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 prepregnancy 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.
Dietary Regimen :
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 –
Rice gruel with ghee medicated with Panchakola or
Rice gruel made with decoction of drugs of Vidarigandhadi group (when ghee is contraindicated) or
Rice gruel with milk is given for 3 – 7 days.
From 7th – 12th day :
Meat soup prepared with Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) is given with cooked rice.
Soup of Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) with light diet.
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 disorders, 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, vit 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 tranquilising and sleep inducing effect.
Kulatha (Horse gram) : It is an excellent source of iron, molybdenum and manganese. It has diuretic, anti spasmodic activity and is used in uterine disorders, piles and anaemia.
Yava (Barley) : It is a good source of fiber and lignans. It contains copper, phosphorus, zinc and vit 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, vit 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 tranquiliser and brain tonic, has a vasoconstrictor effect i.e stops bleeding.
Yavagu (Gruel): It is made with Rice and Green gram.
Rice : It contains folate (27%), thiamine, manganese, magnesium. The net protein utilization and digestible energy in rice is highest among all the common cereal grains. Its mineral content, starch quality, glycemic index and anti oxidant activity is unique among all the cereals. High biological value of amino acids, high content of essential fatty acids and selenium are proven scientifically.
Green gram : It contains good amount of protein, starch, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, vit B complex, vit C and essential fatty acids. It is a good source of fiber and amino acids. It has a low glycemic index i.e it prolongs the release of sugar in blood stream, helps in decreasing post meal cravings and gives satiety.
Studies have shown that consumption of starch from a legume source influences plasma leptin levels and may have a beneficial effect in preventing weight gain or increasing fat mass.
Thus rice gruel provides complete nutrition .
Meat soup : It contains all essential amino acids and is a good source of protein. It is rich in zinc, selenium, phosphorus, folate, vit B12. Iron is absorbed better than from plant foods.
The dietary regimen has life promoting, anabolic and vata alleviating properties.
Since diseases occurring during this period get cured with difficulty, the woman should follow post natal regimen strictly to remain healthy.
About Poshan Maah
To ensure community mobilisation and bolster people’s participation, every year the month of September is celebrated as Rashtriya Poshan Maah across India.
This year, the main focus during POSHAN Maah will be on the themes of “First 1000 days of Child, Anaemia, Diarrhoea, Hand Washing & Sanitation and Poshtik Aahar . Special emphasis will be to promote exclusively breastfeeding, Complementary Feeding, Antenatal and Postnatal Care, Dietary Diversity of Mothers & Children, Anaemia Prevention, Sanitation and Hygiene, Diarrhoea Management to combat the challenge of malnutrition.