Delivery through a cesarean section requires major surgery, and just as it is with any other major surgery, your body will need extra care for you to heal completely. But if you’re worried about getting a cesarean section, don’t be because you’re not alone; cesarean sections now account for up to four out of every ten new births on the island.
The only thing to expect is a longer hospital stay – up to three or four days after your delivery (it may be longer if there are complications), and up to six weeks to fully heal.
So, why is it crucial for you to take note of what to eat after c section? During this time, adequate rest and a healthy diet are vital to a mother’s recovery and her baby’s wellbeing. Your confinement food menu, therefore, should consist of foods that are rich in nutrients that can promote good health and bowel movements. You should also be aware of the types of food to avoid after c section.
Here’s a look at some of the best eating practices and foods for a mother after a cesarean section.
Ensure that You Drink Plenty of Fluids
Adequate fluid intake has no direct impact on wound healing, but it has numerous health benefits for a new mother, such as preventing constipation and reducing excess pressure on the abdomen.
That is why new mothers who have undergone a cesarean section are encouraged to make fluids an integral part of their confinement meals. This is reflected in the majority of Chinese confinement food in Singapore. Chinese confinement meals are often accompanied by a warm, nourishing drink that serves the same purpose as water, such as ginger tea, red dates tea, or a confinement tonic made up of regular chicken soup and ginseng chicken soup. So, try incorporating any of these or other fluids into your diet, but be sure to keep an eye out for added sugars.
Include Foods High in Protein and Vitamins
Protein-rich foods are unquestionably the best food after cesarean delivery as they aid in the growth of new body tissues. However, the advantages of protein-rich foods do not stop there. An increased protein intake is also important to support your breastfeeding needs.
Vitamins like A and C, as well as minerals such as iron and zinc, on the other hand, contain vital antioxidants that can help speed up the repair process and promote the production of collagen – a compound needed when scar tissues form.
Here are some protein- and vitamin-rich foods that are widely regarded as some of the best food for cesarean delivery:
Avoid Certain Foods
New mothers are often at a higher risk of prolonged wound healing after giving birth. So you have to watch your diet and be extra careful.
Foods to avoid after c section include meals with ingredients that may cause inflammation and affect the body’s healing process. Foods with added sugars and fried foods are also two of the most common food to avoid after cesarean section delivery.
So, what type of food to eat after c section, you ask? Well, try eating anti-inflammatory foods such as fibre-rich foods, colourful vegetables, herbs, and nutritious warm soups, which can help improve digestion, heal wounds quickly, and may even potentially increase breast milk production. A good soup to include in your confinement diet is the “Green Papaya Herbal Fish Soup,” which is made with green papaya, fish, snakehead (sheng yu), ginger, and garlic.
Another great food to have is green pepper. Green peppers are a popular ingredient in Malay confinement meals as they are said to be naturally high in anti-bacterial compounds, which not only help to cleanse one’s digestive tract but are also excellent antioxidants that promote regular and natural bowel movements.
You May Also Read This: The Perfect Diet for a Mother During Confinement
We know that planning your food after cesarean delivery can be stressful, but it isn’t all that difficult. In fact, there are plenty of foods that can aid in your recovery after a c section delivery, as well as benefit your and your baby’s health.
Of course, it is important to learn not only what foods to eat after cesarean delivery but also what foods to avoid afterward, as both are equally important. But you don’t have to worry about it being different just because you had a c section as the foods to avoid after delivery are generally the same for all women regardless of delivery method.
1. How should you eat after a cesarean delivery?
An exemplary and healthy diet after c section includes good eating practices such as drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods that are anti-inflammatory, high in protein, and high in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as iron and zinc.
2. What should you avoid eating after a cesarean delivery?
Mothers who have had a cesarean delivery should limit their intake of deep-fried foods and foods with added sugars. It is also a good idea to avoid gassy foods like cabbage, cauliflower, and asparagus, as well as drinks like carbonated beverages and citrus juices if they cause extreme discomfort.
3. Can I eat rice after a cesarean delivery?
According to experts, it is safe to include rice and whole grains such as whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, and oatmeal in one’s c section diet after pregnancy. Whole grains are rich in fibre and antioxidants that will help to regulate insulin levels and bowel movements, as well as promote good gut health.
4. When can I start eating solid foods again after a c section?
If your gynaecologist gives you the all-clear and there are no complications, you can make solid foods a part of your diet for c section delivery one or two days after your procedure.