Postpartum diet makes a lot of difference in your health as it fastens the healing process after you deliver the baby.
Either you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section delivery, you need to eat a healthy and nutritious diet. For C- section moms internal healing is as important as external healing. Eating healthy would ensure faster recovery – both emotional and physical.
The postpartum diet, especially for breastfeeding moms, have to be nutritious and easy on your digestive tract. Although any scientific research does not back it as yet, but mostly it is about moms’ experiences. Breastfeeding moms’ diet could trigger babies’ gas issues, eventually leading to fussy and uncomfortable nights for the first few weeks after birth.
Avoiding specific types of foods certainly does not mean you stop eating everything. Ideally, you should wait for at least six weeks until the baby’s digestive tract gets stronger and better. Gradually resuming your regular diet would help you tremendously in your and baby’s overall health and better postpartum experience.
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Healthy Postpartum Diet for C-section Moms
Oatmeal is a very nutritious and healthy food for breakfast. Oats are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber – having the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too. Eating oatmeal in any form like oats cookies or porridge can be really helpful in the lactation process.
Even a bowl of oatmeal every morning is filling and helps you lose weight. Oats play a vital role in relieving constipation, which is a significant concern after delivery. Pediatricians also recommend breastfeeding moms to include oatmeal in their diet to improve milk supply.
For breastfeeding moms, oats lactation cookies work great to establish good milk supply during the first several weeks after birth. Also, you can get ready-to-use lactation bites and put it in your hospital bag for a smooth breastfeeding experience.
Eggs are an exceptionally nutritious source of proteins and essentials vitamins. Pediatrics recommend eating boiled eggs that could significantly improve milk supply for a breastfeeding mom. Ideally, eating two boiled eggs in breakfast, or in any other form is a good amount of protein for internal healing.
4. Iron Rich food | Red Meat and Green leafy vegetables
An iron deficiency can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a newborn baby.
If you had a C-section or you have been anemic throughout your pregnancy, you definitely need iron-rich food or iron supplements.
Red meat and green leafy vegetables like spinach etc. are a good source of iron.
If you prefer vegan food, you should have spinach and other leafy greens, dried fruits, kidney beans, and black beans, tofu, seeds, nuts, soy milk, and fortified breakfast cereals for iron intake.
5. Bone Broth | Soup
Bone broth is a healthy appetizer to start your meal. It has all good nutritions and it is super hydrating for breastfeeding moms.
You can make bone broth by using any type of organic bone-in meat. Add water and let it cook for few hours until the meat gets tender. You can add, a few cloves of garlic, cumin seeds, salt and pepper or any other seasoning according to your taste. For meat, you can use organic chicken legs, bone-in mutton or lamb meat to make bone broth.
This should increase your milk supply and improves milk quality. Moreover, it significantly helps with bowel movement and results in getting more regular.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with the whole nutrition of essential vitamins and minerals. Eat fruits and green leafy iron-rich vegetables like avocado, apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, spinach.
Eating avocado in breakfast is a healthy meal to start your day—mix avocado with salt and pepper. Toast a bread slice of your choice, whole wheat, or any other you like—cover toast with mashed avocado with a boiled or fried egg on top.
Your body needs good fats and Desi ghee has way more health benefits if consumed moderately.
Water intake is the most essential part of hydration. You have to drink as much water as you can to have your milk flow get better and your bowel movements could get better. If you feel dehydrated you are at risk of energy draining dehydration. To keep your energy levels and milk production up, make sure you stay well-hydrated.
Cut down on caffeine intake because caffeine can cause irritability in newborns sleep.
9. Milk and Yogurt
Milk and yogurt are a rich source of calcium . as your baby’s bones get strong, more calcium you need for your bone health. You have to have a dairy intake (you can choose low fat or whole milk).
Watch out for any signs of lactose intolerance in newborns.
10. Green tea
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants and helps mom lose weight after birth.
Raisins (please keep an eye in case of any allergy signs)
12. Supplements /Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins are really important until you choose to breastfeed. Some essential vitamins that can help you with depression or anxiety and vitamin B complex are one of them. Eat food that’s a rich source of vitamins B.
Calcium, and magnesium are essential vitamins for muscles cramping or bone health. Your baby has already been taking his share of nutrition from your body since you conceived and now when you have delivered a healthy baby, he/she needs food from breastmilk thus, you have to eat in order to meet your baby’s food requirements.
Take Vitamin B rich food because vitamin B really helps with moods, anxiety, depression. In short, it is essential for emotional health as well. Nursing moms need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12.
Folic acid is one of the mood boosters for me. It really helps positively in emotional as well as mental health.
