Health Tips For New Moms

Dear Mom,

Congratulations on the birth of your baby! Healthy families choose WIC – it’s a choice to be proud of, and we are excited you are here.
As a new mom with WIC, you can:
This website has tips to help keep you and your baby healthy. These tips do not replace your healthcare provider’s advice. Write down questions to ask your healthcare provider before you go to your next checkup.

WIC can help you learn about healthy eating and support your breastfeeding journey. WIC has nutrition sessions for you and other moms to learn, share ideas, and ask questions. We hope you enjoy your experience with WIC; we are happy to share this special time with you.

Sincerely,
Your WIC staff

Get the Care You Need

Postpartum care is healthcare for women after their baby is born. A healthcare provider or specially trained nurse checks that you are healthy and healing well. Go to all your postpartum checkups.

You and your baby need vaccines to stay healthy.

If you need help to pay for healthcare, contact your local Medicaid office.

Choose Healthy Foods

Moms who feed only breast milk to their baby may need slightly more food. This is a general guide. You may need more or less amounts of food. For a Daily Food Plan that’s designed just for you, visit www.myplate.gov.

Eat regular meals and choose a variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein foods.

Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You and your baby do best when you eat regular meals and snacks. Here is a sample menu using some foods you can purchase with your WIC benefits.

Get your body in shape with WIC foods. They give you:

Here are some examples of what meal and snack portion sizes might look like on your plate.

Breakfast

1 cup 100% mixed berry juice
breakfast
1 slice whole grain toast
1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch

½ cup large, sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup water
lunch
2 slices whole grain bread
with 3 ounces lean deli turkey
with ¼ cup lettuce and ¼ cup tomato

Snacks

snacks
½ cup sliced peaches
1 cup low-fat or non-fat milk
5 or 6 whole grain crackers
3 or 4 slices cheese
½ cup sliced cucumbers and ½ cup cherry tomatoes
water between meals and snacks

Dinner

1 cup grapes
½ cup cooked green beans
1 cup mixed, green salad with 1 tablespoon dressing
dinner
1 cup whole grain spaghetti
with ¼ cup ground beef
with 1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup low-fat or non-fat milk

Breakfast Ideas

Make time for breakfast. It helps you get through the day. Here are a few ideas. Choose one or more foods from each group below.

EXAMPLE: Whole Wheat Tortilla + Peanut Butter + Apple Slices

BREAD, CEREAL, OR OTHER GRAINS

DAIRY OR PROTEIN

FRUIT OR VEGETABLE

Be Smart About Fast Foods

On the go? Ask for these smart choices.

Get Folic Acid Every Day.

Folic acid is a vitamin that every cell in your body needs. This vitamin might protect you from a heart attack, stroke and cancer. If you become pregnant again, it protects your unborn baby from birth defects in their spine and brain which develop very early in pregnancy. It is recommended to get at least 400 micrograms (mcg) every day.

Check nutrition labels to get enough folic acid each day.

Eat foods with folic acid even if you take a vitamin pill or eat fortified cereal.

What about iron?

After childbirth, your body’s iron level may be low. This can make you feel weak and tired. Your healthcare provider may recommend a vitamin with iron or to continue taking your prenatal vitamin.

TRY TO EAT MORE OF THESE IRON-RICH FOODS:

  • Iron-fortified breakfast cereal
  • Cooked dried beans like white beans, lentils, garbanzo beans or pinto beans
  • Lean red meat
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Greens like spinach, collard greens and mustard greens
  • Potato with skin
  • Prune juice
  • Whole grain bread

Combine iron rich foods with foods high in Vitamin C. Eating these together helps your body absorb more iron from the food you eat.

Good sources of Vitamin C include:

Small Changes and Healthy Choices Add Up To A Healthier You!

Small changes can make a big difference in helping you feel good, have more energy and lose weight. There are many tips that moms have shared that worked for them.

Be Active Whenever You Can

Your body stays fit when you move it. If your healthcare provider says it’s okay, stay active. Walking, stretching, and swimming are a few good ways.

