Eating healthily after miscarriage
by Catherine Washbrook (Registered Dietitian & member of the HCPC)
Catherine is a Registered Dietitian and has 27 years of experience in working with people in the community and hospitals to ensure rehab and recovery.
Appropriate nutrition is key to aid recovery and help maintain good overall health following a miscarriage. Your body will need time to recover and the best way to speed that up is to ensure that you keep well hydrated and aim for a well-balanced diet to provide all the vitamins and minerals you need. If your body lacks any of the vital nutrients, it can affect your energy, mood and brain function. Miscarriage causes blood loss which may increase your risk of anaemia
After miscarriage, you may be tempted to open a bottle of wine or eat your own bodyweight in chocolate and whilst these things are ok in moderation, they are a quick fix and long term may have a detrimental effect on your mood and weight. We have a chemical in our brain called serotonin, which improves how we feel and our mood. More serotonin may get to the brain when we eat carbohydrate rich foods, and hence ‘carbohydrate craving’ is linked with eating sweet foods to boost mood. Research is limited on the effects of high carbohydrate intakes on the improvement of mood. Chocolate has long since been considered a comfort food but this is more than likely to be a placebo effect not have any actual physiological effects.
What foods can help mood & health?
|Missing vitamin/mineral||Effect on mood||Foods which can help|
|Iron This results in low levels of oxygen carrying haemoglobin in the blood, resulting in the condition anaemia.||Feeling weak, tired and lethargic all the time.||The risk of anaemia is reduced with adequate intakes of iron, particularly from red meat, poultry and fish, beans and pulses, fortified cereals. Avoiding drinking tea with meals may also be helpful.|
|Thiamin B1, Niacin B3 or Cobalamin B12 (all B vitamins)||Tiredness and feeling depressed or irritable.||Fortified foods including wholegrain cereals, animal protein foods such as meat/fish, eggs and dairy|
|Folate||Increased chance of feeling depressed.||Folate is found in liver, green vegetables, oranges and other citrus fruits, beans and fortified foods such as yeast extract (marmite) and fortified breakfast cereals.|
|Selenium||May increase the incidence of feeling depressed and other negative mood states.||Brazil nuts, meat, fish, seeds and wholemeal bread.|
Catherine’s top 5 tips to aid recovery after miscarriage:
- Aim for 5 portions of fruit & vegetables per day (variety is the spice of life)
- Reduce your intake of ‘junk’ foods which contain trans ‘bad’ fats and have very little nutritional value, these include fast food and takeaways.
- Swap your snacks, try choosing a handful of nuts rather than crisps or biscuits.
- Drink fruit juice or water with meals rather than a cup of tea.
- Choose wholegrain varieties of bread and cereals.
So, if ever there was a time to eat healthily it is now. 5 top nutrition tips from a dietitian to aid recovery after miscarriage.
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