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.
2. Boiled eggs
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.
Avocado toast topped with a hard boiled egg is a healthy meal to start your day.
3. Protein-rich Food
Protein-rich meat, chicken, mutton/lamb, beef, or fish are essential for internal and external incision healing, especially after a C-section.
If you are vegan and breastfeeding mom, you can take protein from quinoa, soy products, beans, and grains.
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.
6. Fruits and Vegetables
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.
7. Brown Rice and whole wheat bread
Eating brown rice is a great way to cut on carbs. It will help you lose weight yet keeps you energetic.
Whole wheat bread is a great source of Folic acid. Folic acid helps in baby’s brain development not only during pregnancy but also even while breastfeeding.
Including Folic acid in your everyday diet works as a mood booster. It really helps you stay positive mentally, and emotionally sound as well.
8. Desi Ghee/ Organic Ghee
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.
If you want to lose weight and you cannot exercise right after giving birth, you should have this amazing recipe of a very simple easy to make herbal tea. I have lost 40 lbs within 6 months after my both C-section by having just one cup a day.
Keep healthy snacks at your breastfeeding station or night stand.
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.
Breastfeeding moms may want to take some breastfeeding supplements for a better breastfmilk supply.
What Foods to avoid during postpartum
1. Vegetables and fruits that cause bloating
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.
It is always a good practice to pay attention to your physical and mental health during postpartum as there are issues that might come up after giving birth.
Comment below and let me know what are your suggestions about your favorite postpartum diet.