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Postnatal care: Foods for Postnatal

Food is an important source of nutrition for all of us. The same holds good during pregnancy and after delivery. Giving birth is both exhausting and emotional. After the birth, you may feel very tired and with your hormones once again changing, very emotional. Physically, you may feel sore. It is very important to maintain a healthy diet. Not only do you need the energy in the short term to look after your baby, a healthy diet will have long term health benefits for you and your family. You may feel that you don’t have the time to cook, so try quick, healthy meals like baked potatoes with a variety of fillings. But that's not all and right.



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One should also be aware that the type of the food the mother has after delivery impacts the weight and shape of oneself. These fats accumulated after delivery ( if right diet is not followed ) will be stored over a life long period . This in turn adds weight ot the body. Your body has undergone enormous changes over the last nine months and it is going to take time to get your body back into shape. It may take another nine months or longer. Immediately after the birth, your tummy will still be a lot larger than it was before you were pregnant. Eating healthily and exercising regularly will help to reduce weight.



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A few handy recipes one can follow after delivery which helps to feed the baby and keep oneself fit too:


1) Khichri, Pulao, Paratha and Chapati are the items made from wheat and rice. They may be taken alternately as they will supply your need for carbohydrates.The breast feeding mothers should eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid caffeine and sugar. After the delivery it is wise to eat the food cooked with cumin (jeera) and pepper.



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2) Ghee gives strength; it is high in calcium content and it goes well with a lot of Indian food preparations. That is why our elders stressed on the importance of taking ghee after delivery. Nevertheless, one should take it in moderation and should not overdo it.



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3) A breast feeding mother should try to eat several small meals a day instead of eating to the full. She should eat gourds such as lauki and tori to increase the supply of milk. A breast feeding mother should eat paan (betel leaves) after every meal. This would help in increasing the digestion.



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4) Whole grains : Whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, barley and bulgur as well as whole wheat products give you energy without the excess calories found in simple sugars. Include nine to 11 servings of whole grain in your daily diet; one slice of bread or 1/2 cup of starch equals one serving.



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Others that can be followed are:

> Increase liquid to 8 glasses of water a day, milk, juice, soup, apple, peach or apricot juice, herbal teas

> Relax and rest often, take every available time to nap and sleep

> Increase Nutritious Diet: Protein Foods: Cottage Cheese, yogurt, tofu, whole grains, nuts, etc…

> Eat Vitamin B: Whole grains, brewer’s yeast, rice bran syrup (assists milk production)

> Eat Milk Producing Foods: Tapioca (prevents constipation and easy to digest), mung beans & rice (well cooked), oatmeal, wheat berries, etc…


Many times new mothers wonder how much or how often they should be eating after giving birth. After the delivery it is very normal for you to feel hungry often. It means that the body needs food as often as required. After the delivery, the mother’s diet should be such that it increases her strength and immunity. Also, after delivery the new mother must focus on supplemental nutrients while maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. Iron and calcium supplementation maybe taken if required. The above foods are an average taken for mothers after delivery, Foods might vary from person to person depending on the health conditions.


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