After a C-section, eating gassy food could cause severe bloating that becomes extremely painful in your stitches. Although it varies how fast or slow is your metabolism.
Gas issues could also affect your baby’s night sleep in a negative way because the baby tiny stomach is going to adjust with time. So, try to be wise with your food choices.
You might want to avoid eating veggies like cauliflower, kale, broccoli, okra, legumes, chickpeas, etc, for at least a couple of weeks.
2. Fried food or oily food
At this point, try to avoid fried food as It could cause heartburn, discomfort, and bloating in your abdominal area.
Oily food is one of the reasons for gaining weight.
3. Spicy Food
Spicy food may delay the healing process, in case you have a c-section delivery. It can cause heartburn, acidity, digestive discomfort. Ideally, you should avoid eating spicy food for at least 2 to 3 weeks postpartum.
Word of caution: Please watch out for any form of allergies from dry fruit, nuts, and dairy products. in rare cases, babies tend to be lactose intolerant too. Please talk to your doctor if you see anything unusual.
Are you busy preparing for the baby and forgetting about your postpartum recovery products?
Recovering after a baby is a lot of hard work yet, regardless of what delivery you had. While you bond with your baby, your body needs to be relaxed and healing inside-out.
Well, to speed up your recovery after a C-section, make sure to prepare a postpartum kit with basic products before baby arrives.
If you are scheduled for a C-section, primarily prepare for a postpartum kit before you deliver. That way, you will be able to take care of the baby and yourself in a better way.
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Postpartum Recovery Products Checklist for C-Section moms
Here is the postpartum recovery products to ensure faster and better recovery for moms. After delivery, when moms feel exhausted, these recovery must-haves would help feeling more comfortable with a baby.
1. Postpartum Clothing
Pre and Post delivery gowns for mom
Wearing matching gowns on mom and baby look picture-perfect. Also, these gowns are super comfy to wear during your hospital stay for delivery. You can wear gowns pre or post-delivery; either you have a vaginal or C-section delivery.
You can also get matching baby swaddles and gowns that is perfect for photographs. Besides, your hospital stay, you can also wear it at home while you are recovering, and staying comfy whatsoever.
Nursing shirts – a nice comfortable, nursing shirt is a good option. Your life will be much easier wearing not too loose or too tight shirts after delivery. Your 7 months’ maternity clothes can fit in easily right away but it will take a couple of weeks to get back in shape.
Cardigans- You may want to have cardigans or coverups in case you have visitors. You can even wear them on your hospital gown.
Comfortable trousers -You definitely need to have a loose band trouser in case you have C-section delivery.
A nursing cover– You might want to have a nursing cover with you at all times while you are outside if you choose to breastfeed.
Nursing bra – A well-supported nursing or pumping bra is a must-have once you have your milk flow. I recommend using the wireless bra at all times for more comfort even if it is not a nursing bra.
Undies – Stocking up on a few large size undies would be a great idea. Keep a couple of body-shaper undies if you are going out or have to dress up for an occasion.
Post-C-section underwear for scar treatment
For post-C-section recovery, new moms may want to have C section underwear for scar healing. This scar treatment underwear would help provide belly support and helps moms get in shape faster.
Postpartum Disposable Underwear
Moms get postpartum disposable underwear from the hospital when they deliver. These underwears are super soft and comfy for C-section moms as well as for vaginal delivery moms. While coming home, you can bring some home with you.
It is your choice if you are going to stock up on breast milk, or you are going to supplement formula as well.
If you are a working mom or you are exclusively breastfeeding, you can use an electric breast pump. It will help you stock up on breastmilk and freeze it for future use. Most likely, your insurance company is going to cover the cost for the electric breast pump depending on the plan you have.
Breastfeeding moms may use a manual or an electric breast pump, but there is Haaka Silicon Pump that is a must-have for breastfeeding moms who are on the go or nurse on demand. Haakaa is very effective in saving milk that leaks away from the other breast while nursing and it also helps with engorgement.
Normally, not every mom needs to have a nursing pad for the most part. However, If you experience heavy milk flow then you must carry nursing pads with you to avoid visible leakage marks on your shirt.
Latching is the first thing you have to do once you deliver a baby (only if you choose to breastfeed your baby). Let that be a vaginal or a C-section. The fact about C section is, since it’s not as natural as vaginal delivery so for that matter, the milk flow takes time to set in. You have to struggle to latch your baby on your breasts, more sucking is equal to more feed.
First, colostrum is produced which is a yellowish fluid, very healthy for your baby. Then milk flow starts in a couple of days. In this whole bonding process, the breasts get dry, itchy, they might even bleed for a couple of weeks. The pain and discomfort are real.
