Postpartum Recovery: When to Reintroduce These 6 Foods and Drinks Into Your Diet

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During your pregnancy journey, you’ve been told to avoid a lot of food and drinks, as they can be risky. Now that the nine months have passed and your newborn is finally, specific cravings have also appeared. While it can be tempting to drink alcohol after pregnancy to celebrate, there are still limitations to what you can enjoy to ensure a fast postpartum recovery and your baby’s optimal health.

Discover when to reintroduce these six crave-worthy foods and drinks to your plate.

Why Postpartum Recovery Nutrition is Important

You spent nine months carrying a growing fetus and braved through painful labor and delivery. Now that you’re officially a mother, your next step is to nurture your baby. To do that, you must take care of yourself first. You must nourish your body and ensure you’re healthy to take care of your bundle of joy. 

What you eat during your postpartum recovery is essential for your and your baby’s health. Here are the benefits of eating a balanced diet after giving birth:

  • Promotes milk production: What you consume significantly affects your milk supply. Breastfeeding women lose an average of 25 ounces of fluid daily through their milk. Staying hydrated is essential to ensure proper milk production.
  • Aids overall well-being: Remember that you’re supporting two individuals — you and your little one. A well-balanced diet, when coupled with physical activity, can give you the appropriate energy you’ll need as a busy mom.
  • Accelerates recovery: Consuming the right nutrients and proper hydration can help heal your body from pregnancy. 

When Can You Eat These 6 Foods and Drinks?

Postpartum cravings are real. While it’s possible to treat yourself to a guilty food occasionally, knowing what kinds of food can nourish your baby correctly is essential. Are you wondering when you can drink alcohol after pregnancy or enjoy a tub of ice cream? Know the best time to indulge in these crave-worthy foods and drinks.

Fatty Fish

You can eat fatty fish anytime you want. According to the Food and Drug Association (FDA), fish intake can help your baby’s cognitive development and benefit heart health. It can also decrease your risk of obesity, colon cancer and hip fractures. 

Ideal fatty fish include herring, catfish, anchovy, salmon, tilapia and sardines. These options can also help reduce the anxiety you might be having. Avoid choices with high mercury content, such as marlin orange roughy, swordfish and tilefish.


Oats are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that help support immunity and promote gut health. You can consume it immediately after giving birth and get your fiber needs. The easiest way to prep it is to create overnight oats before you start the week. Simply add oats in separate jars, add milk and sprinkle it with your desired fruits. Let them soak overnight before eating them as breakfast or afternoon snack.


While zero consumption is the safest option when breastfeeding, it doesn’t entirely stop you from consuming alcohol after giving birth. Generally, alcohol consumption — which is one standard drink per day — is not known to be harmful to your baby. However, you’d want to wait two to three hours after drinking before nursing your infant. Avoid consuming one drink per day to avoid adverse effects.

If you want to drink alcohol a few days after giving birth, it’s recommended to lean toward healthier beverages like sake, a Japanese rice wine. The famous Junmai sake is made from rice and is polished to 70% of its original size, revealing an earthy and rich umami flavor. It’s a great way to celebrate your feat responsibly.


Just as many people wonder when they can drink alcohol during postpartum recovery, many individuals think the same for coffee. Feel free to enjoy your cup of joe after giving birth. You can probably enjoy a freshly brewed drink with your post-delivery meal. Aside from giving you your much-needed boost for the day, drinking more than three cups of caffeinated coffee daily may reduce the risk of postpartum depression. 

If you’re worried about your baby getting caffeine from your breast milk, time your coffee hours after nursing. Remember that you need a lot of rest after a difficult delivery. Drink coffee moderately so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

Ice Cream

Avoid cold foods for at least the first four to six weeks after childbirth. Your body needs nourishment and warmth to recover, and eating ice cream can slow your recovery. Unfortunately, you have to set aside your cravings for a while. In the meantime, find satisfaction in foods that can help heal your wounds and reduce scarring, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sugary Foods

Sweet foods like pudding, sweet dumplings, and biscuits were frequently suggested as dietary additions for postpartum. Some foods can help improve digestion and alleviate stomach issues. You can enjoy eating cakes, sweets and chocolate during postpartum. However, large quantities within the first two months can affect your breast milk quality, impacting your baby’s cognitive development. Remember to enjoy sweets in moderation.

Essential Nutrients To Take While Breastfeeding

During postpartum recovery, you’ll need about 300 more calories daily to ensure optimal health for you and your newborn. Here are the nutrients your body needs the most:

  • Protein: Seafood, lean meat, egg, beans and soy are packed with protein to aid your body’s recovery.
  • Calcium: Consume low-fat dairy products daily. Milk, lactose-free dairy and yogurt are great sources of calcium.
  • Iron: This nutrient is essential for red blood cell production, which is vital if you lost a lot of blood during delivery. Red meat, tofu and poultry all contain this mineral.
  • Collagen: If you experience postpartum hair loss, you might benefit from eating collagen-rich foods. Add beef bone broth, sardines and berries to your diet to help speed up tissue repair. 
  • Fiber: Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans to help relieve postpartum constipation

Enjoy Motherhood The Healthy Way

Postpartum can bring a complex mix of feelings, including random food cravings. While taking care of you and your baby is essential, indulging occasionally and responsibly is also important. After all, you carried your baby for nine months—it’s a feat worth celebrating over great food and drinks.

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Beth, the Managing Editor at Body+Mind, is well-respected in the fitness and nutrition spaces. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and cooking.

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