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01 Mar, 2024

Nourishing your body, nurturing your pelvic health in postpartum

The postpartum period is a transformative time filled with joy, bonding, and adjustments for new mothers. Amidst the excitement of welcoming a new addition to the family, mothers must prioritise their well-being, particularly when it comes to pelvic health. Adequate nourishment during the postpartum period plays a pivotal role in supporting pelvic health, facilitating recovery, and ensuring overall wellness. Here's LETO's advice on why and how to support your postpartum nutrition.


In this blog, we'll explore our TOP 5 reasons why nourishment is essential for pelvic health in the postpartum period and offer practical insights into optimising nutrition during this critical phase.

  1. Understanding the Impact of Pregnancy and Birth: Pregnancy and childbirth are significant events that place considerable demands on a woman's body, particularly on the pelvic and core regions. The process of pregnancy and childbirth can lead to changes in hormone levels, pelvic floor muscle strain, muscle trauma and tissue stretching, all of which can affect pelvic health. If you have had your baby via C-section, you will also be recovering from major abdominal surgery. Proper nourishment during the postpartum period is essential to support the body's recovery and replenish vital nutrients depleted during pregnancy and birth.
  2. Supporting Pelvic Floor Recovery: The pelvic floor muscles go through a lot of strain during pregnancy and childbirth, which can cause them to weaken and lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. Having a nutritious diet is essential for supporting pelvic floor recovery since it provides the necessary nutrients required for muscle regeneration, tissue repair, and overall healing. Nutrients like collagen, which can be found in bone broth, leafy greens and berries, protein which is found in chicken, eggs, and cheese and foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, broccoli, spinach, seeds, nuts, and fish are particularly useful for promoting tissue repair and muscle strength.
  3. Supporting your bowel health: Constipation is a common problem that many women experience during the postpartum period. It can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. If you haven't had a bowel movement at least three times in the last week, or if you're pooping less frequently than you usually do, then you may be suffering from constipation. Other signs of constipation include having unusually large or small, dry, hard, or lumpy stool, experiencing pain or straining during bowel movements, or feeling like you haven't completely emptied your bowels. Additionally, you may also experience stomach aches, bloating, and nausea as symptoms of constipation. Constipation can be effectively treated by making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Although you may notice some improvement within a few days, it could take a few weeks for all your symptoms to resolve completely. To make your bowel movements easier and softer, and help heal your pelvic floor, avoid straining to use your bowels by following these tips:
    1. Make sure you have a healthy and balanced diet that includes fibre-rich fruits such as kiwis, apples, apricots, grapes (including raisins), raspberries, and strawberries.
    2. Drink plenty of water (aim for 2 Litres per day)
    3. Gradually increase your fibre intake by adding wheat bran, oats, or linseed to your diet.
    4. Improving your toilet routine can also help with constipation. Stick to a regular time and place for using the toilet and give yourself enough time to complete the process. Don't delay if you feel the urge to go. To make it easier to pass stools, try resting your feet on a low stool while using the toilet. If possible, raise your knees above your hips. Increasing your physical activity can also help regulate your bowel movements. Gradually increasing your mobility and movement such as a daily walk can make a big difference. If diet and lifestyle changes don't help, speak to a pharmacist or your doctor for advice.
  4. Balancing Hormones and Mood: The postpartum period is characterised by fluctuating hormone levels, which can impact mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. Proper nutrition plays a key role in balancing hormones and supporting emotional health during this transitional phase. Nutrient-dense foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants can help regulate mood, reduce stress, and support optimal mental health. Include foods rich in iron, such as leafy greens, lean meats, beans, and fortified cereals, to support postpartum recovery and prevent anaemia.
  5. Boosting Energy and Vitality: Caring for a newborn requires immense physical and emotional energy, making adequate nutrition essential for sustaining vitality and resilience during the postpartum period. Nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats provide the energy and nutrients needed to fuel the body, support lactation, and promote overall recovery.
  6. Practical Tips for Postpartum Nutrition:
  • Prioritise nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Keep your bowels moving with good fibre intake found in kiwis, bran and oats.
  • Incorporate foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, to support brain health and mood regulation.
  • Listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues, and eat regular, balanced meals and snacks to maintain stable energy levels.
  • Prepare in advance and ask for help!

Many new mothers face a major challenge in finding time for themselves and asking for support during the postpartum period. It is common for women to feel hesitant to express their needs, but it is important to understand that receiving help from others during this time is not indulgent or selfish. Here are a few suggestions that can help:

  • Cook and prepare meals in advance and freeze them.
  • Purchase some Fridge Fills from Detox Kitchen - we love these because they are fresh, nutrient and fibre-dense, and an easy way to eat well without the stress of preparation ask friends and family to organize a meal train.
  • Consider one-pan meal ideas, such as those found in the Roasting Tin series by Rukmini.


Nourishment is a cornerstone of postpartum recovery and pelvic health. By prioritising nutrient-dense foods and supporting your body's nutritional needs during this transformative period, you can promote pelvic floor recovery, balance hormones, boost energy, and enhance overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself is not only essential for your health but also for your ability to care for and nurture your precious newborn.

At LETO, we believe a postnatal assessment is a critical component of postnatal recovery and must become the standard care for all women. If you are experiencing any issues with your pelvic floor during the postpartum period, such as urinary or faecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, abdominal concerns, or concerns about returning to activity, or if you have any concerns about how your body is recovering, please reach out to a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist as they are the best-placed healthcare professionals to help address these symptoms.

We are partnering with LETO on our upcoming Spring programme, which will include a voucher to use for a consultation at their clinic. Subscribe to our emails via the footer of our website and follow us on Instagram for further announcements!