A belly belt is a must-have for new moms. Most of the hospitals in the US provide a belly belt if you have a C-section. You can always ask a nurse about it.
Belly belt helps in providing support on your postpartum, jelly-like belly. It will help your postpartum belly pooch shrink faster after delivery. However, you can order a postpartum belly belt online that may work better for you .
6. Heating pad
Postpartum abdominal cramps are painful, thus, you might need a heating pad to ease abdominal cramping.
7. Prescribed medicines
Moreover, If you have a C-section delivery, you have to take pain medication, Motrin, Tylenol, every 6 to 8 hours or a stool softener every day. Watch out for any sign of infections after delivery.
Unfortunately, if you ever get an infection in your wound or vaginal stitches you have to call your doctor immediately.
DO NOT USE tampons especially if you have a vaginal delivery and if you have sensitive skin, you can use organic pads
9. A Water spray bottle or Portable bidet
During your visit to the hospital, nurses give you a small water bottle to clean all that post-delivery blood down there when you deliver either vaginally or via c-section. The purpose is to clean.
You can have portable bidets that are available online, or you can install a hand-held bidet to wash after every bathroom trip.
It is certainly a must-have.
These hand-held bidets are so easy to use and hygienic. A handheld bidet is a great option for moms who are following natural ways of parenting like cloth diapering, etc. After installing this in your bathroom, it would be easy for you to wash your baby’s soiled diapers.
10. Stool softener/ organic rose water for constipation
Yes, constipation is real during postpartum. For that reason, you have to have a stool softener after delivery.
In addition to that, you need to drink plenty of water even though you are taking stool softeners.
Also, if you want to try natural ways of relieving your constipation I highly recommend you drink about half a cup of rose water every day until you get regular in your bowel movement. Rosewater is a healthy alternative to stool softeners and it helps you feel so much refreshed and light.
11. Prenatal Vitamins
Your prenatal vitamins are as necessary during postpartum as was during pregnancy as long as you choose to breastfeed. Once you wean off your baby or you are not breastfeeding, you must take regular multivitamins for the right nutrition.
12. Healthy food
You will surely be going to need a lot of healthy food, snacks. Eating a healthy diet is essential that helps improve milk supply for a breastfeeding mom.
New moms need healthy snacks – like dates, figs, almonds, etc for the breastfeeding sessions or late-night munching.
However, you need to watch out in case your baby shows any signs of allergies due to nuts. Some babies, if not all, tend to throw up a lot or have an allergic reaction to nuts, chocolates, dairy products, etc.
Hydration is the most important thing pre or post-delivery. You should drink plenty of water preferably at room temperature.
15. A Good Read or a Good Watch
If you like reading a book, you should have a Kindle Fire with you to unwind all that exhaustion while you are nursing or when the baby is asleep.
To be honest, once you have a baby at hand, you definitely have to take time out for yourself so your body and mind could relax. This unwinding process will help you function so much better.
If you want to watch a good drama series, it will be a great relaxer in a couple of weeks after postpartum because you won’t be interested in anything right away unless you settle down with everything with your baby and other chores.
C-section or Cesarean delivery is a surgical procedure to deliver one or more babies. C section is different than a vaginal delivery. It is performed in case if a mother or a baby is at risk as if there is twin pregnancy or more, breech baby, high blood pressure, or problems with the placenta or umbilical cord.
I have had two C sections 19 months apart to be exact. Despite having a surgical delivery I stayed at the hospital for two nights only for both of my deliveries. All I wanted was to go home and rest.
Since, C-section delivery needs a lot of post-care to recover faster internally and externally, both.
I was able to recover super quick after my C-section deliveries as my nurses at the hospital gave helpful instructions before I was allowed to go home.
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Post-C-section Recovery tips to heal faster and better for new moms
1. Sleep and rest
In my experience, I could hardly sleep in the hospital at both of my deliveries. You really have to sleep whenever you can. Once you have a baby it is not easy to fall asleep without worries.
Life has changed already now.
You have to feel healthy, well-rested in order to take care of your baby. Sleep whenever you can because once you have a new addition to your family, you tend to get visitors out of love to see your little one. Eventually, you get more tired and exhausted due to sleep deprivation and guests all day.
However, if you are not physically or emotionally ready to take guests, you may want to delay visits for a few weeks. It all depends on how you feel in your postpartum period.
Some women need more sleep to function properly. At the end of the day, you are the one who is going to take care of the baby besides all that daytime help (if you are lucky enough to have). So you have to take care of yourself first.
Typically, you can get done with post-delivery procedures with you and your baby in a couple of days and for that reason, you do not have to be at the hospital for too long – only if you do not have any other medical concerns. In my opinion, if your doctor says okay to go home, you should.
