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Got the Blues – By Renee Gielis

Hi moms! After giving birth hormones shift, sleepless nights and the challenge of dealing with a newborn all kick in! Many moms develop postpartum depression up to a year after giving birth.My gynae gave my husband strict instructions to watch me like a hawk! – though I doubt he would have picked it up he was so sleep deprived himself!

Although many women may need some medication to help during this time, the way you eat and what you eat can help either stabilize mood or send you into an erratic cycle of highs and lows! Skipping meals is a common phenomena among new moms. This can however send your blood sugar level spiralling  low and leave you craving those high GI carbohydrates i.e chips, sweet drinks, sweets, cake, chocolate , which will give you a quick energy boost but will also crash you down quickly, leaving you tired, hungry and low in mood. The key is a regular meal pattern i.e breakfast , lunch and supper, including some low GI carbohydrate and some lean protein which digest slowly and help stabilize mood and energy levels.

Keep it simple – no one needs to be Nigella at this point –  High Fibre Bran  with low fat milk at breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich on low GI bread for lunch and a baked sweet potato with some cottage cheese and salad for supper, include a few fruits and nuts as snacks and you have an easy quick days meal plan which is full of nutrition and will help keep you level headed and smiling. Protein foods which are high in the amino acid ‘tyrosine’ ie chicken, tuna, turkey will also support the production of some of those feel good brain chemicals. Certain studies have shown a link between nutrient deficiencies and depression. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins and Omega – 3 supplement for up to 6months to a year after giving birth or up to 6 months after finishing breastfeeding. Chat next week, Renee consultant dietitian B Sc Dietetics RD (SA, UK) PR No: 084 000 0283398 E-mail: Mobile:   072 427 6515

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