The time after delivery and the time when a new mom’s body returns closer to its pre-pregnancy state is called the postpartum period. It’s associated with a lot of physiological and hormonal changes, as it’s during this time that mommies produce breast milk for their babies. This is exactly when mothers need to eat foods to keep them healthy, energetic and fit.
How Eating the Right Food After Delivery Helps Maintain Health and Weight
Post-pregnancy, women often start fretting about their weight. With an aim of gaining their pre-pregnancy body back eating nutritious food that is vital for the baby and their own health tends to take a back seat. This is not only the time to maintain your health but also your baby’s. Here’s why and what you should eat if you desire to see yourself healthy:
Protein: Protein is an essential requirement for breastfeeding moms. Consider adding dairy products to your diet to meet protein needs. Dairy products are rich in calcium too and shall increase your vitamin B12 levels.
Whole Grains: As a new mother, your diet should be based on what is good for your baby and for you. You need energy to run around your newborn and whole grains can help you with that. Whole grains are rich in carbohydrates and will help you with breastmilk production. Brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal can boost your energy without extra calories. So, eat complex carbohydrates to stay healthy.
Fats: Include fats in your diet, both your baby and you need it. Having said that, take heed to understand and differentiate between good and bad ‘fats’. Omega - 3 fatty acids help in the brain development of a baby and are also good for his eyes. While cooking, choose healthier options in oils; prefer olive or vegetable oil over saturated fats. Remember, it’s not what you eat that keeps you fit and fine, but how much you eat. A little of everything is necessary to maintain your health and weight.
Number of Meals: Opt for small portions but increase your number of meals. Don’t starve yourself by eating three meals a day and then fighting hunger pangs in between those meals. Instead, divide your meal plan into six smaller meals. This way you won’t feel hungry every now and then. Have a diet schedule, to avoid unhealthy snacking in between.
Stick to a Schedule: Plan regular meals; eat the right food, not for a day or two but regularly. Don’t skip meals as it won’t help in weight loss, instead, it will make you weak.
What to Eat After Delivery -13 Indian Foods For New Moms
There are many theories associated with the diet of an Indian mother post-delivery. However, there are certain food items that must be included. The focus should be on light and easy-to-digest vegetables that are high in nutritive value. There are also spices that have been used for ages as a part of traditional remedies.
Here are some of the top food items that you must include in your diet postpartum.They will help you get your pre-pregnancy body back!
These seeds are known to increase breast milk supply in new mothers. Fenugreek also has other benefits such as easing back and joint pain, which is why it’s among the top Indian foods to eat after delivery. The best part of fenugreek is that it is low in calories but will make you feel full for longer. This means no excess weight gain but adequate nutrition for you!
Dry ginger powder:
This root and spice forms an important part of the post-pregnancy diet plan for Indian moms as it has anti-inflammatory properties that are necessary at this time. Also, it makes sure that you experience no flatulence and stay energetic.
Panjeeri is a traditional Indian mixture that’s made of a whole variety of nuts and other ingredients. You can eat it as it is or make laddoos out of it. It’s the perfect Indian food to eat post-delivery as all of its constituents are healthy and beneficial for recovery. A healthy body means a healthy metabolism and no reckless weight gain!
WATCH: How to Make Panjiri for New Mothers
Here is how you can make panjiri easily:
- Take 2-3 tbsp of pure ghee and fry edible gum until it doubles in size.
- Fry foxnut (makhana) in pure ghee until light-golden.
- Fry cashews in ghee until golden brown; fry almonds and pistachios separately in pure ghee for 1-2 minutes.
- Mix these ingredients and grind until coarse; set aside.
- Fry raisins and dried melon seeds separately for 1-2 minutes.
- Take a cup of ghee in a pan, add half a kg of semolina and mix continuously until fragrant, add desiccated coconut and cardamom powder to it; mix until golden brown.
- Take this mixture, add coarse nuts and roasted raisins and dried melons. Add powdered sugar; mix until well-combined.
Turmeric is known for its healing properties. Try to include half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in suitable foods as a part of your postnatal diet. It’ll help in healing internal wounds faster. Plus, turmeric is great for detoxifying the liver, which speeds up weight loss. Here's a cool and refreshing soup recipe for you with all the goodness of turmeric!
Carom seeds (ajwain):
Gas and indigestion in a nursing mom can be kept at bay with two tablespoons of carom seeds every day. These tiny wonders can be boiled in water, and the same water can be consumed after straining. Another brilliant way to consume ajwain is by adding it to some recipe, try this - Paneer Palak Paratha! The recipe also gives you a fibrous boost, speeds up your metabolism, and keeps you clear of bloating.
Edible gum or gond:
This is a resin taken out from the bark of a tree and is especially recommended during winters as it provides heat to the body. It also helps in increasing lactation. Small laddoos made with gond is one way to get the most of edible gum. You can include ghee, whole-wheat flour, nuts, poppy seeds, sugar, or jaggery in the mixture.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, dal is a must-eat as it’s packed with proteins. You can add other ingredients such as veggies to make it even healthier. Spinach is one option as it’s rich in iron, while potato is another as it’s loaded with potassium and vitamin C. This protein-rich food gives you essential nutrients without loading you up with fats.
Try this - Heartwarming Dal Recipe
Everyone loves to munch almonds now and then. You just need an excuse to eat dry fruits after all! But after pregnancy, you should include almonds in your daily diet schedule. Almonds are rich in fibre and carbohydrates. They also contain vitamin B12, which is a major requirement post-pregnancy. Also, almonds are well-equipped with important minerals like calcium, zinc, copper, and magnesium. A tiny seed is full of so many nutrients. It can be simply munched or you can be a little creative and make almond (badam) halwa or almond milk. Either way, it tastes delicious.
Oats or dalia is a rich source of iron, proteins, calcium, fibre, and carbohydrates. Being high in fibre, oats will help you cope with constipation. Thus, it is recommended that you have oats in your post-pregnancy diet. The best thing about oats is that it can be cooked easily. Cook it in a pan, you can add milk or water. If you like, you can also add chopped apples, banana, or nuts to increase its nutritional value.
Finger millet, also known as ragi, is an excellent source of iron and calcium. If you dislike or are allergic to dairy products, ragi is a good option to include in your post-pregnancy diet. Eating ragi can help you gain strength postpartum. You can have finger millet in the form of idli, dosa, or chapatis.
Green Vegetables and Fruits:
Fruits and vegetables are recommended for all seasons and all reasons. You know why? Because they are healthy! Include citrus fruits, such as oranges, strawberries, or melons in your diet. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and can also increase breast milk supply. Eat green vegetables, like spinach, which is a rich source of iron. You can also eat apple gourd (tinda), pointed gourd (parwal), and lotus stem (kamal kakri).
Sesame seeds, known as til in India, are packed with essential nutrients that are required after pregnancy. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of iron, copper, calcium, and magnesium. Eating ‘til’ can regulate bowel movements. You can include till in different recipes. Make til laddoo, til chikki, or rewri.
Cumin seeds are effective in boosting the production of breast milk. Add cumin seed powder to milk and have it daily. As after pregnancy, your baby will need milk and hence it is important to increase breast milk supply.
A postpartum diet plan mainly focuses on meeting the nutritional needs of a mother as well as the child. A baby's health is important, so is a mom's. After all, healthy mothers mean healthy babies!
What was your diet plan after delivery? How did it help stay fit as well as lose weight? Tell us in the comments!
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