As soon as the baby is delivered, the mother thinks her most important work is over. Well, not actually. The newborn baby needs constant care, but more than that, it’s the new mother who needs care so that she can recover from delivery. Most women observe a confinement period of 30-40 days post-delivery where they keep themselves to a room and take that time to bond with their newborn, care for their body and regain post delivery strength.
Here are some ways on how to regain strength after delivery.
Post-delivery, a new mother feels hungry frequently as she is feeding her baby too.
Milk helps in keeping you full while providing you necessary calcium and proteins. However, if you are vegan or allergic to milk, take almond or soya milk.
Consume simple meals
It’s believed that what a mother eats, she passes on the newborn through her milk. Hence, she should refrain from eating foods that are difficult to digest by the newborn. So, avoid Indian spices, oil, flatulence causing vegetables like potato, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. and pulses and keep to simple meals like khichdi, roti, moong dal.
Ghee: Ghee is believed to help in digestion, reduces inflammation, good for joint pains. Hence, a new mother is fed ghee in the form of raab (a thick mixture made of roasted flour, ghee, jaggary, dry fruits) and Gondh Ladoos (ladoos made of whole wheat flour, gondh, ghee, nuts and seeds, spices).
Gourds and yams: Avoid flatulence causing vegetables like potato, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. and eat light vegetables like bottle gourd (doodhi), ridge gourd (tauri), elephant foot yam (suran), pear gourd (parval) and Indian round gourd/apple gourd (tinda).
Greens like fenugreek (methi) and spinach (palak) can also be taken as they help in lactation.
Fruits: Post delivery, you can eat sweet fruits like apples, papaya, chikoos. Sour fruits like mangoes, oranges are avoided. Banana is usually not given as it is cold in nature and can lead to cough.
Lentils and pulses: Only split moong lentil is believed to be light enough for a new mother. However, avoid kidney beans and chickpeas or Bengal grams.
Spices: Generally, chillis and garam masalas are avoided. Spices like turmeric, cumin seeds and ajwain (carom seeds) can be eaten guilt-free. I used to eat grounded cumin seeds and carom seeds powder sauteed in ghee with powdered jaggery/sugar, dried ginger powder. It helps in digestion.
Drink lots of water. Infuse it with tulsi leaves, ginger and dill seeds. It helps in digestion, improves immunity, keeps constipation at bay and increases lactation.
Dashmool Kadha: As the name suggests this powder is made of 10 powerful herbs and it has to be taken for 10 days post-delivery. It’s black and bitter, but the herbs help in cleaning the uterus and regaining its strength. Though my mother-in-law boiled the powder in water and gave it to me, it is available in liquid form too.
Ganthoda: Ganthoda is also called peepramul. I used to take ganthoda powder with warm milk in the last month of pregnancy, and also post pregnancy. It helps build strength. But do note, peepramul tastes weird in water. Take it with warm milk if you can.
Trifala Churn: If you feel constipated, take 1-2 tsp of trifala churn which is a mixture of 3 herbs with warm milk or water at night.
Hirabol: It is a wonderful natural tree sap that not many people know about. It helps in joint pains. It comes in the form of rock which you can break into tiny pieces. Hirabol is bad for tooth enamel, hence you wrap a few small pieces in a lump of jaggary and swallow it. Hirabol capsules are available too. Take hirabol for a couple of months post delivery.
Dill: Dill helps in lactation. Consume dill greens or boil dill seeds in water, and drink the concoction for a few months.
Most gynecologists recommend you to start a simple exercise routine after 20-25 days. If you have undergone a C-section, they might advise you to wait longer before you start exercising.
There is a loss of muscle tone during pregnancy which if not corrected can prove to be embarrassing later on. For example: most women experience bladder incontinence post natural delivery. Doing Kegel helps in strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
Start with short walks, leg raises, side stretches, neck exercises, crunches etc. However, if you have had a C-section, crunches won’t be advisable. Ask your doctor, he/she can guide you.
This is how you can recover postdelivery. However, I would advise you to take it slow. One day at a time. Know your body first and act accordingly.