Your body has been through a lot, so your diet after delivery matters.
These will be foods that help your body heal and will help to give you energy and your strength back.
It also sets you up for future weight loss. Here is the best Indian diet after pregnancy.
Your body has been through a lot. Carrying a child in your womb and giving birth is no easy feat. Your ligaments and tendons soften to facilitate the stretching of your muscles and moving the bones in your pelvis apart. You have twice the volume of blood running through your body and your heart works harder to pump all that blood and extra oxygen around your body and to your baby.
This is just some of what happens to your body during pregnancy. That is not even to mention the ordeal of labor. Before you even get to the point where you need to burn the fat that your body has accumulated to provide your body with extra padding to keep your baby safe during pregnancy and energy for breastfeeding, you need to recover from your pregnancy and giving birth.
Your body needs rest and it needs to be fed food that will help your body to become strong again. This is what the postnatal diet is for. If you are surrounded by your family, you are likely hearing what you should and should not do, you also have access to the internet where you see various diet plans and such. A lot of it is also Western and not necessarily suited to the Indian culture.
Here you will find Indian food wisdom to help heal the body after delivery so that both you and your baby will have what you need to become strong and healthy.
Indian Diet After Pregnancy
1. Avoid Salt Immediately After Delivery
As much as you will learn about what to eat after delivery, you also need to know what not to eat. Your body is very prone to water retention during this time. Salt is necessary for healthy living, but in excess, it also promotes water retention and can leave you feeling dehydrated. Dehydration is not something you want because it will hinder your production of breast milk.
What your body really needs in terms of salt is sodium. Sodium naturally occurs in many veggies and meat as well as dairy products. You will not need to worry that you are not getting any sodium if you eat a variety of vegetables and other healthy foods. Worried about flavor? Herbs and mild spices are delicious and healing to the body. They are safe in food quantities, so no need to stress.
2. Dill Water or Huwa Water
Now onto what to eat. Huwa water is simply water infused with dill. Huwa water has been used for centuries in Indian culture to help mother’s body to get rid of toxins and water retention and to assist the natural process of the uterus shrinking back to pre-pregnancy size.
Dill is safe for you to eat if you are breastfeeding and will even help your baby to be more accepting of solids, particularly those that are flavored with herbs like dill. Just remember that up until 6 months, your breast milk is all your baby needs to eat.
How to make it:
Simply add one tablespoon of dill to a liter of water.
Let it boil for five minutes.
Let it cool and strain it.
You can then drink it throughout the day.
Important: Avoid dill water if you are allergic to it or have an allergy to fennel, caraway, coriander, or celery.
3. Golden Milk (Turmeric)
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants. If you have any pain after delivery turmeric can help as it is very effective at reducing pain too. Milk, whether its cows milk or a nut milk is very nutritious as it supplies calcium which is needed for strong bones in both you and your baby. Dairy also contains a small amount of vitamin D which is important for your baby.
To make some delicious golden milk, you can use your preferred milk. But note that almonds help your body to make breast milk, so if you are struggling with milk production or if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk.
Golden Milk Recipe:
Add one cup of milk to a pot.
Add ½ teaspoon dried turmeric or about ½ inch (roughly 1 cm and a bit) of fresh turmeric.
Add ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper.
Add a tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee
Optional, add a stick of cinnamon (½ teaspoon ground cinnamon) and/or 1/8 to a ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger (½ inch of fresh ginger).
Bring it to a boil stirring regularly.
Then let it simmer for around 10 minutes.
Let it cool until it’s comfortable to drink.
Add in a little bit of raw honey to sweeten it.
You can adjust the spices as necessary to your taste and so that they are not too strong for your baby’s delicate tummy.
Chicken is a great way to add protein to your diet. Traditionally chicken bones are boiled to make bone broth which helps mothers to regain their strength and have the necessary nutrients to help keep your skin elastic and supply important amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
Chicken also contains vitamin K2 which is important after pregnancy as it directs calcium to the bones and iron.
Remember to avoid salt. You can use herbs and spices to flavor your chicken instead. A mild chicken curry, for example, is a great way to use healthy spices and have delicious chicken.
Important: Only buy free-range chicken. Chickens raised on grains contain pesticides due to all GMO (genetically modified) which is often sprayed with pesticides.
Fish like rawas (Indian salmon) and sardines are great for calcium and healthy omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats help to regulate your hormones, preserve good brain function, and help to keep your skin supple.
Important: Due to the mercury content of fish, do not consume more than two servings (a serving is about 150 g) of fish per week.
6. Seasonal Vegetables
A wide variety of seasonal vegetables will strengthen your immune system and keep inflammation in your body low. They are rich in vitamins like vitamins C, A, B, and K. Try to eat around 3 cups of leafy greens. They are high in vitamin K1 which is good for effective blood clotting, magnesium which tends to become depleted during pregnancy, as well as iron and calcium.
You will also get fiber from these veggies which is important. Post pregnancy, many woman struggle with constipation. Making sure you drink enough water and eat foods rich in fiber each day will help.
Important: During breastfeeding, you need around 10-13 glasses of water per day.
7. Coconut Oil and Ghee
Despite how fat has been thought of as bad in the past, it turns out that your mother was right all along. Fat is necessary for energy and if you have dry skin, adding more fat to your diet can help. Traditionally, meals are cooked with ghee and you may be worried that this will just make you pick up more weight or that you will never lose the weight that you gained.
This is not true. You can lose weight while eating delicious full-fat foods. While your focus just after giving birth should not be on losing weight, being able to enjoy your food and eat foods that supply your body with energy for recovery and breastfeeding is great. Coconut oil is also full of healthy fats and helps to regulate your thyroid so that your metabolism is boosted.
Remember to take this time to rest and eat healthy foods that help your body to recover. This is also a time for bonding with your new baby, so enjoy it. Once you have recovered and it is safe for you to start your weight loss journey, you will find that this time of recovery will already have been aiding you.
Your body goes through a lot during pregnancy and needs time to recover.
Resting and giving your body the foods that will heal it is important during this time.
Avoid salt immediately after pregnancy to help reduce water retention.
Drink huwa (dill) water to help shrink your uterus, get rid of water retention and get rid of toxins.
Drink golden milk to lower inflammation and take care of your calcium needs in a delicious way. It’s made by combining turmeric, milk, pepper, honey, ghee/coconut oil, and if you like, adding cinnamon and ginger.
Eat chicken for iron, protein and boil the bones for bone broth to give your body helpful amino acids that you and your baby need as well as for the health of your skin.
Eat fish twice a week for omega 3 fatty acids.
Eat a wide variety of vegetables including leafy greens to supply vitamin C, A, B, K, as well as magnesium, calcium, and iron.
Eat coconut oil and ghee for healthy fats to give you energy and help with thyroid function.