When it comes to establishing healthy new ways of eating, pay attention to what works best for your body. Some people enjoy tofu, while others find that this soy product gives them indigestion. Some do well with dairy products, while others end up with runny noses or diarrhea when they eat dairy foods. Keep in mind that calcium is present in virtually all vegetables and nuts, so if you eat plenty of those, you don't need to drink milk to get enough calcium in your diet, even though you are using a lot of your calcium stores to make milk for your baby.
Remember that you are unique, and the postpartum diet that works for you will be unique, too. Work within the guidelines outlined here according to your own tastes and your own instincts about what foods make you feel the most energetic and clearheaded. All it requires is that you pay attention to how your body responds to the foods you eat. When so much of your energy is focused on caring for an infant, it can be hard to do this, but once you have established your ideal postpartum diet, you will feel it hasn't been a wasted effort. If you are lucky enough to be reading this book before or during pregnancy, you can start changing the way you eat now.
Of course, you will have "lapses" from your new healthy diet. One day, you might really want that fast-food burger; another day you might be satisfied only by a big candy bar or ice-cream sundae. Go ahead and allow yourself the occasional indulgence. Perfection is not something that humans should expect of themselves! In fact, if you allow yourself the occasional indulgence, you are far more likely to avoid bingeing. Just don't use a temporary indulgence as a reason to feel bad and slide back into a day-to-day way of eating that won't nourish your body or your baby's body.
From A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health by Dean Raffelock, Robert Rountree, and Virginia Hopkins with Melissa Block. Copyright © 2002 by Dr. Dean Raffelock. Used by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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