Diet after a C-Section delivery- What to eat and avoid?

Cesarean delivery or a C-section is the surgical procedure for delivering the baby. In a c-section, abdominal and uterine incisions are made to deliver the baby. Due to the incisions, the female may need to stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days, depending on her health. After the discharge from the hospital, the female is suggested to take a well-maintained diet, take a lot of rest of herself, and the incision for a good recovery.  

As per the BMI, the female would require an additional intake of 450-500 Kilocalories a day. Doctors may also recommend some additional amounts of vitamins and minerals following a c-section. Read ahead to learn more about what you should eat and avoid after a c-section. 

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What should you eat after a c-section or cesarean delivery?

Diet is very important when it comes to timely and healthy recovery after cesarean delivery. The female should strictly eat and avoid the foods suggested by doctors while recovering from cesarean delivery. The new-mother should keep track of the nutritional intake throughout the day. Below are mentioned the most essential nutrients and their food sources to eat while recovering from cesarean delivery. 

  • Proteins 

Proteins are the building blocks. Eating a lot of protein-rich diets helps in speedy healing of the tissues after the surgery. For breastfeeding mothers, protein intake should be kept high as it is very important for the growth of the baby.  

Food Sources of Protein –  Eggs, chicken, fish, meats, milk, cheese, dried beans, peas, and nuts.

  • Iron 

During the delivery, the female loses a lot of blood. Most females have low levels of iron, iron deficiency, or anemia after childbirth. Regularising iron levels in the body is essential to keep the body going and remain healthy and fit all through the day. Iron deficiency can lead to dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, or weakness. So, the iron levels in the body need to be replenished after cesarean delivery.  But, make sure to not eat excessive amounts of iron as it can lead to constipation. 

Food Sources of Iron – Walnuts, dry fruits, figs, beef liver,  red meat, oysters, and dried beans.

  • Calcium 

This nutrient helps in relaxing muscles, boosting bone and teeth health, regulating blood coagulation, and preventing osteoporosis. Optimum calcium intake is suggested for healthy and safe recovery after delivery. Breastfeeding should make sure to add calcium-rich foods in their diet. 

Sources of Calcium– Milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach, kale, and tofu to supplement the intake of calcium.

  • Vitamins 

Vitamins boost the collagen-producing in the body, enabling the growth of new scar tissues, tendons, and skin.  Vitamins are good for quick recovery of the incision site. A good intake of vitamins for the following months can also heal the scar and make it less visible. 

Food Sources of Vitamins- Melons, oranges, tomatoes, papayas, strawberries, grapefruits, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.

  • Fiber 

With a nutrition-centric diet, it is very important to keep your fiber intake high to prevent constipation. Fiber is an excellent nutrient to prevent constipation. Constipation can add more pressure to the wounds.  

Food Sources of Fiber – Bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, beans, legumes, nuts, and dry fruits.

  • Fluids and Water 

Along with nutritional intake, keeping your body hydrated with water and other healthy fluids is essential for a speedy recovery. Drinking plenty of fluids can help to ease bowel movements and can also help in milk production. 

Sources of Fluids – Non-citrus fruit juices, herbal teas, soups, coconut water, buttermilk, and green tea (decaffeinated ones). 

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Diet after a C-Section delivery-

Foods to limit after a c-section delivery

  1. Citrus juices should be taken in moderate quantities. You can start with initially drinking small amounts, and then increase to moderate quantities.
  2. Due to their diuretic properties, caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea should be taken only in moderate amounts. For breastfeeding mothers,  excess caffeine can lead to growth problems in the baby.
  3. Avoid carbonated drinks as they may cause gas.
  4. Avoid alcohol as drinking alcohol while breastfeeding can impair the female’s ability to produce milk and can also lead to developmental issues in the infant.
  5. Avoid eating fried foods, especially in the first few days after delivery as they can cause indigestion, constipation, heartburn, and gas.
  6. If you are diabetic, avoid eating white rice for at least 3 to 4 days after cesarean delivery. You can eat brown rice in moderate quantities. 
  7. Avoid cold foods and drink as they may make you sick.  
  8. Avoid gas-forming foods like red kidney beans, white lentils, chickpeas, black beans, green peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lady’s finger, and onions.

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Optimum nutrition after a c-section can help speed up recovery and can help the female remain energetic all day. In the case of breastfeeding mothers, proper nutrition, and diet after a c-section plays an important role.  So, make sure to take care of your body, incision, and eat healthy foods to promote healing and have a quick recovery. Consult a gynecologist to know more about the best diet after c-section, exercises, helpful tips.

Make sure to speak to a doctor in case you notice any worrying symptoms like heavy vaginal bleeding, persistent or severe pain, smelly vaginal discharge, or high fever after c-section. 

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