As important as it is to take care of your baby after the delivery, it is essential to take care of yourself as well. After the baby is born, your body would need rest and proper nutrition to stay healthy. If you are breastfeeding, the food you eat helps your baby grow and keeps both of you healthy.
Generally, in Indian families, healthy eating for mothers includes a certain set of foods that is highly advised to keep the mothers and the babies healthy, and another set of food that is definitely not advised for new mothers. Food in India, especially for new mothers, are prepared keeping in mind the dietary and nutritional requirements for the baby and the mommy. It is not only helpful in keeping healthy all the time but can also help you lose the weight you had put on during your pregnancy.
Here are a few options for healthy eating for mothers that help keep both mommy and the baby healthy and happy.
Rotis and Rice are a big part of the Indian staple diet. They are extremely healthy; rich in fiber, carbohydrates, and have very little fat content. These would help you keep strong and energetic to take care of yourselves and the baby. The fiber content present in roti helps you have good digestive health. Rotis are generally made of whole wheat; they are extremely successful in reducing body weight and making you healthy.
You could consume rice with a simple dal curry, variants of sabji, and even with ghee, salt, and pepper. They help you keep warm and increase your immune power.
Indian mothers swear by ghee for many problems. Ghee is rich in omega fatty acids that help you boost your immunity, keeping you healthy. Even though there is no evidence proving that ghee would help you increase breast milk, it definitely helps in keeping our muscles and bones strong. Consuming ghee in moderation also helps you in reducing your hair fall concerns.
Consuming fruits post-delivery would keep you healthy and immune. Naturally, they help and improve your immune system, keeping you and your baby strong. Fruits like oranges, watermelon, and papaya gives your body strength and provides you with essential minerals and vitamins. Since fruits generally have fewer calories, they help you lose weight as well. You can either eat them or drink pulpy juice made from these fruits.
Green leafy vegetables are a must for all the new mommies. They enhance your metabolism and help you with breastmilk. Spinach, methi, and mustard greens are rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and folate. Mothers who are breastfeeding are advised to consume them every day to enhance lactation. You could eat them as salads or use them in your dishes like methi-paratha, methi rice etc.
It is well known that Indians are big on spices. We use them in almost every dish. They not only enhance the taste, but also have several health benefits. Sprouted fenugreek seeds are usually advised for new moms. You could consume it with jaggery or honey, or you could add them to your everyday salad.
Cumin seeds are usually used as spices, but they have endless health benefits. They improve everything from the immune system to blood circulation. You could powder them and add it to milk, or you could even eat them raw.
Food made of sesame seeds are a must for all new moms in Indian households. They are rich in minerals like copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Laddoos and chikkis made of sesame seeds and groundnut are how they are generally consumed.
Dairy products are rich in proteins that are essential for new mommies. You could consume milk with pepper and turmeric. It helps you in getting a good sleep and improves your immunity. Buttermilk generally helps you with hydration and cools down the body. You could add ginger, a pinch of salt, and garlic to your buttermilk to make it healthier. A cup of yogurt is beneficial in digestive health and skin concerns.
Food that New Mommies Have to Avoid
Caffeine and Aerated Drinks
Mothers who are breastfeeding are advised not to consume any aerated or caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant that passes through breast milk to the baby, it may affect the baby’s growth. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and many aerated drinks.
All alcoholic drinks and drinks mixed with any amount of alcohol are a strict no during breastfeeding. The alcohol passes through your breastmilk to your baby and can harm your baby’s brain and body development.
These are just a few suggestions and tips on healthy eating for mothers. Adding to the list, you should not forget to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You could always consult with your doctor and nutritionist if you have any other doubts or problems. You can join in on our community and ask the Baby Space Expert for nutrition tips too!