Diet after C-Section? This is something that a lot of new mums after their first Cesarean Delivery wants to know. My baby boy Jiyaan was born after a C-section which was planned. As I did not experience any sort of pain or discomfort even after 39 weeks, the doctor suggested that I should go for an elective C-section. That’s a different story that I will share regarding my Cesarean Section friends, that I have to go through. But after that the life changes in a way that your body needs time to heal properly.
Therefore, for choosing the right diet along with some easy post C section exercises is crucial. I recovered quite quickly and all thanks to the support that I got from my husband and other family members. I decided to share this post to share my knowledge and experience for the problems that faced after the Cesarean Section on what should we eat after C section delivery. Please also read about what not to do after C-section Delivery
How Right Diet Helps you After C-Section Delivery?
C-section is a major operation that calls for proper diet and food items that needs to be included it involves cutting through your abdominal wall and the incision is around 5 to 6 inches. Before you can just imagine how much nutrition or the right nutrition is important for the accelerated healing. Also a lot of the women have experienced weight gain during and after the pregnancy, this makes us to be a lot more careful in what we eat after Cesarean Delivery, according to the experts.
Therefore, taking the right diet becomes very important. My Gynecologist suggested that taking the suitable diet will not only be beneficial for me but for my baby as well. Moreover, she said that, it will give me good results in the long term, health-wise. She was absolutely correct. Around 63% of women have experienced excessive weight gain after delivery which can pose multiple health risks in later part of their lives.
Foods to Include After C-Section Delivery
Considering that, here are the food items which I have included in my diet and are suitable for women who have gone through a cesarean section. First thing first, please do not try to be on diet mode and lose your post pregnancy weight. This can have a negative effect on your body and also your breast milk supply gets affected badly. It’s the time when you and your baby need the nutrition the most.
The food and nutrients that you will take will heal your body and the same thing will be passed down to your baby via your breast milk. It should not matter even if you look still pregnant after Cesarean section. This is extremely common and natural, so, do not get too concerned about your weight.
Let’s check which are the food items that Indian Mothers can have after C-section and delivery.
Proteins are the building blocks of the cells. They help in the new tissue generation and overall quick healing of the body. According to the nutritionists, per day nursing mothers need around 0.9 g of protein per kg of your body weight. For getting enough of the proteins in your diet, you may include protein rich foods like pulses, legumes, dairy products, meat, fish and many others.
After any major abdominal surgery, doctors suggest you to consume a high fiber diet. Fibres not just help you cleanse your digestive system but also help the food to pass through the gut easily. And when this process of excretion becomes easy, it does not put any pressure on the stitches or the area of surgery.
As per the RDI, you must include 20 to 25 grams of fibres daily in your diet. For that, you can include all those vegetables that we take as salads. For example, in India cucumber, beetroot, cabbage, onions are very commonly used fibre rich salad. But here’s a catch, you should minimize the consumption of gas producing food items like cabbage and onions too to some extent. I’ll come to more on that as we proceed.
I should not stress the importance of iron during your entire pregnancy and after that C section or even, if you’d a normal delivery. Because during your operation or C-section, you have suffered blood loss and this calls for taking Iron rich food items. It can help in the proper production of hemoglobin and this also reduces the risk of iron deficiency anemia in your bodyrisk of iron deficiency anemia in your body. Therefore, your iron stores can be fulfilled.
Here are some foods that you can eat for keeping the iron stores elevated:
- Lentils like masoor dal, arhar dal, chana dal etc
- Other green leafy Veggies
- Red Meat
- Seeds like Pumpkin, Flaxseeds, Sesame Seeds
- Nuts like cashew, almond, pista
Fluids will help you prevent dehydration and keep the constipation away. When you have a major abdominal Surgery, constipation is the last thing that you would want. Especially when you are breastfeeding, constant supply of milk is required for the baby and the nutrition for yourself. As per the Nutrition Experts, “you must stay hydrated and consume lots of healthy beverages, fluids to keep a check on breast milk supply for baby and your faster recovery post C-section”.
So, what fluids a nursing mother after delivery should have? You can have watermelon juice, pomegranate juice, orange juice, lemon water, coconut water, soups and many others.
But please stay away from soda or carbonated drinks and cut down on tea and coffee (caffeinated drinks).
Vitamin C is required for the proper absorption of iron. Your gynecologist must have said this thing to you at any given point of your pregnancy. But it also supports the faster recovery and healing. This vitamin is a natural anti-oxidant that fights free radicals and initiates the detoxification of the body. You can take Vitamin C rich food items like oranges, lemons, tomatoes, melons and even kiwis are the best foods to have after cesarean delivery.