Once my baby was out, they stapled me. Voila!!! That’s it …. No medicine to apply. Once my catheter was out I could take shower the next day which was much needed. Also, in just about three days the staples were removed.
The scar heals on its own, you don’t have to apply anything unless it is prescribed by a surgeon. This does not mean that you are not vulnerable to any kind of infection. You really have to watch out for any signs of blood oozing out, infection or swelling.
You may have your partner keep a close eye on your stitches. If you see anything concerning, seek professional advice right away.
3. Pain Medication
Painkillers, like Percocet, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen will be prescribed. Although medicines are to be taken 6 to 8 hours depending on your pain level also you can skip it if you do not feel a need for it.
Make sure your legs are not hurting too much because you might end up having a clot so to deal with that they have very soothing leg pads that ensure blood circulation.
Once your catheter is out you have to go to the bathroom by yourself and you have to actually start walking. Walking is really essential to healing fast. Don’t overdo it.
Sometimes legs start hurting as a consequence of an epidural or spinal you get for delivery. If your legs keep hurting once you get home, you can get compression socks to ensure your legs are not giving you a hard time along with new mom struggles.
5. No Heavy Lifting
Do not pick anything heavier than the baby. If you have a toddler, do not hold her out of emotions for at least 2 weeks. Please DO NOT PICK older kids up for at least two weeks.
Your body from inside takes a while to heal. But heavy lifting and not resting may cause an “umbilical hernia” and you might end up again in the hospital for another surgery. In adults, too much abdominal pressure could cause an umbilical hernia, in case you have multiple surgeries back to back.
6. Wearing Belly belt
Hospitals provide you with belly belt after a C-section. It is highly recommended to wear belly wrap, it will not only help you with a lot of support around your abdominal area but also it will help you get in shape by shrinking your abdominal muscles quickly.
7. Avoid stairs
Avoid going up and down the stairs for at least two weeks. If you really have to depend on your house configuration, room, bathroom, and kitchen location, then be careful to do it once or twice only if you think you are ready also your body is ready to handle this.
After delivery, it takes about 3 to 5 days to have a milk supply right away. For both of my deliveries, it took a couple of days to get the right amount of supply. This made my babies lose more than 10% of their birth weight, so I had to supplement to meet their eating requirements as per the pediatrician advice. Always consult your doctor.
If you are a first-time mom and you are planning to breastfeed it is always a good idea to have a lactation consultant help you how to latch on your baby. It seems really easy but some babies are hard to latch on. Hospitals offer a lactation class at the hospital for new moms. Those are really helpful.
You definitely going to need some stool softeners. They give you these in hospital but you have to keep having them for about 10 days unless you get a regular bowel movement. At my first delivery, I had to take it for more than a month. But the second time it was just about three weeks.
You might be prescribed a Stool softener if you need it before you go home.
However, drinking rose water would help you a lot with constipation.
11. What to eat and what not
It is always advised to have a soft whole-grain kind of food post-delivery. This will help in milk supply as well as your bowel movement would be less painful if you have a vaginal delivery.
Wait, did anyone tell you that when you have a c section delivery you won’t be able to feel your abdominal area for about six months at least?
Well yes, the reason why your nerves get slashed so it will take more time to get all those sensations back.
Coming back to food – drink a lot of meat broth or veggies broth (if you are vegetarian).
Boil eggs, oatmeal, salt, and black pepper spiced minced meat, bone broth. Take as much soft food as you can. It would help you heal better and your intestines would thank you.
Well if you can’t have all those things, eat whatever you feel like eating.
Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your baby at this point in time. Do not take it lightly. It may take more time to recover/heal internally and externally than in vaginal delivery. A healthy mom can take care of her family in a better way.
Last and not least, having your favorite family and friends around, plays a vital role in speedy recovery – both physically and emotionally. During this time, refrain from adding toxic people in your visitor’s list.
Avoid anything that is going to burden you in any way. However, taking a good amount of rest is the number one thing and if you want to skip the idea of having visitors altogether, even that is totally fine.
During these times of COVID-19 when it is highly advised to stay home and practice social distancing to keep you and your family safe. Arrange a video call or conference call with your friends and family since it is very much likely they are at home and free to talk.
When you are busy with a baby, at some point you need people to have an adult talk. In other words, you need a response from the other side, a conversation.
I am Madiha, mom to two beautiful kids. Here you find helpful tips about pregnancy, postpartum, newborn care, toddlers, and product reviews. Join the tribe, and let’s grow together as moms. Enjoy having kids while they are little and more fun.
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