More than giving birth to baby what intimidates the new moms are the confinement period rules, postpartum diet restrictions that are common in India.The diet plan is crucial since it has to help the new mums in recovery & at the same time it should aide breastfeeding too
பத்திய சமையல் is a special exclusive menu prepared for New Moms in our households for atleast first 12 weeks. From eating betel leaves (வெற்றிலை) to including garlic,ghee,jeera,ajwain and other medicinal ingredients there are so many rules to be followed in postpartum diet. I was eagerly waiting for all the pampering from my mom but unfortunately she couldnt come to London. Though My mom, mother in law gave lot of tips,suggestions in recipes & other things, I couldnt follow any of it due to practical reasons..Hehe even the first meal post delivery was Mac&Cheese with a salad & Chocolate cake😬😬. Thats what my hospital offered and after being in labour for almost 12 hours it was so divine to me.
For the first few days me and Shiva literally had no time to spend in kitchen..The little one would cry nonstop and I was recovering, there will be pile of baby clothes, diapers spread everywhere. Our house was a total mess..
Luckily my mom had couriered few essential dry powders (Curry Leaf Powder, Angaya Podi, Paruppu Podi, Health Kanji Mix, RawRice kanji mix) & post pregnancy lehiyam well in advance. While I survived with those powders most of the initial days, Shiva survived on readymade Grand Sweets thokku & frozen rotis..He also cooked a simple daal or rasam and a poriyal that kept me going during the initial 10 days. Once his paternity leave was over, I started cooking and made my very own version of simplified PostPartum diet ☺️☺️
Disclaimer : The food I ate and recommended below are totally based on my personal experience and how my little one accepted & reacted to it.You need not follow this blindly. Kindly get ideas from here and if anything didn’t go well with your child, if you see them fussy after eating specific foods kindly avoid it. Being southindian the initial days of my diet was mostly rice since it was easier for me to cook & eat.
There is a popular belief that food eaten by breastfeeding mums have effect on their newborn. While there are also some theories which suggests that mum’s food & breastfeeding has no connection, I believe that the food we eat did have a effect on baby’s behaviour & made them gassy, uncomfortable.After days of trial & error, now I have a clear idea on what foods/recipes/ingredients make her uncomfortable. I shall share that list at the end of the post & remedy for it.
First 4 weeks since April 19 this was my diet. She was severely gassy and would cry uncontrollably. Even if I eat milagu kuzhambu, garlic kuzhambu she had difficulties while passing wind. I started including wheat,semolina,vermicelli, broken wheat only after 4 weeks
What I ate : (First 4 weeks post delivery)
1. Idli/Dosai with curry leaf powder, Gingely oil or ghee
2. White Bread Toast with butter
3. Puzhungal Arisi kanji (mom had sent this powder too. shall update recipe soon)
4. A bowl of Wheat flakes/Corn flakes with slices of banana or apple
5. Sathumaavu Kanji (used homemade health mix sent by mom)
1. Rice , Angaya Podi with ghee, Dry vegetable poriyal
2. Rice with plain moongdal
3. Rice, Curry leaf Powder with ghee,Koottu (Bottle gourd, Snake Gourd,Chayote Squash)
4. Rice with Sundakkai Vathal/Manathakkali Vathal (Heat a tbsp of ghee in tadka pan or in a kadai, add dried turkey berries or night shade green seeds, roast them.mix that with rice and serve with a raita or daal
5. Rice with Rasam & Poriyal
Dry fruits, Banana, Orange,Apple, Dates, Peach, Biscuits, Soups, Smoothie, Gondh ke laddu, Protein Bars, Homemade Panjiri (a friend gave a big batch of this panjiri. used to eat a small bowl of it in the evening)
Things I avoided in the first 4 weeks :
1. Toor Dal (thuvaram paruppu) – Used moongdal & masoor dal instead
2. Red Chilli Powder & Garam Masala – Used Black Pepper powder & green chilli to add mild spice
3. Coffee, Tea
4. Store bought pickles & Chips
5. Potatoes, Rajma, Channa & other gassy veggies like cauliflower, brussel sprouts,cabbage,broccoli
After four weeks I slowly started eating regular food. Started introducing chilli powder and other spices in my diet. Ate a bit of cheese in my breakfast, started including toor daal, coconut etc. I felt a lot better and to be frank she became less gassy & fuzzy when I ate everything.
I plan my meals in such a way that it has enough nutrients for me to sustain the whole day without tiredness or fatigue. At the same time it is not time consuming to cook.
Diet I followed from 4th week Post Delivery :
My General Tips :
1. Include a fruit or a glass of juice in breakfast (Apple,Banana,Dates,Pears)
2. Drink smoothie or Health mix kanji or soup as mid morning snack or tall glass of warm milk with turmeric
3. For lunch prepare a dry subzi/poriyal, daal or koottu with veggies of your choice. It keeps you full and very easy to prepare too. You can also add a bowl of Raita/Pachadi for that dose of calcium in yogurt
4. Evening Biscuits or Roasted unsalted Nuts with Tea or coffee
5. Along with Roti add a bowl of cucumbers+onion+tomato salad, yogurt during dinner
Include Garlic,Bottlegourd,Ghee,Ajwain,Saunf,Methi Seeds, Spinach,Milk,Yogurt regularly in your daily diet. In my experience they helped in increasing Breast Milk secretion. Drink lots of water to keep ourselves hydrated.