Milk and Diary Products
Skimmed milk and low fat curd and yogurt are also very good to be included in your everyday diet. In fact, they are also very good sources of proteins and calcium for your body. For nursing mothers, these food items are best as they help in increasing the milk supply for your baby. It’s okay to have a glass of skimmed milk twice a day. But make sure that it is fat free or double toned milk.
Foods to avoid after Caesarean Delivery
Like we have good foods to include in our diet, as per the experts there are certain foods that we should stay away or limit after the C-section delivery, especially those food items that are notorious for producing gas. Which are those gas producing common Indian food items?
- Beans like kidney beans, lima beans
- Packaged foods
- Processed Foods
- Carbonated Drinks
- Fruits like Peaches, Prunes, Apricot, Apples
- Onions (Limit the use in dishes for the first few months after delivery)
These are amongst the popular foods that produce gas, therefore, for the first three months after deliver, you can avoid them.
You should also avoid eating pasta, white floor, carbonated drinks and excessively fried foods. In our Indian delicacies we use a lot of spices. After your c-section you must avoid all those spicy foods or foods which are prepared from white flour or Maida. They are hard to digest and can cause acidity and other related problems.
Particular Food item (Person Specific)
For example, I have indigestion for Pumpkin. Which means, I cannot digest that properly. As per the experts, if you have certain problem with a food item, then avoid that completely.
Dealing with Constipation After C-Section
If you are experiencing constipation soon after your cesarean delivery, then I would advise you to talk to your doctor. This can be really painful especially after delivery.
Experts recommend that you can take Jeera (Cumin) water or ajwain (carom seeds) to combat gas, acidity and to regulate your bowel movement smoothly. Hing or Asafoetida also helps digestion and internal gas production.
Don’t take chances rather avoid that food item. In a paragraph you can have banana and oats porridge for your breakfast. While for your snacks you can have dry fruits for fruits like oranges, Apple, strawberries, pineapple and most importantly if it is a summer season and watermelon and cantaloupe are the best fruits to have. Other than this gas forming foods there are food like cabbage, broccoli, Cauliflower and even onions that can produce excessive gas in the digestive system with you must avoid.
Ghee After Caesarean Delivery
Gynecologists advise that consumption of clarified butter or ghee should be limited soon after the delivery. Ghee is a powerhouse of energy but it also leads to obesity, high blood pressure, fatty liver, high cholesterol levels etc.
Experts agree that ghee lubricates your joints and gives you energy. It also helps in keeping you protected from cold during winters. Yet the disadvantages should be looked at.
Therefore, consume ghee but a limited amounts.
Diet Plan for Indian Nursing Moms After C-Section
Now, I am going to tell you what you can have in your meals and in between snacks. I am not giving you any chart or schedule as honestly, when you are a mum, it’s very hard to follow. Instead you should know what to eat, so that whenever you eat, you’re eating right.
You can have oatmeal porridge, Dalia or any multigrain khichdi (I used to have dalia with some oats in it) This will give you enough of the proteins
Snacks are taken between the meals that fill you up and provide energy. You can have these fruit juices, Dry fruits, Gondh ka Ladoo, Soups, Light drinks like lemonade, Rooh Afza for summers to cool you and stay hydrated.
Chapattis, salad, vegetable with gravy, Dal (lentils), Green leafy vegetable, Luttle bit of Rice, raita
You can have multiple things in small amounts so that you get the nutrition yet don’t over eat. Remember, we have to take 5-6 small meals. After 2-3 hours, you can have a sort of second lunch or go for the snacks, soups or fruit juices.
Rice, Chapattis, Salads, Chicken, Fish, Vegetable dish, Dal, Raita (Put some roasted Jeera over raita to improve the digestion)
I hope this helps you. Other than that eat nutritious, I am not saying that you’ve to eat all these things in a day but have stuff which heals the body as I mentioned.
Some Common Indian foods that are suitable to eat after C section
- Potatoes (Limited quantity)
- Fruit Salad
- Brown Bread
- Butter (in decent amount like 1-2 spoons a day)
- Gondh Ladoo
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetable
- Skimmed Milk
When to Eat and Diet Tips after Caesarean Section
During your pregnancy or before that you used to have three heavy or moderate meals but things would change after the c-section as your body and metabolism has changed. This is why try taking 5-6 smaller meals all through the day instead of having heavy 3-4 meals. Most importantly do not have a very heavy dinner. It will make the digestion sluggish.
As it becomes very difficult for a body to digest that food. Keep a gap of a round two to three hours between your snacks and meals. If you are hungry, you can take nuts, fruits or even soups.
Vegetable Soups were the best thing that I had. My husband stressed that I should take soaps a lot and I agree with him, it had helped me a lot. My Son Jiyaan, Now he’s months old. This is the picture, when he was an year old.
I really hope friends, that I was able to give you information that you wanted based on my research and personal experience. If you’ve queries, please feel free to ask in the comments.