Post-delivery care of mother is very crucial. When planning for deliveries, most mothers opt for the normal method. However, due to unforeseen complications a mother has to go for C-section. C-section delivery is painful accompanied with a longer recovery time than normal. It also makes a women weak and vulnerable. The mothers face challenges like walking with stitches, lower abdominal pain, discomfort doing moderate strenuous tasks, and feeding the baby. The bleeding after a C-section continues from 10 to 30 days. She also goes through a lot of emotional as well as physical changes after a C-section. All these together require proper food and proper care.
Nutrition after C-section
A mother after a C-section require a high nutritious diet. A nutritious diet is must after C-section as it speeds up the healing processes and improves the energy. Diet rich in proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and iron is must for the new mother. In the initial days after the delivery, a light diet is recommended comprising of all the essential nutrients. However, the mother should start off with the regular diet to replenish the energy for herself and the new born. Small frequent meals are recommended after every few hours during lactation. The portion should be small as initially the digestion is little slow and huge quantities can’t be digested easily. The reason is digestive system and bowel movements take some time to start functioning to their full capacity. Foods easy to digest are recommended.
Below is a diet which work bests for the mothers who have undergone a C-section:
Proteins: An elementary nutrient to heal the tissues. It also aids in the growth of the baby. Including protein in the daily diet helps to maintain the muscles power after the C-section. Major sources of protein are eggs, chicken, fish, meat, dairy products like milk, cheese, curd, beans, chick pea, peas and nuts. Egg provides you with protein as well as zinc so it’s very good for the new mother.
Vitamins: They are to be taken in sufficient quantity as it has lot of antioxidants. Antioxidants repair tissues and producing collagen in the body. These antioxidants build up new scar tissues, tendons and skin. Vitamin C especially is a vital nutrient for the new mother. It is important as it speeds up the recovery process and repairs the body tissues. Sources of vitamins are fruits like oranges, melons, papayas, strawberries, grapefruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Iron: It is important as it replenishes the blood lost during the childbirth. The blood loss makes you weak and lethargic that is why it is recommended to includes optimal level of iron in the diet. However, excessive iron quantities leads to constipations. The good sources of Iron are walnuts, red meat, oysters, dry fruits, figs, beef liver and dried beans.
Calcium: It is important for build up the bones, blood coagulation and maintain the teeth health of a lactating mother. After delivery, some of the mothers are prone to osteoporosis, so a calcium diet is bound to prevent it. Best source of calcium for the new mothers is milk. Additionally, milk also enhances the production of milk for the baby. Second best source is yoghurt as it contains calcium and zinc both. The other sources of calcium are cheese, yoghurt, spinach, kale and tofu.
Fibrous food: Food rich in fibres enhances the digestion. Mothers after delivery suffer from frequent constipation initially, having a fibre rich diet avoids it. Excessive constipation pressure on the wounds leading to pain and slow healing. Thus, a fibrous diet prevents all these things. The good sources of fibre rich food are fruits like apple, raw vegetables, oats, the other whole grains like quinoa.
Fluids: The primary fluid source is water. To remove the toxins out of the body and increase the metabolic rate, minimum of 8 glasses of water should be consumed. Apart from water, fluids like juices, soups, fruit mocktails, coconut water, herbal teas, buttermilk etc. are to be consumed. Fluids aids in bowel movements and generates sufficient quantity of milk for the little one. Fluids like tea, coffee, cold drinks, energy drinks, tea, carbonated drinks etc. are best to be avoided.
Foods that are to be avoided: First are the carbonated drinks as they cause gas and flatulence. Even citrus food or citrus juices should be taken with caution as it may cause sudden cold and cough. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea should be included in moderate amounts due to their diuretic properties. Excessive caffeine caused growth problems in the baby. Most importantly say not to take alcohol as it impairs the ability to produce milk and lead to developmental issues in the child. Foods that cause bloating are to be avoided like white lentils, red kidney beans, chick peas, black-eyed beans, green peas, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lady’s finger and onions. Rice is not to be taken for at least three to four days after caesarean delivery, especially if u have diabetes. This is because rice has sugar and high blood sugar may diminish the healing process. Avoid cold drinks and other processed or packed food for some time. As a lactating mother, it can pass into the breast milk and hamper the baby’s growth.
All in all, the food items that are easily digestible work best after a C-section. Easy digestible food makes the digestion faster. Initially after delivery, mothers accumulate excess gas, so the easily digestible food prevents gas as well as constipation. Food in this list include warm soups, cottage cheese, broth, vegetable and fruit smoothies, fresh juices, oats, millets, and yogurt. For a C-section mother yogurt helps in restoring the bacterial balance. Thus, a diet rich in easily digestible and nutritious food is best for the new mother. Special care is to be taken for C-section mothers as they are more on the weaker and lethargic side. However, gradually the mother can shift to the normal food routine once her body is fully recovered.