Diet is what a person habitually eats on a daily basis. So, a postpartum diet means not that you will be on a weight reduction diet, but a diet that will help you recover your body and also help you balance your emotions.
Yes, food can play a very important role in balancing emotions. Certain types of food when consumed can immediately soothe you and relax you from within.
You might have not had many restrictions on food during pregnancy except for some specific ones. Otherwise, anything you craved was mostly given to you.
But why is there a diet plan for postpartum?
After all, it is the same body that has delivered the baby! Yes, you are right, it is the same body that had the baby inside that has delivered the baby, that now needs a lot of care and nourishment.
Whether vaginal or C-section surgery, the place that was occupied by your baby is now empty, is susceptible to a lot of air (known as Vata in Ayurveda), and can cause issues in a different way.
After childbirth, the body is working hard to reduce the size of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy state, trying to heal the wound that happened during childbirth, struggling to balance with the changing hormonal levels, and also trying to produce food for your baby!
During this time, it is important to provide the body with foods that are easily digestible and also nourishing at the same time. If the food is not easily digestible, then the body has to work harder to digest the food first, and in this process, the body loses more energy.
And our primary motive is to reduce the burden on the body that is trying to cope up. For example - if you eat foods using green chilies, it might cause a burning sensation and the wound might actually hurt.
This is not just for New Mothers, this simple rule is followed for any kind of surgery where there is a wound to heal. Doctors advise to not eat very spicy foods or chilled foods, this has nothing to do with religion, this is science and it is common sense to let the wound heal first and then move on with the next.
So, how do I follow a diet?
Very simple. You need not include new ingredients in your diet that you are not comfortable with, even if it is considered to have the best benefits.
All of you have to do is to follow your family food culture and eat simple foods (meaning no many masalas or spices). Stick to freshly cooked homemade food.
Avoid processed foods, canned foods. These foods are not homemade foods, and you straight away remove them from your food list.
If you are used to eating meat in your family, then you can include it in the way you cook at home.
Avoid any allergy-causing foods. Mainly you need to avoid gassy foods as they may cause discomfort in your baby if you are a breastfeeding mother.
Remember, even if you are not breastfeeding you need to follow a nutritious diet. Because your body has undergone childbirth and needs to heal and recover.
Herbal teas help you in relaxing and soothing. You can include it if you wish. Try it once and if it suits you, you can continue.
No chilled foods, frozen foods, previous day’s food. Always try to eat freshly prepared food.
But how can food help me balance emotions?
See, most women are worried about losing weight right after childbirth. Women completely forget what their bodies had to go through to deliver the baby safely into this world.
When you maintain a nutritious diet, you need not worry about unnecessary weight gain. It will be taken care of to some extent. This in turn can make you feel good that you are not unnecessarily gaining extra fat.
It will provide you with the right amount of energy needed to get back to your workout routine. If you are able to exercise without tiredness, it is going to make you feel good about the same.
Balanced food can keep your cravings on track. Did you know that you will burn around 500 calories only for breastfeeding and that is a lot!
Whatever calcium your baby needs is produced by you. Whatever you are giving away, you need to replace it in your body.
If your body is cooperating with you, then automatically your emotions will balance.
Remember, you are important. Your body has done a great job! Listen to your body, give your body what it needs and your body will reciprocate in a beautiful way.
Take care mommies.