What should mothers eat in the first 40 days after delivery
Your pregnancy is finally over and you have an adorable bundle of joy in your arms! And while you must be worrying about how to keep your baby healthy and happy, you should not neglect yourself. This is because, what you eat will impact the quality of your breast milk, and hence your baby. Postpartum is a tricky phase, for both you and your tiny one. Physical fatigue, hormonal shifts, and sleep deprivation can make everything seem overwhelming. And this is also the time when your body needs to repair itself and recover. Therefore, your diet after delivery, especially for the first 40 days, is extremely crucial.
Diet for the baby in the first 40 days
Most experts agree that the baby only needs to have breast milk for the first 6 months, and that will give him or her all the essential nutrients for proper growth and development. So, as far as the baby is concerned, as long as you’re providing him or her with an adequate quantity of breast milk, you don’t need to worry about any other food. If breastfeeding is not an option for some reason, then the baby formula is the next best option. Check with your doctor regarding the most suitable formula for your baby.
Diet for the mother in the first 40 days
Once your pregnancy is over, you are no longer eating for two. However, your baby is still dependent on your breast milk for his or her nutrition. This means, you need anywhere between 2300-2700 calories a day. However, it’s equally important to make sure that you’re getting your calories from the right sources and not eating empty calories as it will just contribute to weight gain. Here are some important things you need to look for in the food you consume:
Avoid extra spices
Try to avoid spicy foods during this time. They might end up messing with your digestive system and cause bloating or gas.
Get essential nutrients
You also need to consume foods that are rich in protein, calcium, iron, and essential vitamins like A and B-complex. Make sure you incorporate dairy products and green leafy vegetables in your diet, to get these nutrients. Vitamin C is another important part of a post-pregnancy diet. So, make it a point to consume citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and sweet lime.
Consume high-fibre foods
Choose foods that are high in fibre. These will release energy slowly, allowing you to ward off fatigue. High-fibre foods will also contribute to a healthy digestive system. Here are some examples:
Oats are high in fibre and are also a great source of calcium, proteins, and iron. Most importantly, they give you the calories you need, while also providing you with important nutrients.
Apart from high amounts of fibre, Bajra has a lot of calcium, which can stimulate the production of breast milk.
Ragi has a lot of calcium and iron, which provide strength. It’s a good alternative for lactose-intolerant people.
Focus on galactagogues
Galactagogues are foods that help your body produce breast milk, which will in turn help your child get the right nutrition. Here are some examples:
Almonds are one of the most recommended post-pregnancy foods. They’re rich in fibre, carbohydrates, vitamin E and B12. Have them as a mid-meal snack or prepare delicious recipes like sheera, halwa, and badaam milk.
Garden watercress (haleem)
Garden cress seeds or haleem can stimulate the production of breast milk right after pregnancy. Haleem laddoos are hence an important part of a woman’s diet plan after delivery.
Methi is one of the best foods after delivery. Methi tea is an excellent drink for mothers who are nursing. To prepare methi tea, all you need to do is soak fenugreek seeds overnight, add them to hot water, let them steep, and strain the water. Methi is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals, all of which your body requires in large quantities post-pregnancy. You can add methi to regular foods like pooris, meat curries, and daal.
The first 40 days after pregnancy call for complete rest and recuperation. So, get all the help you can, to care for yourself and your child. Make sure you give your body the time it needs to heal and rejuvenate. Most importantly, eat the right foods, so that you can give your baby vital nutrients during his or her infancy.