Being physically active can:

Take it easy, at first. Your body needs to heal. Ask your healthcare provider what you can do and when you can do it.

Start with a 5 or 10 minute walk. After one week, walk a little longer or farther. Set a goal that works for you.

Here are other easy ways to move your body:

You can also find other fun and free workout programs/videos online.

Change health habits one at a time.

Get used to one change before you make the next one.

What food can you cut back on?

Example:
Cut back to one soda a day.

What food can
you change?

Example:
Eat low-fat yogurt with fruit for breakfast.

What can you do to be more active?

Example:
Take the stairs, not the elevator.

Make Time For Yourself

Enjoy your new baby, but take care of yourself, too.

Eating nutritious, regular meals helps you:

Keep Your Smile Healthy.

Healthy teeth and gums are a sign of good health.

Postpartum Depression

Most new moms get the Blues. They cry, feel sad, and have mood swings. This can last up to 2 weeks. If the feelings continue and get worse, you could have Postpartum Depression.

If you think you might have Postpartum Depression, talk with your healthcare provider to get help. You deserve to feel well.

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, get help right away.

Call the Postpartum Support International Helpline at 1-800-944-4773, visit www.postpartum.net, or text 800-944-4773 (English) or 971-203-7773 (Spanish).

SIGNS OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Any of these feelings that last more than 2 weeks:

TRY THIS STRESS RELIEVER

Understanding Your Baby’s Cues

Your baby uses body movements and cues to tell you what they need. Responding to your baby’s cues can help them be calm and happy.

“I’M HUNGRY”

When your baby is hungry, they may:

“I’M Full”

When your baby is full, they may:

“I WANT TO BE NEAR YOU”

When I am ready to play.

As your newborn gets older, you will be better able to tell when they are ready to interact, learn or play.

When your baby is asking you to help them learn more about you and their new world, they may:

“I NEED A BREAK”

When I need something to be different.

As you get to know your baby, you will begin to learn what they are trying to tell you. This takes time.

When your baby needs a break from playing and learning, or needs some quiet time, they may:

Give Your Baby the Best Start – Breastfeed!

Breastfeeding is natural, but may take time and practice. You and your baby are learning in the first 3 weeks. It gets easier after that.

Get your rest. You will have more energy for your baby.

Drink water, milk and 100% juice when you are thirsty. Have a beverage ready to drink while you breastfeed.

EAT THREE MEALS AND AT LEAST ONE SNACK EACH DAY. SOME SNACK IDEAS ARE:

If you do not drink milk, talk to wic. You can get calcium from other foods like:

Join a breastfeeding support group where you can talk with other moms.

Call WIC or a lactation consultant if you have questions about breastfeeding.

BREASTFEEDING – GOOD FOR YOU, GOOD FOR BABY

Babies who are breastfed:

Moms who breastfeed:

TIPS FOR FEEDING FORMULA

Whether you choose to feed your baby breast milk or formula, your baby counts on you to help them do well eating. For information on paced bottle feeding, visit the 0-6 month feeding guide.

Staying Safe

Keep you and your baby healthy by avoiding tobacco or nicotine products, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. If you are planning another pregnancy, we can help you with resources to stop or reduce use of tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, or drugs.

Smoking or using tobacco or nicotine products can impact your health. Smoke or vapor from cigarettes or vape pens can impact others around you. Smoking around babies or children can increase their risk for colds, ear infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or asthma.

Consider a no smoking rule for your home and vehicles. Ask people to not smoke around you and your baby.

We know how difficult it is to quit or reduce tobacco or nicotine products. If you are struggling to quit or reduce your use, we have resources for you. Visit www.quitnow.net for support with quitting tobacco or nicotine use including free coaching, a free quit plan, and educational materials.

Avoiding alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs is recommended to keep you and your baby or older children healthy and safe. We have resources to support your efforts to stop or reduce your use.

For support with quitting alcohol, marijuana, or other illegal drug use contact your healthcare provider or visit www.findtreatment.gov.

For additional support, contact your local WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor or WIC Designated Breastfeeding Expert for breastfeeding questions.