Post natal period is like a second birth for a woman . It is the period to replenish the vital elements lost during pregnancy and giving birth to the baby . Ayurveda emphasizes on regulated dietary regimen during this period to gain strength and pre-pregnancy state.
Diet : After delivery, intake of medicated rice gruel , fats with herbs , decoctions for 3 – 7 days and from 7th – 12th day medicated meat soup along with light and congenial diet is advised.
* Panchakola (Pippali, Pippalimula, Chavya, Chitrak, Shunthi) with ghrita (clarified butter) or oil mainly sesamum oil , before meals according to the digestive capacity.
* After digestion of Panchakola –
a) Rice gruel with ghee medicated with Panchakola
b) Rice gruel made with decoction of drugs of Vidarigandhadi group (when ghee is contraindicated)
c) Rice gruel with milk is given for 3–7 days.
From 7th – 12th day:
a) Meat soup prepared with Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) is given with cooked rice.
b) Soup of Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) with light diet.
c) Kushmanda (pumpkin), Mulaka (radish), Ervaruka (cucumber) cooked with ghee is included in diet.
* Drinking water should be boiled and cooled.
Significance Of Postnatal Diet:
The Postnatal diet balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It nourishes the tissues and improves the digestive fire. The benefits of dietary articles are given below:
Pippali, Pippalimula (Long Pepper) : It possesses anti inflammatory and potent immunomodulatory effect – specific and non – specific, shows anti bacterial activity. It is useful for the recovery of the relaxed organs soon after delivery. It acts on liver and spleen , increases haemoglobin and appetite. It has mild laxative action . It enhances blood flow towards GI tract which results in absorption of active medicaments.
Chavya (Java Long Pepper) : It is useful in loss of appetite, colic, piles, has mild laxative , diuretic , liver stimulant , blood cleansing and rejuvenative properties.
Chitrak (Leadwort) : It is useful in nervine weakness , oedema , liver & spleen disorder , appetizer , digestive , anthelmintic , febrifuge , causes uterine contractions , cures postpartum disorders.
Shunthi (Dry Ginger) : It is known to stimulate digestion . It has anti tumour , anti inflammatory , anti microbial property and is effective against both gram+ ve and gram– ve bacteria . Useful in nervine weakness , increases flow of urine thus decreased chances of urinary tract infections.
Kola (Zizyphus) : It is a good source of calcium , phosphorus , Vitamin A & C . It has anti oxidant , wound healing and anti inflammatory properties . Helpful in hypertension , fatigue and assists action of other herbs , given in indigestion and is mild laxative . It has a tranquillizing and sleep inducing effect.
Kulatha (Horse gram) : It is an excellent source of iron , molybdenum and manganese . It has antispasmodic activity and is used in uterine disorders , piles and anemia.
Yava (Barley) : It is a good source of fiber . It contains copper, phosphorus , zinc and Vitamin E.
Mulaka (Radish) : It is an appetizer , diuretic , regulates metabolism , stimulates liver.
Ervaruka (Cucumber) : It has 94% water content , keeps the body hydrated , regulates blood pressure , aids in digestion , acts as a diuretic . It contains magnesium , potassium , silica , vitamin A , B , C and K . Vit K has antioxidant and osteotrophic activity (maintains bone health) .
Kushmand (Pumpkin) : It alleviates thirst , is laxative , acts like a tranquilizer and brain tonic , has a vasoconstrictor effect i.e stops bleeding.