Delivery, either c-section or vaginal delivery can exhaust the mother both mentally and physically. Thatswhy a proper diet and rest are needed to speed up recovery for both the mother and the baby.
During pregnancy, you are not allowed to eat so many foods that you like and love the most. We, pregnant women, wait for our delivery so that we can have every food we want. But the sad news is that for the first 40 days after delivery, your diet chart is going to be very healthy for you and your baby but not tasty at all and you may feel low and sad whenever you sit down for a meal.
There is a big no-no to spicy foods, junk food, fried foods, and greasy fatty foods till you recover completely from a c-section or vaginal birth. Whatever food you eat will not have any spice and you feel it’s tasteless. You will no longer be happy whenever you sit down for mealtime. But all this is very necessary for your own body and your baby to recover fast and make your body come back to normal just like before pregnancy.
Diet chart after c-section:-
Your diet should be full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to heal faster after vaginal delivery or c-section. Your baby will get all these vitamins and minerals through breastfeeding. So the mother has to make sure she intakes healthy food.
Necessary foods for the mother:-
- Protein-rich foods:- This is necessary for the growth of new tissue cells. The foods in this category include low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese, pulses, lentils, green gram, eggs, meat, fish, shellfish, beef, meat, soybean, and sesame seeds.
- Iron-rich foods:- This is necessary to increase the hemoglobin level and increase the reproduction of blood in our body which is lost during delivery. The foods in this category include broccoli, spinach, dry fruits, egg yolk, jaggery, meat, tofu, soybean, brown rice, peanut butter, lentils, beef, meat organs, dark chocolate, white mushrooms, wheat, flax seeds, coconut, barley, and green veggies.
- Fiber-rich foods:- This is very necessary to heal constipation after delivery. Severe constipation can put pressure on your incision and delay the healing process. The foods in this category include raw fruits and vegetables, oats, ragi, pulses, chickpeas, barley, flax seeds, almonds, avocado, raspberry, blueberry, sunflower seeds, coconut, black-eyed peas, raisins, peanuts, walnuts, pista, lentils.
- Calcium-rich foods:- It helps in strengthening bones and teeth. The foods in this category include sesame seeds, broccoli, spinach, low-fat dairy products, lentils, almonds, figs, apricot, kiwi fruit, cauliflower, avocado, fish, guava, oranges, cantaloupe, peaches, chickpeas, whole grains, sweet potato, nuts, flax seeds, and green veggies.
- Vitamin-rich foods:- They are rich in antioxidants and help in repairing tissues which are very necessary for a c-section mother to heal the scar. They build new scar tissue, ligaments, and skin. The foods in this category include broccoli, spinach, oranges, papaya, sweet potato, low-fat dairy products, carrots, mangoes, peaches, pumpkin, parsley leaves, peas, grapefruit, cantaloupe, watermelon, and green veggies.
For a c-section mother, the first 2 to 3 days will go on a liquid diet only in the hospital to clear the digestive tract. Doctors keep the c-section mother in the hospital for 2 to 3 days and give glucose and other drugs in liquid form to heal the scar or the incision due to the c-section. Once the mother shows signs of a clear digestive tract after having all those drugs, the semi-solid diet is introduced on the third day which includes easily digestible foods like fruits, milk, yogurt, idli, upma, soft rice, paneer, cheese, leafy vegetables, bread milk, and plenty of liquids.
Soft drinks, fried foods, spicy foods, pasta, Maggi, maida, besan, etc which are hard to digest are completely avoided for the first 40 days after delivery as they may increase gas and constipation. After a c-section, constipation is normal for the first 10 days as so much gas is present in your stomach after delivery.
Keeping the body hydrated always is also very important for decreasing constipation and speedy recovery of the incision and the whole body. To keep your body functioning smoothly, you can have buttermilk, coconut water, soups, and juices every day. Thayswhy it is very important to have semi-solid foods initially to decrease constipation and help in easy bowel movements.
You will also need iron and protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, tofu, eggs, shrimp, liver, etc to increase the hemoglobin level of your blood as you have already lost so much amount of blood during a c-section.
Foods to eat after delivery:-
- Bread sandwiches like a chicken sandwich, egg, sandwich, etc with one cup of milk.
- White bread or brown bread.
- Ghee in small quantity in every meal.
- Pan after every meal. This will help in easy digestion.
- Liver and kidney of goat to boost breastmilk production.
- Low-fat yogurt and cheese.
- Veg pulao rice with little spices.
- Groundnuts, raisins, almonds, and apricots.
- Oats, wheat, or jowar Roti with vegetable curry.
- Fish, meat, liver, and eggs.
- Citrus fruits like oranges and blueberries are good for breastfeeding moms.
- Green vegetables and leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, beans, fenugreek leaves, etc also boost breastmilk production.
- Wheat Dosa, idli, upma.
- Brown rice and brown pasta.
- Vegetable and Fruit Salad.
- Boiled sprouted chana dal.
- Raw or grilled vegetables.
- Ragi dosa.
- Moong dal.
- Wheat upma.
- Mixed sprouts.
- Fruit juices.
- Black channa dal.
- Oats upma.
- Soya milk or skimmed milk.
Foods to avoid after delivery:-
- Soft drinks and cold foods as you may catch a cold and you cannot take medication for cold as it may pass into the breastmilk.
- Alcohol and smoking.
- Frozen or chilled foods.
- Fast food.
- Fermented foods.
- Outside food.
- Spicy foods, as they can cause gas.
- Fried foods, as can cause indigestion and gas.
- Citrus juices should be taken in very small amounts in the daytime. It’s best to avoid them as they can cause gas.
- Tea and coffee should also be taken once daily in a limited quantity. More intake of caffeinated drinks can hamper a baby’s growth.
- White lentils, red kidney beans, green peas, black-eyed beans, and chickpeas, besan, as they may form gas in the stomach.
- Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, potato, bhindi, green peas, besan, pickles, rajma, chole, and urad dal also form gas.
- White rice may prolong the healing of the scar. You can take brown rice or poha.
- Try to have five to six small meals a day.
- Consume 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
- Chew your food slowly. Don’t just gulp down the food.
- Have a snack or food after every 2 hours.
- Eat home-cooked and fresh meals.
- Drink milk twice a day.
- Avoid junk food and outside food. Outside food is very unhygienic and can cause stomach infection in mothers as their stomach and abdominal area is very sensitive now due to delivery via c-section or vaginal birth.
- Drink plenty of fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, low-fat milk, non-citrus juices, soups, and herbal teas to keep dehydration and constipation away. It is very necessary for the fast recovery of the mother.
- Add cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, ajwain, ginger, garlic, and carom seeds to your diet. They have medicinal properties.
- For the first few days after delivery, you must have a little quantity of solid food and a more liquid diet. You can slowly increase the quantity of food intake according to your hunger as breastfeeding mothers feel hungry very often and have to eat more than normal women to enhance breastmilk production for their newborn baby.
- If you love outside food then you can have some normal packaged food items like chocolates, biscuits, cakes, and cookies in small quantities.
- Have warm water instead of room temperature water or cold water. Warm water helps in easy digestion and also helps in constipation.
- Have food in semi-solid form.
- Avoid juices, yogurt, buttermilk, and coconut water at night time.
- Eat mash dal laddu every day. It strengthens your back and abdomen.
- Include nuts like almonds, walnuts, apricots, pista, and raisins in your daily diet.
- Avoid too much ghee and oil in curries and other foods.
- Have a midnight snack as the mother is prone to develop acidity from waking up every 2 hours in the night for feeding the baby.
Daily Diet for a Lactating Mother:-
- 2 glasses of milk.
- 2 glasses of barley water.
- 8 almonds and other dry fruits.
- Fenugreek seeds, cumin, 8 garlic cloves. You can add it to your meals while cooking.
- Two portions of fruits.
- Warm veg or non-veg soup.
- 3 liters of water.
- All kinds of fruits and vegetables. Mainly avocadoes, green papaya, banana, Sapota, and Figs.
- Fish, kheema, eggs.
- Rice or brown rice.
- Chapatis or paratha.
- Curd, buttermilk, and paneer.
- All kinds of dal or lentils.
- Boiled sweet corn.
- Boiled black channa.
- Boiled sweet potato.
Foods to avoid during the initial period of breastfeeding:-
- Coffee – This can cause irritation, sleeplessness, and crankiness in babies.
- Ice cream and cold drinks.
- Cold foods.
- Citrus fruits and juices – This can cause diaper rash, spitting up, and fussiness in babies.
- Brocolli – This can cause gas in babies.
- Alcohol and smoking – It affects the brain development of the baby.
- High-mercury fish.
- Peanuts if the baby is allergic to them.
- Spices like pepper and red chili.
- Corn if the baby is allergic to it.
- Eggs if the baby is allergic to them.
- Raw garlic- The smell of garlic can enter the breastmilk and babies don’t like the smell of it and they may get fussy and avoid breastmilk.