A new mother’s diet guide


While most mothers want to lose weight immediately after delivery, getting enough nutrition is also essential. Here are foods you should eat and avoid after childbirth
While a carefully planned pre-natal diet is essential, consuming the right kind of nutrition post delivering the baby is equally important for a new mom. Says fitness expert Mamtaa Joshi, “Post delivery, it is very important to take care of yourself because if you are healthy, you can take care of your baby better. If you are breastfeeding, the food you eat helps the healthy growth of your baby. The need for some nutrients increases, and folic acid and iodine supplements are recommended.”
Moreover, with most women wishing to get back to shape immediately post pregnancy, eating food that is nutritive and at the same time, light on your waistline is essential. Says clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan, “Lactating mothers have to be very careful about weightloss. You can’t lose weight drastically. Think about weight reduction only post your baby is a year old because if you don’t have enough nutrition in your body, it will affect your baby’s growth.”
Here’s your guide to a healthy post-delivery diet.
Get maximum nutrition
According to experts, a breastfeeding mother’s nutrition requirement is similar to those for pregnancy, and women are suggested to continue eating similarly to the way they were during their pregnancy. “Breastfeeding woman demands 200 to 220 more calories per day than she did during pregnancy,” says Joshi.
According to Krishnan, proteins, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, good quality fibre and good quality fat should comprise a major part of the diet. “If you are a non-vegetarian, eat grilled or baked fish and chicken instead of red meat. Vegetarians can even use pure ghee, but not margarine because that gets converted into bad fats and leads to weight gain,” she adds.
Add fruits and veggies to your diet
Says Krishnan, “Have fruits and vegetables that have a higher water content and opt for the seasonal ones. For instance, during monsoons, go for jamuns and cherries that are rich in antioxidants.” At mealtimes, your plate should have fruits and vegetables in equal quantities. “Besides vitamins and minerals, they also provide fibre, which helps prevent constipation. Make sure to wash fruits and vegetables under running cold water before eating them,” advises Joshi.
Go for healthy quick-fixes
With baby at hand, it might be difficult to cook something every two hours. “Find out the foods that require little or no preparation, something that even your husband can make for you,” says Joshi. Between mealtimes, snack on flavoured yoghurt, veggie and dips, cereal or low-fat protein bar.
Lose weight safely
While balancing exercise with diet is important, losing weight too quickly can affect your breast milk supply, say experts. Do simple cardio exercises at home not take diet pills. They contain harmful drugs that can be passed to your baby through breast milk.
Increase water intake
According to experts, you should drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Have one glass each time you nurse your baby. Also include other liquids like juice, milk, herbal teas and soups. “Have nimbu paani, aam panna or chaas regularly,” says Krishnan. Most importantly, avoid caffeine and alcohol-based beverages.