Women who undergo C-section surgery experience physical, emotional, and mental stress. Delivering by C-section is invasive, and mothers need a good amount of time to recover from it. An essential part of this recovery is the diet the mother takes. While most people focus on the diet while a woman is pregnant, diet after the delivery is often neglected.
With this article, we hope to inform mothers and their families about the diet during and diet after C-section recovery. The aim is to propel the healing process and encourage recovery. Let’s get started.
Immediately after the surgery, the mother is kept on ice chips and a liquid diet. 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. Incorporating proteins, iron, and fibers into the diet is essential at this stage.
Dehydration, prenatal vitamins, and pain medications contribute to constipation, which is common after delivery. Consuming fibers from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts, ease out constipation. New mothers should also eat a sufficient amount of warm water or soup.
Protein contributes to maintaining the muscle and promoting the growth of new tissues. Mothers can choose lean proteins to get adequate nutrition without worrying about additional fats. Greek yogurt, tofu, white meat poultry and eggs, beans, and lentils are various lean protein sources for diet after c-section.
Iron supplements are provided to pregnant women through their pregnancy journey and after it. Women lose a significant amount of blood during delivery. Taking iron-rich food like green leafy vegetables, beans, and legumes, helps produce hemoglobin and reduce the chances of iron deficiency anemia.
A diet plan for C-section recovery needs to contain all necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates. Home-cooked meals made with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts, are ideal. Diet plans are specific to each mother and made keeping their nutritional requirements in mind.
One can contact DayToDay Health to connect with a dietician for a Diet chart after C-section recovery.
Vitamin-rich food help in repairing damaged tissues by promoting the production of collagen. They also contain high levels of antioxidants. Fenugreek leaves, spinach, carrots, broccoli, avocado, oranges, strawberries, watermelon, papaya are good vitamin sources. They also help with improving immunity.
Proteins, Minerals, and Calcium are required to promote cell building and to strengthen the bones. Good sources of calcium include green vegetables, milk, and dairy products, soya drinks, and fortified flour. Fruits like kiwi, grapes, banana, blueberries, cherries, mango, peach, pear have high mineral content.
Iron-rich food helps regain 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.
Easily digestible food like yogurt, paneer, soups, broths helps in 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 food 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.
Galactagogue food items like garlic, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, tulsi, help in maintaining or increasing the production and flow of breast milk, and should be added to the mother’s diet generously.
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.
Bonus: 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.
After a C-section, physical activities are restricted for a significant period. Food items that can cause fatigue, lethargy, and slow recovery should be avoided. 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.
Fish and shellfish have high mercury content and are harmful to the baby. Mothers should avoid cold cuts, raw meat, and uncooked vegetables. Alcohol is an absolute no at this stage as it can interfere with breastfeeding and cause developmental anomalies in the baby.
Sodium content in food should be monitored 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.
New mothers should take it slow and ease into their normal diets. Consuming multiple meals with smaller portion sizes and chewing properly can help with digestion. Support of the family and friends also makes a big difference in the mother’s smooth recovery.
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