Having a well-balanced diet is key to supporting postpartum recovery. Particularly, mothers who undergo C-sections need to avoid certain types of food to aid surgical wound healing as well as prevent gassiness and constipation.
So what is a C-section and how is it different from vaginal deliveries?
A cesarean delivery (C-section) is a major surgery to deliver babies. In this procedure, an incision is made on the abdomen and uterus. In contrast, only the skin is cut and reattached in vaginal deliveries.
Given the weight of this major operation, C-section mothers need to pay extra attention to their postpartum diet. By choosing the right types of food, mothers can nourish their bodies, maintain adequate milk supply, and avoid unnecessary bowel discomfort.
Foods to Avoid After C-Section Surgery
So what are the foods to steer away from during the postpartum period? Here are seven types of food to avoid after cesarean delivery.
1. Avoid Food That Makes You Gassy.Flatulence is a common problem in postpartum mothers. After a C-section delivery, gas build-up in the digestive tract can be quite painful.
One way to reduce gassiness is to avoid foods rich in sorbitol, fructose, lactose, and soluble fiber. This includes:
- Carbonated drinks like sodas, energy drinks, and sparkling water.
- Candy and chewing gums that contain sorbitol.
- Fruits like apples, pears, and prunes.
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
2. Avoid Constipating Food.
Many mothers experience constipation following delivery. It can be caused by fluctuating hormone levels, opioid pain medications, and fear of straining and rupturing the C-section stitches.
Diet plays an important role in preventing constipation. Mothers need to take in enough dietary fiber and drink plenty of water every day to produce soft stool.
Avoiding low-fiber food is another effective strategy to tackle constipation. Examples of low fiber food include red meat, chips, chocolates, and cookies.
Processed grains like white bread and white rice also tend to have less fiber compared to their whole-grain counterparts. So it may be good to substitute refined grains with whole wheat bread, pasta, and brown rice.
3. Avoid Spicy Food
Spicy food is another one that you should avoid after delivery, especially if you’re not used to taking them. Capsaicin found in spicy food irritates the stomach lining, potentially causing food-induced diarrhoea.
In the first few weeks following the C-section, focus on nutritious, easy-to-digest foods that are gentle on the stomach. This helps you get the most out of your meal to fuel your body and speed up recovery.
4. Avoid Junk Food.
Caring for newborns demands all your time and energy. So you might be tempted to snack on some potato chips or eat fast food. After all, they are quick, delicious, and convenient.
However, junk food is loaded with empty calories. They may give you energy but lack vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber that are needed by mothers in the confinement period. Instead, these foods are packed with sugar, salt, and trans-fat.
By filling you up, indulging in junk food also replaces the need to eat wholesome and nutritious meals. So you’re missing out on vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and protein that promote wound healing.
If you’re looking to get back in your pre-pregnancy jeans, taking junk food consistently makes it hard for you to shed the baby weight. Junk food is designed to be addictive by adding lots of sugar and salt. So we tend to eat them a lot and very quickly.
Drinks to Avoid After C-Section Delivery
5. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate. It keeps you awake and boosts energy levels, which is something all new parents need.
When you take caffeine, a small amount of it enters breast milk. Though you may be tolerant of the effects of your regular latte, your little one might not enjoy it as much.
Babies are more sensitive to caffeine because they take a long time to clear this compound from their system. Drinking 3 or more cups of coffee a day might make your little one irritable, fussy, and awake. This means less rest for C-section mums to recover completely.
6. Sugary Drinks.
Sugary drinks are poor substitutes for water when it comes to hydration. Ideally, you should avoid taking sweet beverages like carbonated drinks and fruit juice after a c-section delivery.
Sugary drinks contain simple sugar which causes a spike in energy levels that is not sustainable. Following this, postpartum mothers will experience an energy crash where she feels exhausted.
On top of that, postpartum mothers with a history of diabetes need to limit their sugar intake. Having a high blood sugar level slows down wound healing and increases the chance of developing an infection.
After a C-section, mothers should avoid taking food with little nutrients and cause discomfort to the surgical wound. By choosing the right food, you'll provide enough energy, vitamins, and minerals for both the mother and her breastfed baby.
If you don't know what confinement food to have next, why not order a postpartum food delivery meal package from us?
Post Cesarean Surgery Confinement Food Delivery in KL
At Phoenix Signature Kitchen, we specialise in preparing pregnancy and confinement meals. Whether you undergo a C-section, normal delivery, or only eat vegetarian food, our team of consultants will ensure that the meals you receive are tailored to your specific needs.
Have a piece of mind by pre-ordering your chinese confinement food delivery so you can spend more time with your bundle of joy. Click this link to order your first meal and get them delivered today.
- WebMD. 2022. Is Caffeine Safe While Breastfeeding?. [online] Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/baby/is-caffeine-safe-while-breastfeeding#:~:text=caffeine%20while%20breastfeeding%3F-,Is%20It%20Safe%20to%20Drink%20Caffeine%20While%20Breastfeeding%3F,Caffeine%20does%20affect%20some%20babies.> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- NBC News. 2022. How much caffeine is too much?. [online] Available at: <https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna6631177> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- Australian Breastfeeding Association. 2022. Breastfeeding and maternal caffeine consumption. [online] Available at: <https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/breastfeeding-and-maternal-caffeine-consumption#:~:text=Newborn%20babies%20however%20can%20be,only%20about%203%E2%80%937%20hours.> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- