C-section or normal, delivering a baby requires a lot of strength and courage. A mother undergoes hours of pain, days of bleeding and lot of emotional and mental stress. But women who undergo C-section surgery experience physical, emotional, and mental stress. It is pushy and mothers need ample amount of rest to recover from it. However, rest is not the only way to get back to normal, diet is another essential component to take care of. While most people focus on the diet while a woman is pregnant, diet after the delivery is often neglected.
In this article, I hope to inform mothers and their families about the diet during and diet after C-section recovery. The aim is to motivate the healing process and encourage recovery. Let’s get started.
Diet after C-section
Just after the delivery and surgery, mothers are allowed to have liquids. Once the intestinal functioning comes to normal, the diet is shifted to semi-solids. To avoid bloating and unwanted gas, solid food is reintroduced slowly. Integrating proteins, iron, and fibers into the diet is essential at this stage.
The pain medications and vitamins can lead to constipation, which is most common after delivery. Therefore, it is adviced to take fibres from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts to ease out constipation. New mothers should also eat a sufficient amount of warm water or soup.
Protein is another essential thing, that a woman must consume after delivery. It contributes to maintaining the muscle and promoting the growth of new tissues. New mothers must choose lean proteins to avoid the excess fat. Tofu, Greek yogurt, poultry, eggs and beans are best after c section delivery.
Women lose a significant amount of blood during delivery. Therefore, iron supplements are provided to pregnant women through their pregnancy journey and after it. Taking iron-rich food like green leafy vegetables, beans, and legumes, helps produce hemoglobin and reduce the chances of iron deficiency anemia.
Must have foods after c section delivery
When I underwent a c section delivery, my diet plan had all necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Home made meals with fresh vegetables, nuts and lentils are ideal. Diet plans are specific to each mother and made keeping their nutritional requirements in mind.
Mothers must include vitamin rich food in their diet as it helps in repairing damages tissues by stimulating the production of collagen. Foods like fenugreek leaves, spinach, carrots, broccoli, avocado, oranges, berries and papaya have high vitamin source and are high in antioxidants.
After delivery you must include proteins, minerals and calcium to strengthen bones and promote cell building. Some of the good source of calcium are:
● Green vegetables
● Milk and dairy
● Fortified flour
Fruits like kiwi, grapes, banana, blueberries, cherries, mango, peach, pear have high mineral content.
Iron-rich food enables recover the blood lost during delivery. Diet after C-section should contain spinach, quinoa, chicken, ham, turkey, dried apricots, sesame and pumpkin seeds, peanuts, roasted almonds, and sunflower seeds.
Food like yogurt, paneer, soups, broths are a great snacking options. Clubbing them with fiber-rich foods like ragi, oats, green grams, and pulses ensures hassle-free bowel movements and keeps constipation, indigestion, gas, and bloating at bay.
Dairy is a must for breastfeeding mothers. Skimmed milk, cheese, and low-fat curd are rich in calcium, vitamins, and proteins. Women who are lactose intolerant can choose from almond or soy milk to fulfill their nutritional needs.
To maintain and increase the production of milk you must have food items like garlic, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables and tulsi. Water and fluids like coconut milk, smoothies, buttermilk, herbal teas, soups, calcium-fortified drinks, and fruit juices can help ease bowel movements. These options are not substitutes for water. Mothers should consume at least 3 liters of water daily.
Along with all these Indian spices like Hing, Jeera, and Ajwain can be added to the mother’s diet to improve health. Jeera helps with digestion and improves the production of breast milk. Hing and ajwain help ease out flatulence.
Food items to Avoid
After a C-section, physical activities are prohibited for some time. Food items that can cause trouble, lethargy, and slow healing should be prevented. The diet chart after C-section recovery should also eliminate anything that takes a longer time to digest.
Items like carbonated drinks, citrus juices, coffee, tea, and spicy food should be avoided as they increase bloating and gas. Fermented and fried food can cause heartburn and indigestion. Since mothers are breastfeeding, such foods can affect the milk and cause growth problems in the newborn.
Food made with dals like chana, urad, gram flour, rajma, besan can be stopped for the first two months as they cause gastrointestinal issues. Similarly, vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, onions can be eliminated for the first 40 days after delivery.
Salt content in food should be controlled before and after delivery. Items like frozen and canned food, additives like baking powder and soda, sauces like soy, barbeque, teriyaki, Chinese food, salted fish, and processed meat contain high sodium and should be consumed in limited proportions.