Best Foods To Eat After A Miscarriage
Miscarriage, sometimes referred to as pregnancy loss or spontaneous abortion, is a devastating and common experience for women. Miscarriage rates vary widely; 22% to 89% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. They can occur in many different forms and inflict varying levels of trauma on our bodies. As heartbreaking as miscarriages can be for women and their families, this is a critical time for nourishing and nurturing your body for proper healing.
Diet is always important for facilitating healing in your body. Various nutrients and vitamins can promote recovery in your body whilst others can slow the process.
This blog explains what to eat after a miscarriage and which foods can help speed up your recovery.
Post-Miscarriage Nutrition For Recovery
Foods High In Protein
Proteins are made up of lots of smaller molecules known as amino acids. Amino acids help repair damaged cells, which our body needs when recovering from pregnancy loss. Foods high in protein that you can include in your diet to promote healing include red meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs and milk/dairy products.
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain several nutrients that benefit your body greatly after miscarriage, and getting an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables helps reduce the risk of recurrent miscarriages. Vitamins A, C, E and K, iron and zinc are all found in many fruits and vegetables, and each plays an essential role in helping your body heal.
Vitamins A is essential during the inflammatory phase of healing. It can be found in many orange/red coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, sundried tomato and apricot.
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E reduce oxidative damage inflicted on cells when inflammation levels rise. Vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower and rice bran oil are often rich in vitamin E. Sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts are also good sources of vitamin E.
Miscarriages can often result in heavy bleeding, further depleting your body’s iron stores. Fatigue, weakness and anaemia are symptoms of iron deficiency that are common experiences after a pregnancy loss.
Consuming iron-rich food can help to restore iron levels in your body. There are two types of iron found in foods, heme-iron and non-heme-iron.
Heme iron is preferable during this time as it is more readily absorbed by our bodies than non-heme-iron from plant-based foods. Foods rich in heme-iron in the diet include lean meat, liver and seafood like oysters.
Vitamin C plays an integral part in supporting our immune response and is essential for our bodies to produce collagen, which is found in our bones, skin and connective tissue. Meaning it plays a significant role in helping to fight infection and restore our body after miscarriage.
Where possible, consume vitamin C alongside iron-rich foods, as this helps increase the amount of iron that our body absorbs from foods. Vitamin C can be found in capsicum, kiwifruit, orange, broccoli, cabbage, watercress and rocket.
Calcium is also essential in the inflammatory phase of healing. For this reason, it is necessary to consume calcium-rich foods to assist in meeting our bodies’ needs. Good sources of calcium to include in your diet are cow’s milk, dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt, sardines, prawns, chia seeds, kale, firm tofu and almond nuts.
Folate is essential for the correct functioning of living cells and is well established as a crucial nutrient that supports pregnancy health. It has many vital functions in the body, one being in regenerative processes. Dietary intake of folate has been shown to accelerate tissue repair, which can help your body better recover after miscarriage.
Foods including green leafy vegetables such as watercress and Chinese flowering cabbage, mung beans, red kidney beans, and dried seaweed (nori) are considered good dietary folate sources.
Magnesium is another essential mineral that has been shown to assist in the healing process. Additionally, studies have shown that higher magnesium intake can lower depression symptoms. Evidence also indicates a higher dietary intake of magnesium reduces the risk of depression, specifically in women.
This is important as feelings of grief, loss, depression and anxiety are common amongst many women after experiencing a miscarriage. Hence, consuming magnesium-rich foods can assist in the healing of both your body and mind. Magnesium-rich foods to include in your diet are cocoa powder, pumpkin seeds, nuts (almonds, pine nuts and cashews) and quinoa.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Adequate hydration is an integral part of consuming a nutritious diet to support healing. Water is often a forgotten element of miscarriage recovery, and however, fluids are essential due to the increased risk of bleeding and blood loss after a miscarriage. Remember that water is always best for your body and that it is generally recommended women consume 2 litres of water each day.
There is no doubt that a miscarriage can inflict multiple forms of trauma on the many women who experience them. By following these dietary tips and knowing what to eat after miscarriage, we hope to help you speed up the mind and body’s recovery after experiencing such a loss.
Need More Help?
For more information on how you can best prepare your body for the next pregnancy, book a Free 15-Minute Discovery Call with Dietitian Catherine Chong to discover how our service can help.
With all my love ,