25 Indian Foods to Eat after Delivery - Postpartum Diet for New Moms

25 Indian Foods to Eat After Delivery

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Before pregnancy, most women are told to avoid many food items. Spicy foods are a no-no, and greasy fatty food items are to be kept away, making many women crave these foods even more. However, it does not mean you can immediately get back to eating whatever you want once the delivery is done. Following an Indian diet after pregnancy comes with its own caveats. It is important to know which food items can be consumed, and should be consumed, primarily, as part of a postnatal diet.

Why is Postpartum Nourishment Important?

With labour and delivery taking their toll on a woman’s body, taking care of yourself, is just as important as taking care of your newborn. Here’s why postpartum nourishment is vital.

Also Read: Foods You Must Avoid during Breastfeeding

1. Provides Strength

Weakness is common in the third trimester, and even post-delivery. Also, matching the baby’s schedule and getting less and erratic sleep makes women more fatigued. Many women are anaemic or have an iron deficiency, which causes them to feel tired and weak, and experiences frequent headaches. Eating foods rich in iron, such as meat, spinach, legumes, dates, anjeer etc., makes women feel stronger.

2. Enhances Breast Milk

Healthy fats and nutrients improve the quality of breast milk, whereas unhealthy fats found in fast food, etc., has proven to affect the nourishment that breast milk provides to the baby. Hence, eating healthy keeps your baby healthy.

3. Improve Mood

We already know that postpartum depression is quite common. However, eating healthy provides your body with the right nutrients, making you feel healthier, more energetic, and overall, much happier. This can definitely help prevent or treat postpartum depression.

What to Eat After Delivery- 25 Indian Foods for New Moms

Healthy eating is vital for both the mother and the child.  Right after delivery, your body is healing now hence; you must get some rest and replenish all of your depleted energy. A woman’s appetite is believed to increase after giving birth, especially if she is breastfeeding. Good food after delivery for Indian mothers is extra important because it helps the body regain shape and indicates a healthier lifestyle. Here are some foods that you must involve in your diet after delivery.

1. Moringa Leaves

Moringa leaves are highly recommended to mothers, right after delivery. They are known to contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C in good quantities, as well as a number of other nutrients and minerals such as calcium, iron, and protein.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Moringa leaves can be consumed either via the well-known shatavari kalp for up to four months after pregnancy. Fresh moringa leaves can also be used in soups, normal sabzi with potatoes (just like you do in aloo methi), fried vegetables, and so on to integrate them into your diet.

2. Whole Sprouted Grains

The benefits of sprouts and other sprouted grains have been inculcated in us since childhood. As dry grains usually do not carry as much nutrition as sprouted ones, sprouted grains such as wheat, bajra, jowar, ragi are considered much healthier than their dried counterparts.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Sprouted grains can be mixed with some dry grains and ground together to make flour. This flour can then be used in multiple ways, most popular for making porridge.

3. Almonds

Right from adding them to gajar halwa, to consuming them as they are, almonds are a popular dry fruit and healthy snack alternative, at all times. Natural almonds are essential in your diet, given the large amount of nutrition and vitamins they contain. Almonds are a great Indian food to eat after delivery 

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Take a bowl of water and soak a few almonds in them. Let soak through the night, and have them first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up. Not only does this keep you healthy, but the omega-3 content in them helps develop the baby’s brain functions.

4. Bottle Gourd

The array of benefits of bottle gourd range from proper hydration, to better milk production for feeding, and in weight loss, post-weaning of the child. Rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, iron, and so many others, bottle gourd consists of nearly 95% of water and is a great hydrating agent.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Making bottle gourd, the standard fried vegetable for your meals is the fastest and easiest way to get your fill of it. If you have a sweet tooth, there is no better delicacy and way to consume bottled gourd than the all-popular doodhi halwa. Sprinkle some almonds on it for added nutrition.

5. Garlic

For all the ire it earns for its smell, garlic has properties that help the immune system. It is known to wade off usual illnesses and is used in various pastes and ayurvedic medicines.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Adding garlic to vegetable curries, soups, etc., will bring out the taste of the dish, and be a healthy choice, too.

6. Fenugreek Seeds

The leaves and seeds of the fenugreek plant are widely used in multiple ways for food, and as a nutritional supplement. Throughout breastfeeding, for nearly half a year,  fenugreek seeds provide quite some help by giving an energy boost to the new mother and helps in milk production.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Fenugreek sprouts are best taken with your meals and the main vegetable cooked for that meal. Sprouted seeds can also be stir-fried with some onion and garlic and then eaten as a snack. Fenugreek seeds can also be added to panjeeri and laddoo.

7. Cumin Seeds 

Cumin seeds are popularly used as a spice. However, their health benefits are endless, as they seem to improve everything, from the digestive system to immune strength and blood circulation. Since cumin seeds contain antioxidants, calcium, and iron, they help the body retain energy and are fresh and healthy.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Cumin seeds are best consumed in a powdered form. A spoonful a day along with some jaggery and milk, is good enough for the body. This also affects the milk production supply, helping the new mother during breastfeeding.

 8. Sesame Seeds

Generally known as til seeds in India, they contain a lot of constituents, namely iron, copper, magnesium, and calcium, which directly benefit the health of the mother. These seeds are great for regulating bowel movements and aiding digestion.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Til is widely used in a number of Indian recipes. These seeds can be used to make laddoos, chikkis, and other sweet items that can satiate your sweet tooth and give you the nutrition you need. It can be added to chapati dough too.

