By Dr Aruna Kalra,
Gynaecologist & Obstetrics Surgeon
Pregnancy is an important event and a very special time in a woman’s life. Nutrition is not only important for the baby but is also important for the mother’s current and future health. A woman’s need for the right calories, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water increases after delivery as well.
Follow these simple tips to make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet through the day.
• 6 small meals: Instead of going for three big meals in a day, spread out your food through six meals in a day. Eat foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein and fibre, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, lean meat, chicken, eggs, beans, legumes, yogurt and whole grain foods.
• Oats are an excellent source of iron, calcium, fibre, carbohydrates and proteins. As they are high in fibre, they can also help keep constipation at bay. You can also add chopped fruits like bananas and apples to increase its nutritional value.
• Cut down foods which are high in calories. Avoid full cream milk, butter, ghee, dried fruits and sugar. This will help for weight loss after delivery.
• Drinking water and fluids will also prevent dehydration. Water is essential to improve your metabolism, which is also effective in managing weight. You can include different types of liquids in your daily diet such as milkshakes, Lassi, soups, Coconut water, fresh juices etc. Avoid cold drinks as it can produce gas.
• Include both healthy and delicious food items in your snack menu. Add nuts, chopped fruits, whole grains, roasted sweet potatoes, yogurt mixe. Almonds are rich in carbohydrates, fibre and vitamin B12 and contain minerals like magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium and zinc. As there are so many nutrients filled into an almond, it's the ideal food to have after delivery.
Healthy balanced diet helps the mother to have energy throughout day. It is important to spread food throughout the day so that you get an even amount of calories. This will give you endurance to take care of your baby and yourself, and will help you come to your pre- conception weight early.
Avoid eating junk food and try to eat at home as much as you can. Restrict bread, biscuits and maida products. Try and bring up your dinner time to late evening instead of night. If you have to stay awake till late, go for a glass of milk or a cup of green tea.
It is also important to include some form of exercise in your daily routine. Some exercises you could try are walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics and yoga.
6 Important Elements in a New Mother’s Diet
1) Whole Wheat- Include cereals like bran like dalia, ragi, whole wheat oats.
2) Fruits and Vegetables – Try to make your day colourful with 5-6 serving of vegetables and fruits daily. Try to include blueberries, oranges and apples.
3) Vegetables- Power packed green leafy vegetables are recommended for the new moms. They are rich sources of iron, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium as well as fibre and plant antioxidants. Consider eating, beans, lotus stem, fenugreek leaves, apple gourd (tinda), pointed gourd (parwal) or other such green seasonal vegetables.
4) Nuts and seeds – Include almonds, walnuts, dates, figs, mixed seeds in your daily diet.
5) Dairy Products- Dairy Products provide Calcium and protein so include them liberally in your diet. Include low-fat milk, butter milk, yoghurt into your post-delivery diet.
6) Healthy Fat- Include 5-6 tsp of healthy fat in daily diet as it provides satiety.
Dr Aruna Kalra is a Gynaecologist and Obstetrics Surgeon at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram. I Dr. Kalra did her MBBS from BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur and MD in Gynaecologist and Obstetrics from KMC, Mangalore. Her expertise lies in minimally invasive gynaecological surgeries, high-risk pregnancies and vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) and Scarless Laproscopic Surgery.