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Postnatal Medications and Nutrition

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Postnatal Medications and Nutrition Adult

Postnatal Medications and Nutrition - Additional Information

Postpartum nutritional information leaflet

Why is good nutrition after delivery important?

  • Replenish nutrient store that may have been depleted during pregnancy.
  • Improve mood and energy levels.
    • What and how often we eat will affect blood sugar levels and chemical levels in the brain, influencing the way we think, feel and behave.
  • ​Boost your immune system.
    • Extra stress is placed on your immune system from blood loss during delivery, demands of breastfeeding, fatigue from interrupted sleep and care for your newborn child.
  • Manage constipation, especially if taking iron supplements.
  • Manage or prevent Type 2 diabetes.
    • A healthy diet and weight, together with physical activity, can reduce the risk of diabetes for everyone.
    • Women who experienced gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

What do I need to consume if I am breastfeeding?

​A nursing mother’s requirements are similar to those of pregnancy. About 500 additional calories are needed each day, as the remainder is assumed to come from fat and nutrient stores. This can easily be achieved through eating the recommended portions from all the food groups, which will meet the nutritional requirements of a lactating mother. The table below serves as a guide to a healthy balanced diet and highlights the differences between the diet of a lactating mother and that of a general Singaporean adult woman/female.

​​Food Group ​​Number of servings per day ​​​ ​Example of 1 serving
​General adult​Lactating women
​Brown Rice & Wholemeal Bread​​5-7​6-7
  • ​​2 slices bread
  • ½ bowl* rice/noodles
  • 4 plain wholemeal crackers
  • 2 small chapatis​
  • 1 large potato
  • 1½ cup** plain cornflakes
  • ​1 small apple, orange, pear or mango
  • 1 wedge pineapple, papaya or watermelon
  • 10 grapes or longans
  • 1 medium banana
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ​¼ round plate*** cooked vegetables
  • 150g raw leafy vegetables
  • 100g raw non-leafy vegetables
​Meat & Others of which

Dairy/Calcium-rich Foods



​3 ½


  • ​1 palm-sized piece fish, lean meat or skinless poultry
  • 2 small blocks soft beancurd
  • ¾ cup cooked pulses (e.g. lentils, peas, beans)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 slices of cheese

*1 rice bowl **250ml cup ***10-inch plate​

Additional tips:

  • Drink at least 8-10 cups of fluids daily. This replaces fluids lost through breastfeeding and also aids in relief of constipation. Be sure to avoid sugar sweetened drinks!
  • Have a supply of staple food items (e.g. rice/noodles/pasta, eggs, frozen vegetables) so that a quick, easy meal can be created.
  • Cook extras at dinner and freeze in single portions to use at busy times.
  • Have healthy snacks readily available for convenience when hungry (e.g. tubs of yogurt, dried fruit and nuts, wholemeal crackers, fruit).
  • If alcohol is consumed, limit to 30 ml a day from the 2nd week onwards.
    • Wait for at least 3 hours before the next breastfeed.
    • Avoid in the 1st week after delivery as (i) baby’s liver is not completely mature, and (ii) to allow establishment of breast milk supply so that breast milk can be pumped and stored for later use in case baby needs an earlier feed.
  • Keep to 2 cups of coffee or tea per day as caffeine has been shown to pass to babies through breast milk.
  • Confinement is part of Asian culture and many beliefs are not tested on a scientific basis. It is acceptable to follow traditional practices in moderation as long as it is in the context of a well-balanced diet.

Key nutrients to note:

​Nutrient​What happens if I am deficient?​Daily requirements​Examples
  • ​Transient bone loss during lactation.
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis i.e. poor teeth and bone health.

​√√ Dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cheese), high-calcium soy milk

√ Fish with edible bones (sardines, ikan bilis), beancurd, nuts

  • ​Fatigue and/or low mood.
  • Poor concentration and impaired work efficiency.
  • Reduced immune function.



√√ Lean red meat, chicken, fish

√ Leafy vegetables, eggs, iron-enriched breakfast cereals, legumes, nuts – Consume with high vitamin C foods for better iron absorption (e.g. fruit, capsicum)

  • ​Fatigue and loss of appetite.
  • Required for normal growth of cells, including blood and nerve tissue
  • Only source of folate for baby is exclusively breastfed
500 μg/day √√ Dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit/juices, yeast and meat extracts, beans, fortified cereals

√√ Excellent dietary source √ Good dietary source


Medicines after Delivery - What you should know

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  • Updated on 5/17/2017 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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