Keeping iron intakes up after birth

Even after birth it is extremely important for mum to continue to have a healthy balanced diet. A healthy balanced diet is important to keep up your own energy levels and it promotes good health which is needed to look after your little one.

Iron is still a key nutrient at this time alongside vitamin D, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and calcium.

Iron is important to keep your energy levels up as it helps to pump oxygen around the body so it is a good idea to make a conscious effort to keep your iron intakes up after birth – as being a new mum can no doubt be exhausting!

Iron can be sourced in two forms – haem iron and non-haem iron. Haem iron is more readily absorbed in the body and is sourced from foods like red meat, chicken, pork and beef. Non-haem iron is not as readily absorbed but it sourced in foods like eggs, leafy green veg, pulses and beans. To help the absorption of non-haem iron foods it is recommended to consume these with a food rich in vitamin C.

At this time everything is about baby and you are in the survival stage so you want to keep recipes as simple as possible.

Some ideas include:


Make up batches of chilli or spaghetti bolognaise and freeze them in portions so all you have to do is defrost and cook some pasta, rice or potatoes for a healthy balanced iron rich meal.

In addition to this, stir frys are really easy to make and take very little preparation, just use some beef or chicken strips, some leafy green veg, peppers and tomatoes for another easy but iron rich dinner!

Have minced beef with a tomato based sauce; pork chops with an orange based sauce; stir fry with beef and peppers.

For an easy and quick snack or lunch try a poached, boiled or scrambled egg on wholegrain toast. Accompany it with a small glass of orange juice or eat a piece of fruit afterwards to help absorb the iron.


First 1000 Days Team

Our expert team of dietitians and nutritionists have created lots of articles, tips, advice and recipes all about the importance of good nutrition to help you give your baby the healthiest possible start in life.

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