1. Idli/Ragi Dosai/Idiyappam/Appam/paniyaram with chutney or sambar.
2. Upma (Poha/Semolina/Broken Wheat/Vermicelli)
3. Sandwich (with veggies & cheese)
4. Roti & Green MoongDaal
5. Pongal with chutney, tiffin sambar
I start my day with a glass of plain milk. So after breakfast I generally have a glass of Twinings Dip Tea or Masala Chai or coffee
1. Variety Rice (Lemon Rice, Capsicum Rice, Coconut Rice,Vegetable Rice)
2. Veg Pulao/Biryani with Raita
3. Roti, Salad, Daal, Yogurt
4. One Pot Kichdi, Sambar Sadham
5. Pasta with White Sauce or Mushrooms or Tomato Sauce
6. Plain Rice, Sambar or Rasam, Poriyal or Koottu
7. Rice, Vethakuzhambu/Milagukuzhambu & koottu
Some of my other lunch pics here 🙂
Some of my other dinner pictures here 🙂
There are days when little would be extremely fuzzy and will be so clingy.Those days I cant cook meal from scratch.So I do have few store bought stuff handy so that I can whip up a quick meal.You can get things which are suitable for your taste buds as well as check they are of good quality. Make sure to twice check the expiry date when you buy eatables from supermarkets.
Useful StoreBought stuff :
Whole wheat Bread
Plain white buns
Peanut Butter & Almond Butter
Frozen vegetable patties
Almond Milk (I usually make smoothies with this. For that extra protein in nutmilk)
Food that make my little one uncomfortable & gassy during the initial days :
First few weeks I avoided most of it completely. After around 10 weeks post delivery I have been including everything in my diet. Eating them in moderate.
Spicy onion tomato chutney
Green Mung Beans
Adai (lentil crepes)
Rajama & Channa Masala
Bajji,Bonda (besan flour based snacks)
Potato Chips, Samosa, Namkheen
Spicy Pepper kuzhambu or Garlic kuzhambu
Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflower
She draw her knee closer to her & kick her legs in bit discomfort and pain. Tries so hard to pass wind. If you notice something similar in your babies then follow any of the below methods to ease them
Home Remedies to relieve Gas or severe Colic Pain
– Heat gingely oil with a tsp of Ajwain. Massage their tummy
– Mix Hing/Perungayam in warm water make a paste and apply it on their tummy
– Give Infacol drops
– Place them on your arm & gently massage their back (camel position)
– Try putting them on carseat/rocker & rock for few minutes
– Give them bath in warm water
– If nothing works out then chop few garlic pieces, roast them in ghee and you can eat. Feed them after this. Garlic helps them to relieve from pain & pass wind easily
Even after all this if she cries I usually put her in pram or wear her in my ringsling or in Boba4G carrier and would go for a walk.
How to plan cooking with your babies ?
This is really tough as the situation changes everyday. There are few things which you could try like I did. Just keep one thing in mind whenever your baby is hungry & cries just stop whatever you are doing in kitchen & attend them.
– As soon as I wake up the first thing i do is cook Daal (Tuvar/Moong) keep it ready. You can cook a big batch of it, store it in refrigerator & use it within 3-4 days too
– I GRATE veggies & prepare poriyal so that they dont take much time to cook since chopping into pieces takes time (beetroot,carrot,cabbage,raddish,cucumber for raita)
– Pressure Cooker is my saviour. I prepare most of the recipes in it
– All I need is 45 minutes to one hour (from 6:45-7:45am in the morning.since the husband leaves around at 8:15am) to cook something for our breakfast & shiva’s lunchbox..Mostly she wakesup once in 2-3 hours at night for feeding. Incase if she sleeps after 5:30am, I wake her up gently,feed her, change her nappies too.
– Somedays she goes back to sleep at 6:00am after the feed but somedays she will start playing.. I put her in playmat or cotbed
– Play some songs on TV & will leave her down on a bedsheet in living room.. Shiva will be getting ready & we both will have an eye on her and would pacify her just in case if she cries
– If you have a carseat or rocker you can put them on it too & keep the baby near kitchen for few minutes while you finish off cooking
– From sound of pressure cooker, mixie she is used to all these by now. Not afraid of it anymore
Its been 20 weeks with little Aadhu and I have been including everything in my diet. I hope this post gives you an overall idea of my diet during the initial post-partum days. Even if you have to manage alone it is very much possible with the newborn.
Havent added links to certain recipes. Shall update my blog with those recipes soon.
Let me know if you have any doubts or queries regarding thispostpartum diet.