Hope you have read my article on North Indian postnatal care. As promised in that article, here I bring to you details about the postnatal diet followed as part of the north Indian postpartum care.
Why postpartum diet is considered very important?
During the confinement period, food that the mother eats is considered equivalent to medicine that helps the mother to regain her physical and mental strength.
Diet followed as per North Indian tradition is rich in ingredients that keep the body warm, help in lactation and also helps in digestion.
Postnatal diet followed for postpartum care in North India:
Below is a list of North Indian postnatal foods that I had after my delivery.
The main reason new moms should drink water after delivery is that water is an important constituent of breast milk. So drink up plenty of water to increase milk flow and decrease dehydration due to breastfeeding.
Drinking water also helps to reduce your chances of getting infected with a urinary tract infection. Intake of plenty of water also helps to keep your energy levels high.
Ghee is added to almost every item prepared for post-delivery – from laddus to rotis to homemade snacks.
Ghee nourishes the body when taken in the right quantities. Ghee actually increases digestive power and helps in smooth bowel movements.
Pure ghee is high in nutritional content and helps in the recovery of the mother’s body from the stress of pregnancy and childbirth.
3. Turmeric milk
A pinch of turmeric is added to milk and is taken in the early morning.
Turmeric contains vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and potassium and helps to heal internal wounds. Turmeric milk helps in the healing process.
There are different types of laddoos that are made in North India for the new mother. They are very essential for nursing mothers and helps in improving health. Some of the laddoos are-
- Dhinkache laddoo/gond ke laadoo(gum ladoo)
- Methi laddoo
- Alivache laddoos (halim in Hindi)
- Til ke laddoo
- Besan laddoo
- Dates laddoo
So let us go through each one and its benefits.
- Dinkache laddoo/Gond ke laadoo(gum ladoo)
Gond is a kind of edible resin and is available in all supermarkets.
These laddoos contain dry fruits and nuts and are very good for nursing mothers. They are very good during winters and can be kept for many days in airtight containers.
Gond and ghee help in lubricating the joints and reduce back pain or joint aches. These ladoos can be had as an after-meal snack.
- Methi laddoo
Methi (fenugreek seeds) is really good to increase the milk supply. Methi laddoos are also known to help with backaches.
For better results, these laddoos are taken in the morning with milk.
- Alivache ladoo (Halim in Hindi, watercress seeds in English)
In Maharashtra these laddoos are a must during confinement. These laddus are made from seeds that are called Aliv or Haleev in Marathi.
They are rich in vitamin A, C, and folic acid that are necessary for postpartum women. They are also rich in calcium and iron.
- Sesame laddu /til ke ladoo (black /white):
These small, flat seeds are high in calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium. They are also popularly considered helpful in regulating bowel movements.
- Dates ladoo
These ladoos are made with dates, ground almonds, and grated coconut. It is served as an item in breakfast or as an in between meal snack. They are high in Vitamin and nutrition.
- Besan ladoo(chick peas laddu)
These laddoos are common in north India postpartum care diet. This ladoos are a must for nursing mothers.
5. Bajra ki roti
Bajra (millet) is a common grain consumed widely in India. It is a good source of energy and is rich in fiber that helps in digestion.
Bajra ki roti is flat bread or roti made using millet.
6. Rava- badam sheera
This is a breakfast recipe made from semolina, ghee, ground almonds and milk.
Rava ladoo is also considered good for health post delivery. It is high in vitamin C, essential fats and fiber.
7. Ajwain paratha
This makes a good breakfast or dinner option for new mothers. These are bread made from whole-wheat flour mixed with ajwain (carom).
It is believed to help clean the uterus and aid digestion. Ajwain also improves lactation.
8. Dalia /broken wheat porridge
This is another must during postpartum diet. It comprises of broken whole-wheat grain. Porridge made with broken wheat serves as a wholesome breakfast option or evening snack.
It is very high in fiber and calcium and helps to reduce constipation that every mom faces post-delivery.
9. Moong dal vegetable khichdi
Khichdi consists of dal and rice. Moong dal is rich in protein and carbohydrates.
Foods in North Indian postnatal diet that help to increase breast milk:
Certain foods are believed to increase the supply of breast milk.
- Ajwain (carom seeds)
It helps to soothe pain due to gas or indigestion. Every morning boil four glasses of water with two tablespoons of carom seeds (ajwain) and drink this water. The water allows cooling down the body temperature to room temperature.
- Fennel (saunf)
Fennel helps to increase the milk supply. They are rich in vitamin c and helps in digestion.
Saunf ka pani is regularly given to nursing mothers.
- Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are the traditional food that helps in lactation. These seeds are boiled in water and are taken in the morning after food.
These seeds are rich in iron and calcium. Fenugreek seeds are great to help prevent and ease back and joint pain.
- Jeera seeds (Cumin seeds)
Jeera water is taken for the initial 6 months after delivery. It helps to fight against infection and stomach problems like gas.
Jeera seeds are also said to cure the problem of low breast milk supply.
- Aliv kheer
To prepare this kheer aliv seeds are cooked in milk. This sweet dish can be had as an after-meal snack. It is high in vitamins and minerals and also helps in increasing breast milk.
- Dill seeds water
This helps to increase milk supply and aids digestion.
This is a traditional recipe. It provides vital nutrition and helps in lactation. The recipe for harira includes dry fruits like almond, pista, walnuts and cashew. It also contains watermelon and pumpkin seeds.
- Garlic milk(lasun )
Garlic is an excellent source that helps in lactation.
- Til seeds(black and white seeds)
They are rich in calcium and helps in milk supply.
It is a traditional North Indian energizing food. These are prepared with a mix of dry fruits, which helps in lactating. They are often taken with milk.
Panjiri generates heat inside body that helps in getting rid of impure blood after delivery and thus helps in clearing uterus naturally.
Food that should be avoided during confinement period:
Certain foods that should be avoided in the first few weeks:
- Spicy, strong flavored food
- Oily, fried meals as they are difficult to digest. Meals should be simple and fresh
- For the first three weeks after childbirth vegetables like cabbage, potatoes and cauliflower are avoided as they can disturb the digestive system and cause gas
- Leftover food is avoided and organic fresh food is preferred.
The new mother should eat on time and in adequate quantities so that the digestive system is not affected.
These were the food items I had during my confinement period as per the postnatal diet followed in North India.
Which diet did you follow as a part of postpartum care? Please feel free to share with me in comments.
Image credit: SteveR-