Shall I talk about what expectant and post delivery mums are given to eat ? (by their mothers / mum-in-laws). I can tell you, it’s not needed.
As soon as you are pregnant, you are treated as a patient (I agree, things are improving, but most parts, it’s the same old story). You are not allowed to walk fast, eat certain things, etc. etc. Actually, first trimester, you have to be careful, but later, you can relax a little bit
But for our Indian expectant mums. You have to eat for 2 and more. (No evidence for that). Instead research is advising to eat healthy. Indians make special SUPER HIGH CALORIE stuff made with Pure Ghee mixed with pot of nuts and sugar (is possibly the most calorific food in the world – very good for Marasmic children, but not for mums). It gets worse after you’ve given birth. Some cultures still don’t allow you to come out of a room or take a shower (can you believe it?) You are kept in one room and everything is brought to you. Your baby is also not allowed to come out. The whole room stinks with ghee and other ‘Dawa’ (traditional medicines). Some expert local midwives say, it helps uterus contracts. Uterus contracts anyway, and does very well in all European and American mums. Doesn’t need ‘Ajwain’.
The room is poorly ventilated, humid, no fresh air, and surprise, you get mastitis (infection of breast), infection of lower vaginal area and stitches, and get more unwell. Breast feeding has to be stopped and antibiotics started. You now, genuinely can’t move because of pain and still continue to eat (a lot). Your risk of DVT (Deep vein thrombosis goes up a lot). Your weight keeps on piling up and you do look like a mother (may be 10 years older than before you were pregnant). If you come back to senses when you feel (or somebody like me, jokes, have you got another baby there?), you try to loose all the FAT. It then takes 5-6 years to get rid of, unless you take intensive diet programme and exercise (not recommended). Unless, you get pregnant again and put another 10 kilos by the end!
So free advice
- Eat healthy (http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/05may/Pages/pregnancy-diet-weight-management.aspx)
- Be mobile as much as possible, till you can manage. Labour will be much easier
- Some activities (guess which one!) which are thought to be impossible in pregnancy are actually OK in 2nd trimester
- They are also useful if your due date has passed and nothing is happening. It can trigger labour 😉
- Drink plenty of fluids when breastfeeding, along with healthy balanced diet. That’s good enough for you milk production.
- Take a shower soon after delivery and move around if comfortable. Take painkillers if you need to.
- Go for walks with the baby in fresh air and relax. It’ll help your milk production.
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and well ventilated. It reduces risks for the bay to get SIDS.