Those first few weeks after giving birth to your child through a C-section is crucial for your healing process and the right diet forms a huge part of it. Getting all the right kind of nutrition will keep you healthy, energized and will also aid you in breastfeeding your child, thereby keeping your baby healthy too.
Ideally, your diet should contain appropriate balance of proteins, iron, calcium, vitamins, and carbohydrates.
It is recommended to have light meals for the first few days post-delivery. You should slowly work yourself up to a nutritious meal that consists of all the things you ignored during your pregnancy.
The calorie intake of new moms who breastfeed should be somewhere around 1800k calories a day. This will be slightly higher if you are breastfeeding more than one baby. A lactating mom should eat every few hours so small frequent meals are advised. The digestive system and bowel movements take some time to get back to their pre-pregnancy glory; Have easily digestible foods that are rich in fiber.
Here are a few foods that should be part of your diet:
1. Protein-rich foods
Protein is known to repair tissues and regenerate muscle power. This is important to speed up the healing process after delivery. Fish, eggs, chicken, dairy products, nuts, and beans are a few protein-rich foods that you should consume on a daily basis. You can also include protein shakes as part of your daily diet regime in case you’re not keen on consuming the above-mentioned foods every day.
2. Fiber-rich foods
Fiber is very important in avoiding constipation. Constipation can exert pressure on the incision wounds thereby delaying the healing process. Apart from raw vegetables and fruits out of which you can make delicious salads out of, oats and ragi are also a rich source of fiber. You can have oatmeal for breakfast and ragi idli, dosas, and even cookies are yummy and healthy. Pulses such as lentils and green grams also have fiber content in them.
3. Vitamin-rich foods
Vitamins are crucial in the production of collagen which is a substance that can repair and rebuild scar tissues, ligaments and skin. Vitamin-rich foods like green leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Fruits like orange, papaya, watermelon, strawberry, grapefruits, etc are rich in vitamin C which is known to ward off infections.
4. Iron-rich foods
After losing a lot of blood during delivery, it is essential to replenish the iron reserve in the body. Walnuts, dry fruits, beans, and seafood are all good sources of iron. Lack of iron will make you lethargic and weak. To stay active and energetic all day, include these foods in your meals.
5. Calcium-rich foods
Calcium strengthens the bones, teeth and also helps in relaxing the muscles. Have milk every day to up your calcium-intake and also to increase the production of breastmilk for your baby. Other dairy products like cheese and yogurt are also rich in calcium. You can use these while preparing dishes rather than having them as a separate entity.
6. Lots of fluids
To stay hydrated and prevent constipation, have a lot of fluids. 8 to 10 glasses or 2 to 3 liters of water should be consumed every day. If drinking water all the time doesn’t sound like a fun idea, you can have fluid in other forms like buttermilk, coconut water, fruit juices, herbal teas, and soups.