What Diet Should Follow A C-Section Delivery?

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Let’s set the scene. You’re now waltzing back home with your shiny new baby in your arms while the hubby is putting away the delivery kit (that big duffle bag that is supposed to contain everything you need for getting through delivery).

Then your baby starts to stir, probably feeling peckish. Now your tummy starts rumbling too. However, you freeze. Trying to recall through the epidural and adrenaline fugue (not to mention the wooziness from blood loss) what the doctor said you should be eating.

Well, no matter, you think to yourself as you lay your baby down in the crib you’ve purchased from Amazon or Shopee or Lazada or Taobao or…you get the point. Then you whip out your phone and Google for “Confinement Meal Singapore” which is probably how you ended up here.

As luck would have it, this article (just like us at Tian Wei) is dedicated to just that function of helping you get through this period of your life called confinement…which actually starts the minute you are out of labour.

So, congratulations, on the successful healthy delivery and, also, on having embarked on the one month rite of passage every mummy will go through after a delivery. You have now been inducted into the halls of motherhood!

First off, let’s establish an outline of how we’ll go about this, since diets and taste buds are highly subjective, let’s base everything we’ll discuss today on something that’s more objective – Energy and Nutrition.

It is said that a breastfeeding mummy needs an additional amount of calories a day, somewhere in the ballpark of more than 500 additional calories. Note that we used the word additional amount of calories a day. This means that whatever daily requirement you currently have for yourself, add on more to it.

Next, on the subject of nutrition, to say that you’ve lost a not insignificant amount of blood, in our humble opinion, is understating it a fair bit. Therefore, you need proper nutrition to help you rebuild your immune systems, your blood supply, and, of course, in the vein of Traditional Chinese Medicine, to fortify your blood as well as dispel ‘wind’.

Now, with all of that out of the day and with our baseline set, let’s get into the meat and two veg (pun not intended) of our article today – the diet.

Let’s first start by asking the following:

Why is watching what you eat important after C-Section?

The mother’s nutrition after giving birth is crucial not only for her speedy recovery, but also for breastfeeding the newborn child. 

Breast milk is the baby’s principal source of nourishment during the first few months, thus the mother must consume a healthy diet. 

Good nutrition and rest will also speed up the recovery of the abdominal wall and uterus, which were sliced during the C-section. 

A healthy diet may also help the woman lose the weight she gained while pregnant…provided it is adhered to and done right.

A healthy diet is essential for proper digestion and uncomplicated bowel movements that do not strain the abdomen, as well as providing necessary nutrients to the baby and aiding in the mother’s body’s recuperation. Proteins, minerals, calcium, fibre, and iron should be included in the diet promptly after a caesarean delivery.

Constipation is one of the most prevalent symptoms experienced by women after giving birth. There are several reasons for this, including high iron levels in prenatal vitamins, medications used during surgery, dehydration, and weak pelvic muscles after birth. 

Another reason for constipation in new moms is psychological – fear that their sutures may be damaged or will hurt.

So, what kind of foods should you incorporate into your diet?

Best foods post C-Section

A nutrition plan that covers what to eat and what to avoid following a caesarean birth should be carefully created. The diet should include a range of meals that offer the mother with essential nutrients in enough amounts. Following a C-section, the following items should be included in a mother’s diet to help her recover quickly:

Fibre-rich foods

Constipation can hinder healing by placing pressure on wounds and incisions, and fibre is an important meal that helps avoid constipation by ensuring smooth bowel movements.

Oats and ragi are abundant in fibre as well as carbohydrates, calcium, proteins, and iron.

Lentils, green grains, and pulses are high in protein and fibre and can be included in the diet.

While on the subject of rich foods, there’s another nutrient type that you’ll really want to incorporate and that brings us to this next little fella:

Iron-rich foods

Iron helps the body maintain haemoglobin levels and aids in the recovery of blood lost during the delivery process. Iron also aids in the correct functioning of the immune system. Egg yolk, red meat, oysters, cow liver, and dry fruits are all high in iron. 

Proteins

Protein is vital for healing and recovery after a Cesarean section. It helps with tissue repair, wound healing, and overall strength and energy levels. Consuming adequate amounts of protein is crucial for anyone who has undergone this type of surgery.

Protein is found throughout the body. It is in muscle, bone, skin, and hair. Protein is also in every other part of the body. There are at least 10,000 different proteins that make you who you are and keep you healthy.

Some well-known sources of proteins include the following:

  • Legumes
    • Lentils, beans, peanuts, soy products, etc
  • Nuts & seeds
    • Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, etc
  • Whole Grains
    • Quinoa, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, millet, etc
  • Meats
    • Chicken, pork, beef, eggs, lamb, etc
  • Low mercury containing fish
    • Salmon, cod, atlantic mackerel, seabass, snapper

Dairies

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For those who are dyslexic, no it’s not the plural of those journals in which you use to confide your day-to-day thoughts; those are diaries. A common enough mistake to make, but never mind that now.

What is important to note is that protein, calcium, and vitamins B and D are abundant in low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk, yoghurt, and cheese. These minerals are essential for nursing mothers, who should consume at least 500ml of dairy products daily.

Fluids

Drinking enough water might help you avoid dehydration and constipation. Fluid consumption benefits in post-surgery recovery and helps to quiet bowel movements. Low-fat milk, soy milk, buttermilk, and soup are all high in nutrients. In addition, you should consume 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.

Calcium-fortified drinks, low-fat yoghurt, soy milk and low fat cow’s milk all help to enhance your breast milk production, which is an important part of your baby’s daily diet. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided since they can infiltrate breast milk and affect your baby’s sleep. Should you still need your daily coffee, try not to have more than one cup of coffee a day.

Galactogogues

While not all mothers will feel the urge to start breastfeeding, those who do will benefit somewhat from the consumption of galactogogues (otherwise known as food that’s used to induce, maintain, and increase breastmilk production). 

A quick Google search will give you all kinds of knick-knacks that’s sworn to have that effect from various cultures all throughout time immemorial. While that can lead to confusion and a lot of head-scratching, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to whittle down that list for you. In fact, that same short, effective list can be found in our own menu and recipes.

There’s Fenugreek, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Papaya, all the good stuff! Oh, and that garlic, it’s said to impart a delectable flavour to your breastmilk which helps your infant’s foray into the gastronomic and culinary delights that is FOOD. Yes, yes, we know, it’s awesome like that and can assist nursing moms. So, win-win.

Closing words

All of these might seem to be pretty perplexing. Make things easy for yourself by getting some Chinese confinement dishes and possibly a confinement soup package which incorporates everything you need. The best part of all this – they’re cooked for you and all you have to do is just eat!

Want to know where you can get one of those for yourself? We’ll let you in on a secret – ring up +65 6727 5599 and say that you would like to know more about signing up for a confinement meal package today!

  • Tian Wei Signature

    We are a team behind the leading confinement food caterer who understand the importance of a well balanced diet to help mothers recover properly post-delivery. On top of preparing nutritious confinement meals for mothers, we work closely with our in-house dietitian to research articles and scour the internet to put together a library of dietary knowledge to help mothers along in their confinement.