9. Green Vegetables and Fresh Fruits 

Citrus fruits provide tons of benefits, from strengthening the immune system to boosting milk production for breastfeeding. Green vegetables are well known to provide the body with a good amount of iron, folate and Vitamin A

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Most fruits can be eaten raw or consumed via juices as well. Green vegetables can be used in salads, or in a cooked form during meals.

10. Finger Millet 

Called ragi in India, finger millet contains enough calcium and iron to boost your health. Especially, if you are lactose intolerant, finger millet can give you the nutrition you need, and gain strength back after delivery.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Various food items such as dosas, idlis, and chapatis, can be made using ragi, and form a part of your daily meals.

11. Oats 

Being a rich provider of iron, proteins, calcium, and carbohydrates, oats are extremely nutritious, right off the bat. Also, since they contain a good amount of fibre, oats improve digestion and reduce constipation.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Oats are generally cooked with milk or water. These mixtures can be complemented with chopped fruits and nuts to improve the taste and nutrition they provide.

12. Dal

Dal is a huge source of protein and one of the rare dishes that help you boost your protein content, without adding fats.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Dal can be eaten by itself in its cooked form, soup or mixed with some vegetables to create an interesting dish.

13. Edible Gum 

Edible gum or gondh is highly recommended during winters, since it is a good source of heat for the body. New mothers are insisted to have gondh, as it helps with lactation.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Making laddoos out of edible gum is the most popular and quickest way to consume it.

14. Carom Seeds 

Known in India as ajwain, these seeds are known to work wonders in alleviating issues in new mothers. Simply having two spoons of these seeds is known to work speedily in resolving gas and indigestion problems.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Ajwain can be boiled in water, after which you can strain and drink the liquid.

15. Turmeric

The healing properties of turmeric for wounds and general health support are well-known. It also helps reduce the toxicity of the liver and improves weight loss.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Adding half a spoon of turmeric to milk or other items of your diet should be necessary.

16. Panjeeri 

Panjeeri, a nutritional supplement cooked in Punjab, has healthy constituents that help improve a new mother’s metabolism and keep weight in control.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Panjeeri can be had as it is in its usual halwa form, or used to make laddoos.

17. Ginger 

Specifically, dry ginger powder contains many anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce gas.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Dry ginger powder can be used in multiple dishes as an important spice.

18. Eggs

Eggs are great sources of protein and can be assimilated in the body rather quickly. Opting for DHA fortified eggs elevate the fatty acid in your breast milk, making it more nutritious for the baby.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Eggs can be consumed by making omelettes, boiling them, or in scrambled eggs for breakfast.

19. Salmon 

Salmon contains DHA, which helps improve fatty acid levels and helps in brain development of your child. It helps with your mental health, keeping you in a happy mood and warding off depression.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Salmon-based dishes should be a part of your diet, but not more than two times a week.

20. Lean Meat 

Lean meat is known to be highly rich in iron, protein, and Vitamin B12, among others, which help keep energy levels at a high state.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Lean meat can be a part of your meals, cooked in the manner you choose, as a side dish, or as a part of a curry.

21. Black sesame seeds 

High calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus levels can be found in these tiny, flat seeds. Black Sesame seeds are beneficial for replenishing the body’s supply of critical minerals because they include all these nutrients. They are also frequently seen as beneficial for controlling bowel movements.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

Although til ke ladoos are popular in North India, black sesame seeds are also used to make a variety of other sweets, including til patti, rewri, and chikki. It can be put in normal food as well.

22. Dates

Dates are a simple and wholesome snack with several health advantages, from raising blood counts to minimising bleeding and blood loss after childbirth. They contain a lot of natural carbohydrates, which aid in supplying quick energy. Also, the polyphenol chemicals support better digestion and mental performance. It gives the body energy and helps in the healing process after delivery. 

How to Include it in Your Diet:

You can either mix dates in a bowl of oats or easily have it as it is. 

23. Citrus Fruits

A pregnant mother’s immune system may weaken over nine months of pregnancy. After giving birth, mothers should consume various citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit), to improve their immune system. Citrus fruits include vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption. Combining them with iron-rich foods helps the absorption of vitamin C easier, thus benefitting the body. Iron will also assist in boosting the mother’s haemoglobin levels, preventing iron-deficiency anaemia.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

You can make fresh orange juice or have it in a fruit salad.  

24. Legumes

Protein, vitamins, and minerals abound in legumes. Iron is abundant in dark-coloured legumes, such as black and kidney beans. When new mothers are nursing their infants, legumes, which are also low-cost and high in fibre, help to restore their energy.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

You can make different preparations of rajma, like rajma curry and rice, sauteed rajma, or rajma in a salad.

25. Blueberries

The optimal combination of calcium, vitamins, and minerals for new moms and their infants can be found in blueberries. In addition, blueberries offer good carbs to maintain a high energy level.

How to Include it in Your Diet:

You can easily eat it like a fruit. They are tasty and sweet. You can also mix it in your fruit salad.

There are many options for the right kind of food after delivery, for Indian mothers. Ensuring that a mother’s diet, post-delivery, contains all the nutrition she and the baby require, is the only condition necessary to be observed.

Also Read:

Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Diet Plan That Works
Foods to Eat and Avoid after C-Section Delivery
Indian Breakfasts to Try for Losing Weight After Pregnancy

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