An Ideal Postpartum Confinement Meal

Dr. Trishala ChopraDiet & Nutrition, Postpartum Diet

If you are reading this, ” Congratulations for your bundle of joy- God bless you both a very healthy lifestyle”

Past 9 months was the most difficult yet the most beautiful time of your life. Loads of patience, loads of pains, loads of do’s and dont’s and at the end of it- You have got your little happiness in your hands.

Isn’t it just beautiful? 🙂

Well, everything doesn’t end here. In-fact, it starts from here.

Complete restrictions, complete confinement for the next 40 days (At least in India the confinement period is 40 days!)

While this confinements might get a bit difficult but after all everything is for you and your baby 🙂

During confinement period, mother is just allowed to be with her family members and give complete attention to the baby.

What special routine is followed during confinement time?

(1) Post par-tum massage for mom

– This is the best thing of confinement period!
– Massage gives a soothing effect to the tired body.
– It helps in increasing blood circulation.

These oils can be used for massage :-

• Mustard oil ( Sarson ka tel)
• Coconut oil ( Nariyal ka tel)
• Sesame oil ( Til ka tel)
• Almond oil ( Badam ka tel)
• Olive oil ( Jaitoon ka tel)
• Sunflower oil (Suryamukhi ka tel)

– If you had a C-section, extra care needs to be taken during massage.

(2) Baby massage

– For proper growth and development, it is good to get some nice massage for your baby for the given confinement period.

These oils can be used for massage:-
• Refined sunflower oil
• Grape seed oil
• Safflower oil
• Unperfumed mineral oil
• Coconut oil

(3) Astonishing confinement restrictions in India

It is said heat will help mothers recover faster.
So taking this into consideration,
• Mothers are asked to wear socks, plug cotton in the ears no matter what is the temperature outside.
• Mothers can’t take bath for 21 days, only sponging.
• Mothers cannot wash their hair for 21 days.

I couldn’t find a scientific reason for this but since it is a part of tradition- It is okay to listen to your elders to some extent!

(4) Food confinements
Well, the most exciting part about this confinement period is food!
Since there is extreme blood loss during delivery, it is said that a balance is lost.
Body enters into a complete cold zone that’s why it is important to regain the lost balance with some heat.

Here some food Do’s and Dont’s regarding food during your confinement period:-

  • Avoid using green and red chilli’s which might be difficult to digest. However for getting some taste in your food, you can choose black pepper.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks as it might counter effect your recovery process because of its temperature.
  • Add bottle gourd in your meals which will help in increasing your milk formation.
  • Avoid foods which are gaseous, this might make your child uncomfortable. Most of the cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli should be taken into moderation.
  • Chewing fennel seeds and betel leaves post meals will help in improving the digestion.
  • Dill seeds (Also called as suwa) is a rich source of iron, calcium and magnesium however it has to be used in moderation because of its diuretic properties.
  • Sesame seeds also called as till is a good source of calcium.
  • Cumin seeds helps in improving digestion and helps in relieving constipation.
  • Adding tulsi leaves to tea helps in giving calming effect and helps in improving bowel movements but it should be used in moderation.

Include more galactogogues :-

Galactogogues are those substances which helps in increasing breast-milk production (Maintains healthy lactation).

(1) Fenugreek

  • Also called as methi is a herb which helps in increasing lactation.
  • It should be used in small quantities.
  • Good source of essential fatty acids, b complex vitamins.

Caution:- Excess consumption of fenugreek might cause diarrhea, flatulence and body odor.

Recipe options using fenugreek:-

  • Fenugreek tea
  • Methi paratha, methi pooris.
  • Methi ka saag

(2) Blessed thistle

  • This herb helps in increasing production of breast milk.
  • This has to be used in moderation, it is the best when combined with milk.

Caution:- Excess consumption of blessed thistle can cause gastrointestinal disturbances.

(3) Alfafa

  • This herb works as a mild galactogogue.
  • It is very rich in all essential nutrients.

Caution:- No visible side effects seen.

(4) Anise

  • This herb has some estrogenic compounds which works as an excellent galactagogue.
  • This herb is used since ancient time.

Caution:- No visible side effects seen.

(5) Fennel seeds

  • Also called as saunf.
  • It is used in tonics and OTC supplements.
  • It is an excellent galactagogue.
  • It helps in preventing gas.

Benefits of fennel seeds can passed to the baby through breast milk.
Caution:- No visible side effects seen.

Here is the sample menu plan for a women during confinement period:-

  • Early morning 1 glass fennel seeds water
  • Breakfast 1 bowl of milk dalia + 1 methi puri/ 1 whole egg (In any form) + 1 banana or 1 orange
  • Mid morning 1 Gondh k ladoo
  • Lunch 1 bowl of dudhi + 1 cup of moong dal khichdi + 1 ragi bhakri + 1 bowl of salad + 1/2 cup of curd
  • Snacks 1 cup of Garlic milk + handful of nuts
  • Late evening 1 cup of tulsi tea
  • Dinner 1 ajwain paratha + 80 grams of paneer/ tofu/ chicken/mutton/ fish + 1 bowl of boiled salad + 1 Harira
  • Bedtime 1 cup of badam milk

I am sure the menu plan up there must have excited you! I promise you to come up with the recipes for the food items mentioned above and plus some more!

Stay tuned!

An Ideal Postpartum Confinement Meal was last modified: June 14th, 2017 by Dr. Trishala Chopra