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Congratulations on adding a sweet little angel to your family! The joy is indeed indescribable whether you anticipate their arrival soon or have already welcomed them in your arms.
Juggling the many responsibilities that come with your child, it is easy to overlook yourself and neglect proper postnatal care. This should not be the case. While your newborn’s growth has to be monitored and promoted, your recovery should also be the top priority during this critical period.
You would need to pay more attention, especially if you have undergone a C-section or caesarean delivery. C-section is the process of delivery in which a mom gives birth to a baby through an incision. If the mom faces certain medical situations that can complicate or be compromised by vaginal delivery, then a C-section will usually be recommended.
Due to the extensive procedure of c-section delivery, it may take some time for you to heal before you feel like ‘yourself’ again – and that’s okay! Do take as much time as you need to recover. Many mothers practice confinement to get ample rest throughout the period. After the procedure, one of the most important elements to focus on is your confinement food menu. Ensure you are loading yourself with sufficient energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Why Good Nutrition Is Necessary for Birth Delivery
- Good nutrition is the energy source for a healthy body, and energy is very much needed post-delivery.
- Good nutrition also protects your body from diseases by improving immunity.
- Better nutrition also helps in the better nourishment of babies. What you eat can be passed down to your little one through breast milk, so sticking with nutrient-dense foods can benefit you and your breastfed baby.
- It helps to minimise the effects of lost energy and blood caused by pregnancy and labour.
Healthy Food for Mom
When planning your confinement guide for daily meals after birth, one word you must remember is: well-balanced. Each meal, especially lunch and dinner, should contain sources of carbohydrates, protein, iron, and essential vitamins that could help promote your birth recovery.
Apart from vegetables alone, fruits like guava, apple, and banana should be added to your daily meals because guava is the best source of Vitamin C and contains antioxidants that are desperately needed for your recovery and wound healing.
Meanwhile, bananas and apples provide energy in the form of carbohydrates and provide fibres essential for the body. They also help ensure smooth bowel movement and prevent constipation, the last thing a new mom would want to experience.
When it comes to staples, you have quite a lot of options. Don’t worry; you can stick with white or brown rice. Carbs will provide you with enough energy to recover and care for your child. This is especially important if you breastfeed because you can burn up to 500 calories at a time from breastfeeding.
Common Confinement Food
- Almonds can be used in some snacks and desserts, which are very tasty and devoured.
- Garlic is one of the best ingredients in your food. On top of the flavour it brings to the food, you can also reap various health benefits such as boosting immunity and better blood pressure control.
- Chicken, apart from fish, is an excellent source of protein and should be consumed to strengthen your muscles. Of course, it also provides energy to your body. Dishes like chicken soup after C section are recommended because they can also increase your fluid intake, preventing dehydration and constipation.
- Pulses are a pure source of proteins, and muscles need a proper supply of protein to heal and repair. So, if you are looking for a wider variety of protein sources, add this one to the list!
You may practise following the confinement tradition like many other moms to recuperate. One important aspect of it is the confinement food after C-section. We will debunk common myths about c-section confinement food!
Myth 1: Consumption of Alcohol Is Okay
It is one of the most common myths about confinement foods. Alcohol does help to give some warm sensation to mothers, but it has its fair share of side effects. You can potentially pass the alcohol to your child through breastfeeding, which may affect their behaviour and even the letdown of breastmilk. Thus, avoiding alcohol is the safest. However, if you continue having it, wait at least 2 to 3 hours after consuming one standard drink of alcohol or less before nursing your little one.
Myth 2: Drinking Too Much Water Is Bad
Of course, ‘too much’ of anything can be bad. However, this myth originates from beyond just a perspective that discusses an extremity. In the old days, there was a rather popular belief among Chinese women that drinking too much water could lead to excessive body water retention. It was also believed that drinking water can result in the body’s temperature cooling down, leaving it prone to several diseases.
The main thing to note is that hydration is extremely essential. After giving birth to a child, many hormonal changes happen in the body, which causes sweat and frequent visits to the toilet. Lack of water can cause constipation and dehydration, a big no. You can sometimes drink red date tea as a substitute for water, but cutting off the water completely is never a great idea.
Myth 3: Fruits and Vegetables Are Cold Foods, So They’re a NO-NO
In some parts of the world, they believe that fruits and vegetables also have a cooling effect on them, leading to cold and flu. They overlook that fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
This means excluding fruits and vegetables from your daily meals is not a good idea. Various fruits can be eaten after C-section or normal delivery to help reconstruct the post-birth body. For example, choose fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, like oranges, blackcurrants, kiwis, kale, spinach, and broccoli. Vitamin C improves collagen formation to promote wound healing around the genital and caesarean area after labour.
Furthermore, food that is high in vitamin A also speeds up your C-section recovery too—for example, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, tomatoes and mango. Not to mention, if you are experiencing constipation, fruits and veggies can help regulate your bowel movement.
The best way to go about it is to have a balanced diet which includes both vegetables and meat.
Myth 4: Taking Herbal Food Supplements Will Help With Your Recovery
It is right that herbal supplements help restore energy and increase blood flow into the body. Consumption of herbal supplements also suppresses some of the hormones that affect the mother’s mood during this confinement period. While herbs are generally great additions to a healing patient, you should not solely depend on them.
So, what should you do? Prioritise a healthy and balanced diet first and foremost. Half your plate should be filled with vegetables, a quarter would be chicken, fish or meat, and the remaining quarter should be your staple of choice. If you want to add, choose your herbs correctly. Not all herbs can help your condition, so select them according to your body’s needs. If you are not sure of what they are, consult an expert.
Myth 5: Having Chicken After Birth Can Slow Down Wound Healing
This myth is not only untrue but also one that is extremely unfair to chicken lovers out there! Chicken has a high protein content which can help repair your muscles and provide strength. So, moms, stop asking, “Can I eat chicken after c-section”. You certainly can and most definitely should!
It’s easy to overlook your needs as a mom when you get so occupied with your baby’s presence in the house. However, you must prioritise your health and recovery before you can tend to your baby. If you ever need to purchase goods for your maternity needs, check out MumChecked for the best deals!