It is very important to keep our newborn mothers nourished. By newborn mother, I mean a mother who has recently given birth. For the truth is, the mother herself is reborn every time she gives birth. This is a tremendous opportunity for positive transformation, as long as she has access to the wisdom and support she needs to thrive.
The food that she eats after birth makes a significant impact on her postpartum health and breast milk supply. Following an Ayurvedic postpartum diet will give her the nourishment and rejuvenative power she needs to thrive. Learning the basic principles of this diet is a big step towards a positive rebirth and a nourished postpartum recovery.
The Fundamental Principles of An Ayurvedic Postpartum Diet
These principles are the foundational aspects of a healthy postpartum diet according to Ayurveda. New mothers who incorporate them into their diet will reap the rewards of a healthier postpartum recovery and more nourishing breast milk supply.
Vata dosha is a combination of the air and ether elements, which become significantly out of balance after childbirth. Symptoms of excess vata can include dryness, coldness, spaciness, pain, anxiety, fearfulness, insomnia, as well as constipation. Eating foods that are warming, moist, oily and grounding will help pacify vata.
Easy To Digest
All new mothers experience sensitive digestion after birth. A tremendous amount of energy is exhausted during birth and consequently, the digestion becomes weak. Foods need to be easy to digest in order for them to provide nourishment to the new mother, as she rebuilds her digestive fire.
All foods should be well-cooked. Food that has been cooked until soft and mushy, will be easier to digest and assimilate. Avoid raw foods for 6 weeks after birth, accept sweet raw fruits.
Adding lots of warming, digestive spices is key to rebuilding the digestive fire after birth. Spices that are beneficial for postpartum recovery include cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, basil, fennel, black pepper, fenugreek and dill.
Naturally Sweet, Sour and Salty Tastes
Focus on sweet, sour and salty tastes. These 3 tastes will help build healthy tissue and promote a strong recovery. Avoid white sugar and table salt.
Lots of Healthy Oils
It’s very easy for a new mother to become depleted and dehydrated after birth. Eating lots of healthy oils will nourish and re-hydrate their depleted tissues. Ghee (clarified butter) is the oil/fat of choice for postpartum rejuvenation. Unrefined sesame oil is a great dairy-free option.
New mothers need food that is fresh and full of vitality. Food that is over 6 hours old starts to break down, becomes difficult to digest, and loses its vitality. Because of this, it is not recommended for new mothers to eat leftovers.
In Ayurveda, we focus on feeding mothers a sattvic vegetarian diet. Sattva is the essence of purity, and is high-vibration and life-affirming. These qualities encourage healing, rejuvenation and love, which in turn promote a strong postpartum recovery and balanced emotional state.
By following these basic Ayurvedic principles of postpartum diet, new mothers can create a solid foundation on which to build their strong postpartum recovery. Eating a nourishing postpartum diet will not only lead to vibrant health, but will ensure a high quality breast milk supply as well.
By Ameya Duprey, contributor to the Center for Sacred Window Studies, Ayurdoula, Massage Therapist, Blogger, owner of www.shakticare.com
*Individual perspectives by contributors to the Center for Sacred Window Studies Blog may vary and are intended to provide a wide spectrum of viewpoints for the benefits of mothers, babies and all individuals.