The post-pregnancy period also known as Postpartum is considered to be the most crucial time for a mother. With not just the baby to be taken care of, the mother has to concentrate on her diet as well. As a matter of fact, everything that a mother does affects the baby instantly regardless of whether it is in her control or not. The new mother faces many changes in herself, emotional as well as physical. Issues like weight gain, mood swings, weak muscles, sagging abdomen, and anxiety are a few common problems that women face in this period.
Having all this to worry about, a mother often indirectly takes more stress on her with the intake of allopathic medicines. Someone correctly said that everything has side effects and this has its share of effects too. Not too surprised why elders and experienced doctors often emphasize Ayurveda and its positive effects on every realm of life, pregnancy is the most important for women this is told to be the best way out prenatal and postnatal period. Ayurveda has a history and its right to follow anything that created history as it shows how effective its existence has been over the years.
In this vital period, as the new mother regains all her body and mental strength, the intake of naturally warm, healthy, easy to digest, and comforting food such as soup, low-fat dairy, vitamin-rich fruits, dry fruits, etc. are recommended.
“After childbirth, the body is depleted and according to Ayurveda, the digestive system is weak as there is a Vata imbalance which is aggravated with lack of sleep and erratic eating patterns. This needs to be rebalanced. As well as healing the body’s tissues and balancing the energy levels, it is also important for new mums to eat the right foods for breastfeeding,”
Post Pregnancy Tips
- Daily oil massages for both mom and baby are not only great for skin but are also good for bringing mum’s energy back into balance and for strengthening the baby.
- Cook with a little ghee instead of oil – this is good for restoring depleted energy and strengthening the tissue.
- Try eating really simple and easy to digest foods like soups, stews, porridges, and rice and lentil dishes. What a mother eats when she breastfeeds is also what the baby has to digest, so keep it simple and light.
- Drink a lot of fluids, ideally water. I would boil two liters of water with a tablespoon of fennel seeds in the morning, leave to cool and strain into a bottle, and sip throughout the day. Fennel seeds are known to help with breast milk production.
- Rest is considered very important. Traditionally, it is thought that the body takes 40 days to heal properly.
- Dairy products will help with breast milk and balancing the body.
- Try adding turmeric to your food as it is very healing on so many levels.
- Ginger is considered very well for the body post-labor, so include lots of ginger in your food, soups, and tea.
- Try to avoid eating foods that are too spicy, especially if you are breastfeeding.
- Nuts are great for nourishing the body and producing breast milk.
- Also, dried fruits contain a good amount of iron and are good for breast milk production so add these into your diet.
- Call in favors with supportive friends and family. Support is so important during the first few months for proper healing, both physical and mental.
Here are some easily available ayurvedic remedies for a new mother –
As its name suggests, this health tonic is made out of ten roots and is known to help raise immunity and strength.
#2 Mustard Oil
This is said to be the best as well as the first choice for massages due to its natural warming elements.
#3 Indian Asparagus (Shatavari)
This bittersweet nutritive tonic is known for its rejuvenating properties especially for females as it creates hormonal balance and also helps to increase breast milk production.
#4 Puli Lehyam
A paste-like content made from regular herbs like ginger, black pepper, long pepper, cumin seeds, rajika, and tamarind. To be taken with hot water, curd, or buttermilk twice a day for about a week. Remember it also has side effects for a female having a sensitive stomach, it can worsen gastritis.
#5 Wild Turmeric
Locally known as Motha / Nagarmotha is an ayurvedic paste applied to soothe areas with inflammation and swelling.
#6 Soups & Stews
Easy to digest as prepared slowly and full of nutrients due to the presence of healthy vegetables. This is beneficial to anyone anytime as prepared from the foundation of homemade broths.
#7 Nuts & Dried fruit
Good source of iron, helps in body nourishment and at the same time beneficial for breast milk production.
Food to avoid:
#1 Hot Spicy food:
A little quantity of it is fine but when your overeat spicy food, a small quantity can go into your breast milk and can effect your baby causing colic. Also, spicy food can cause heartburn making new mothers uncomfortable, so better to keep a watch on your diet.
#2 Raw Leafy Green:
When eaten uncooked can cause gas.
#3 Beans & Lentils:
Avoid eating undercooked food made of beans & lentils as this can cause gas problems.
Healthy and Tasty home remedies for new mothers –
#1 Wheat / Oats Porridge
Porridge or Dalia has a high content of iron, healthy fiber, calcium, and proteins. It can be taken in both a sweet and savory style.
Halwa is a regular homemade dish, it’s nutrient content increases when badam (almonds) and other regular dry fruits are added to it. It is to be taken in the right quantity for healthy results.
#3 Granola Bar
Homemade granola bars are a great mix of taste and health. Made out of Milk, Oats, Linseed (Alasi), and dry fruits it’s a tasty health bar.
#4 Super seeds
Fenugreek seeds (methi daana), carom herb (ajwain), ginger, gondh (edible gum), and turmeric are considered the most effective herb of all times for all recoveries.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is said breast milk contains all the required nutrition a baby needs for good development. If the mother doesn’t eat a nutritional diet, the baby too won’t get the same. Mothers should follow a strict diet during the lactation period and select the diet which does not increase body weight but increases body nutrients.
Ayurveda suggests consuming freshly prepared home-cooked comforting food which is easy to digest as the digestion fire or Agni as we say in Ayurveda will be low. A diet that helps in regaining the body’s Vata balance and also restore your digestive fire. If you had a normal delivery, you can have Raab (Sweet Wheat flour Porridge) and sheera. If you had a c-section you can have dal rice, khichdi, greeny leafy vegetable (bhaji), or as directed by your Gynecologist. Water which you drink also should be lukewarm or at room temperature; as drinking such water will help ease postpartum body imbalance conditions like constipation and also help reduce weight. Consume a lot of soupy and soft food which helps reduce constipation, bloating, and gas. Add spices like ginger and black pepper but avoid chilies.
Avoid eating raw foods, cold meals, alcohol, foods that cause Gas, garlic, caffeine, Fishes specifically with high mercury levels. Whatever you eat during the lactation period gets transferred to your breast milk, like if you eat too much of beans, pulses then the baby will get the same through breast milk and can lead to stomach ache in babies as there body cannot digest such heavy food as well as, as your digestive fire is low you will have bloating and gas.
Recipe for Raab
Raab is a slightly sweet drink that is good for new mothers and soothing for the throat at the time of cold. Raab is good for anybody and not just a new mother.
- Heat 1 spoon of ghee in a pan and saute around 2 spoons of wheat or millet (Bajra) flour for a while. Flour should get little brown but should not get burnt.
- Soak 1 spoon of jaggery in 2 spoons of warm water and whisk.
- Once the flour is a little brown add 2 spoons of coconut, half a spoon of carom seeds (Ajwain), and jaggery water slowly and keep stirring to avoid the creation of lumps.
- Serve hot, once the mixture gets a bit thicker.
Recipe for Sheera
1 cup wheat flour
3/4th cup of jaggery
2 cup of water
2.5 tsp ghee
Pinch of Cardamom powder
Process to cook
- Heat ghee in a pan and add flour once a little hot.
- Soak jaggery in warm water and mix it well.
- Once the flour is a bit brown, add a pinch of cardamom powder and add jaggery water. Keep stirring to avoid lumps.
- Stirr it well for 3-4 mins and serve it hot.