The post pregnancy period also known as Postpartum, is considered to be the most crucial time for a mother. With not just the baby to be taken care of, the mother has to concentrate on her diet as well. As a matter of fact, everything that a mother does, affects the baby instantly regardless of whether it is in her control or not. The new mother faces many changes in herself, emotional as well as physical. Issues like weight gain, mood swings, weak muscles, sagging abdomen and anxiety are a few common problems that women face in this period.
Having all this to worry about, a mother often, indirectly takes more stress on her with intake of allopathic medicines. Someone correctly said that everything has side effects and this has its share of effects too. Not too surprised on why elders and experienced doctors often emphasize on Ayurveda and its positive effects on every realm of life, pregnancy being the most important for a women this is told to be the best way out prenatal and postnatal period. Ayurveda has a history and its right to follow anything that created history as it shows how effective its existence as been over the years.
In this vital period, as the new mother regains all her body and mental strength, the intake of naturally warm, healthy, easy to digest and comforting food such as soup, low-fat dairy, vitamin rich fruits, dry fruits etc. are recommended.
“After childbirth, the body is depleted and according to Ayurveda, the digestive system is weak as there is a vata imbalance which is aggravated with lack of sleep and erratic eating patterns. This needs to be rebalanced. As well as healing the body’s tissues and balancing the energy levels, it is also important for new mums to eat the right foods for breastfeeding,”
Here are some tips for an ideal post pregnancy routine:
1) Daily oil massages for both mum and baby are not only great for skin but are also good for bringing mum’s energy back into balance and for strengthening the baby.
2) Cook with a little ghee instead of oil – this is good for restoring depleted energy and strengthening tissue.
3) Try eating really simple and easy to digest foods like soups, stews, porridges, and rice and lentil dishes. What a mother eats when she breastfeeds is also what the baby has to digest, so keep it simple and light.
4) Drink a lot of fluids, ideally water. I would boil two litres of water with a table spoon of fennel seeds in the morning, leave to cool and strain into a bottle and sip throughout the day. Fennel seeds are known to help with breast milk production.
5) Rest is considered very important. Traditionally, it is thought that the body takes 40 days to heal properly.
6) Dairy products will help with breast milk and balancing the body.
7) Try adding turmeric to your food as it is very healing on so many levels.
8) Ginger is considered very well for the body post labour, so include lots of ginger in your food, soups and tea.
9) Try to avoid eating foods that are too spicy, especially if you are breastfeeding.
10) Nuts are great for nourishing the body and producing breast milk.
12) Also, dried fruits contain a good amount of iron and are good for breast milk production so add these into your diet.
13) Call in favours with supportive friends and family. Support is so important during the first few months for proper healing, both physical and mental.
Here are some easily available ayurvedic remedies for a new mother –
1) Dashmoolarishta – As its name suggests, this health tonic is made out of ten roots and is known to helps raise immunity and strength.
2) Mustard Oil – This is said to be the best as well as the first choice for massages due to its natural warming elements.
3) Indian Asparagus (Shatavari) – This bitter sweet nutritive tonic is known for its rejuvenating properties especially for females as it creates hormonal balance and also helps in increase of breast milk production.
4) Puli Lehyam – A paste like content made from regular herbs like ginger, black pepper, long pepper, cumin seeds, rajika and tamarind. To be taken with hot water, curd or butter milk twice a day for about a week. Remember it also has side effect for female having sensitive stomach, it can worsen gastritis.
5) Wild Turmeric – Locally known as Motha / Nagarmotha is an ayurvedic paste applied to sooth areas with inflammation and swelling.
6) Soups & Stews: Easy to digest as prepared slowly and full of nutrients due to presence of healthy vegetables. This are beneficial to anyone anytime as prepared from foundation of homemade broths.
7) Nuts & Dried fruit: Good source of iron, helps in body nourishment and at the same time beneficial for breast milk production.
Food to avoid:
1) Hot Spicy food: Little quantity of it is fine but when your overeat spicy food, small quantity can go into your breast milk and can effect your baby causing colic. Also spicy food can cause heartburn making new mother uncomfortable, so better to keep a watch on your diet.
2) Raw Leafy Green: When eaten uncooked can cause gas.
3) Beans & Lentils: Avoid eating undercooked food made of beans & lentils as this can cause gas problems.
Here are some healthy and tasty home remedies for new mothers –
1) Wheat / Oats Porridge – Porridge or Dalia has high content of iron, healthy fibre, calcium and proteins. It can be taken in both sweet and savory style.
2) Halwa – Halwa is a regular homemade dish, its nutrient content increases when badam (almonds) and other regular dry fruits are added to it. It is to be taken in the right quantity for healthy results.
3) Granola Bar – Homemade granola bars are a great mix of taste and health. Made out of Milk, Oats, Linseed (Alasi) and dryfruits it’s a tasty health bar.
4) Super seeds – Fenugreek seeds (methi daana) , carom herb (ajwain), ginger, gondh (edible gum) and turmeric are considered to the most effective herb of all times for all recoveries.