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On top of having a well-balanced and nutritious diet, avoiding certain foods and taking care of your mental health is essential in supporting your post-abortion recovery. This guide suggests a basic direction that you can follow. Among the things to avoid after abortion, the food you eat can greatly affect your recovery and how quickly your wound heals. For this reason, it’s always wise to pay attention to what food to avoid after an abortion or miscarriage. Generally speaking, the dietary habits that you should avoid after an abortion or miscarriage are dietary habits that may cause constipation or promote inflammation.
If you are wondering what constipation has to do with your recovery, constipation can add unnecessary stress to your incision site and make you feel more pain, so it is important that you avoid any foods that are likely to slow down your bowel movement. On the other hand, inflammation can delay healing and may result in increased scarring.
Food to avoid during an abortion can be too tempting to stay away from. So if you feel the urge to binge on your favourite foods for the next few weeks, watch out if they are one of these:
- Refined Carbs and High Sugar Refined carbs like sweet desserts, pastries and drinks are normally found to be lower in fibre content. Adequate fibre and fluid intake are essential to lower your risk of constipation. Besides that, fibre from whole grains — absent in refined carbs — supports a healthy gut microbiome that produces anti-inflammatory byproducts essential for good health.
- Processed Meat When cooked at high temperatures, processed meat forms more advanced glycation end products (AGEs) than other meats that cause inflammation. Also, processed meat is often high in sugar and fat, with little fibre, making you more prone to constipation.
- Junk Foods Snacking on foods like potato chips, prawn crackers, and salted crisps gives you empty calories with no nutrients. It is high in salt and fat contents and is most often deep-fried. A diet that is high in saturated fat and trans fat promotes inflammation and interferes with a smooth recovery.
- Alcohol In excessive alcohol intake, alcohol can affect the process of recovery.
- Coffee It is best to skip coffee and other caffeinated beverages such as green tea. Caffeine has diuretic properties that can increase urination which could interfere with the body’s ability to maintain proper hydration, which is not ideal for proper healing.
- Spicy Food Best to avoid fiery dishes. Eating too much spice may lead to stomach discomfort and make recovery less pleasant.
With your body still recovering, constantly paying attention to what you should eat and what food not to eat after an abortion can be stressful. Wouldn’t having a dietitian help you plan your daily meals be great? Tian Wei Signature confinement food catering service is here for you. With the guidance of our in-house dietitian, we serve nutritious and nourishing confinement food to support your recovery. Our menu features a wide range of fusion and traditional Chinese confinement meals, so you don’t get bored with having the same food daily.
Depending on your preference, you also have the flexibility to leave out certain food ingredients in your meals. For example, you may opt out of lactogenic ingredients, chicken, eggs, herbs, or any other ingredients that you do not wish to have.
We offer a convenient daily lunch and dinner delivery service to your doorstep. Your daily meals are served in thermal flasks, biodegradable packaging and a thermal bag so that you enjoy warm and fresh meals every time. Interested to learn more about our service? You can always reach us at +65 6727 5599 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and public holidays.
Why is Diet Important After an Abortion?
Now, you might ask, “Why is it important to ‘support’ my body? I cannot just continue living life like normal and put this all behind me and forget about it meh?”
Well, you could if you were so inclined. We are more worried about the unseen health tolls currently stressing your body as we speak.
Recover from blood loss and fluid loss
If there’s a time that you need to recover and regenerate your blood that isn’t caused by a meeting with Dracula, this would be it.
It is by UKHealthcare said that after an abortion, it is normal to experience vaginal bleeding for around two weeks afterwards and sometimes longer depending on how far along the pregnancy was before the termination.
Now, how do you recover from blood loss? Here’s a pro tip – Iron-rich foods! Did you know that Iron is used by your body to build new red blood cells? Before inhaling a bunch of iron filings, your body needs ionic iron, not those kinds of metals. Some iron-rich sources of food include organ meats like liver, legumes, and spinach (now we know why Popeye was so strong).
As for fluid loss, on the other hand, it’s not uncommon in abortions. Hydrating well is important to avoid health issues like constipation, headache, fatigue, confusion, etc. If, on the other hand, you would want something tastier than plain water, might we suggest our Tian Wei range of recovery-boosting soups? They’ll certainly whet your whistle.
This talk about soups brings us to our next point:
Recover energy loss
Who can say no to hearty soups and a warm meal, right?
