality protein in your diet.
Good food sources: Organic or grass-fed meat, fish, bone broth, eggs, legumes (beans, lentils split peas), tofu, nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts).
This gem is a cofactor for many enzymes involved in cell membrane repair, growth and immune system function. In fact Zinc is vital for 3000 proteins encoded in the human genome, amazing! Zinc plays an important role in all four stages of wound healing - clotting, inflammatory response, cell turnover to allow for new skin cells, matrix remodelling and scar formation. It also keeps help to keep your immune system healthy, just what you need post birth.
Good food sources: pumpkin seeds, asparagus, broccoli, oysters, sardines, eggs and quality red meat.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and skin. There is research to suggest that Bromelain helps to mediate pain, reduce healing time post surgery and improve wound healing. While you can find bromelain in pineapples, the research into its effectiveness were based on a concentrated supplemental dose.
So you now have the nutrients sorted but want something that can help with the appearance of scars? Our tip is to use Vitamin E or Rose Hip oil (good source of vitamin C) for scars, they are great for stretch marks too.
Here at HQ we love to combine ancient wisdom with evidence based nutrition to help mums on their post partum journey. Check out how our high-quality superfood blend Post Birth Vitality can help you recover from pregnancy and childbirth.
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2. Lin PH, Sermersheim M, Li H, Lee PHU, Steinberg SM, Ma J. Zinc in Wound Healing Modulation. Nutrients. 2017;10(1)
3. Polcz ME, Barbul A. The Role of Vitamin A in Wound Healing. Nutr Clin Pract. 2019;34(5):695-700.
4. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8)
5. Quain AM, Khardori NM. Nutrition in Wound Care Management: A Comprehensive Overview. Wounds. 2015;27(12):327-35.