Depending on how far along you are in the pregnancy, abortions can take up quite a bit of energy.
This might seem counterintuitive for ladies, but Carbohydrates are the most readily available form of energy. Yes, we can hear your groaning even as we typed that, but carbs aren’t the enemy here. They’re a much-needed source of energy your body needs right now.
Go with whole grains to provide a more sustainable energy boost throughout the day instead of refined carbohydrates that you’ll usually find in desserts, sweet drinks, etc. You know, to avoid a sugar spike and a sugar crash…those don’t feel nor look pretty when they happen.
Speaking of looking and feeling pretty, that brings us to the following point:
Promote a smoother recovery process
Let’s talk for a second about inflammations. Now, if you’re wondering what’s this inflammation we’re talking about, it’s your post-abortion wound. Having a diet rich in antioxidants helps to reduce this, which, in turn, promotes a smoother recovery.
Therefore, limiting or avoiding them as much as possible during this phase may be helpful. Instead, try to fill up your diet with antioxidant-rich foods commonly found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
A bit of dietary trivia provided by our in-house dietitian (yes, we’re the sort of Confinement Food Catering outfit that has an in-house professional dietitian to guide our award-winning chef and even our articles) to give you a quick rundown on the compounds you should be looking for as such unsaturated fats and fibre that help to promote good gut bacteria and antioxidants in the gut which in turn supports the immune system during this recovery process:
- Omega 3-DHA promotes anti-inflammation
- Omega 9 from olive oil is also anti-inflammatory
- Soluble and insoluble fibre from whole grains, vegetables and fruits
Talking about anti-inflammatory, the next bit is about…well…not so inflamed internal plumbing.
Constipation will add further stress to your wound, so it’s important to ensure you have enough water and fibre intake to prevent constipation. This also goes hand in hand with the earlier topic of hydration, by the way.
A good rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with vegetables for every meal. Some great options are the aforementioned spinach, broccoli, kai lan and choy sum, which also contain iron, which goes hand in hand with the earlier topic of iron-rich foods.
Now, we understand that it’s a lot to take in, and you may not be in the mood to eat all of those things right now. However, our next point might perk you right up:
Mood lightening foods
Yeah, we all need time to process and adapt to changes, especially now since your body has gone through this shock to the system. Mental health is multifactorial, especially depression. However, having the right foods in your diet can help lift your mood during this period. How it works is still very much uncertain, but researchers have found an interesting trend between Omega 3-DHA intakes or fish intake and with risk of depression in women. The higher the intake, the lesser the risk of depression during pregnancy or postpartum.
Well, let’s start with the basics in that Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients which can’t be produced by the body and therefore need to come from your diet. This can be incorporated with salmon, skipjack tuna, and sardines.
Apart from reducing depression, it is also said to help protect eye health, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health.
Caring for your mental well-being after an abortion
Abortion affects you in more ways than what is visible to the eyes. Going through an abortion is just as strenuous for the mind as it is for the body. So remember to pay attention to how you are feeling emotionally too. Here are some self-care tips that you may consider:
1. Give Yourself Time to Recover Emotionally
Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or shame may overwhelm you, and it’s ok to take your time to feel like yourself again slowly. Take a break from your usual errands, and try to talk about your feelings to your loved ones. This can help relieve any stress or anxiety you may have, and don’t be afraid to seek their help and support when you need it.
2. Find A Support Group
If you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with people beyond your social circle, consider joining a support group with people who have also been through the same thing. You may consider joining a platform that offers support to people who are affected by abortion. Sometimes, having the support and guidance of those who have been through similar experiences can help you feel more reassured and at ease.
3. Get Enough Sleep
We understand how your emotions may keep you up at night during this transition stage. Take all the time you need to recollect your thoughts and heal emotionally. Meanwhile, try to get sufficient, good-quality sleep too. Besides good nutrition, sleeping well is important for your recovery as it helps you regulate your hormones and restore a good hormonal balance. Some ways to improve your sleep quality include limiting your caffeine intake to 200 to 300mg daily and making your sleeping environment more comfortable.
A Final Word
This is not an easy stage in your life, and everything you feel right now may seem like it will last forever. To move forward, restoring your health and well-being is the most important thing you should focus on right now. So take care of your diet, get support from the people around you, and most importantly, treat yourself with more patience, kindness and empathy.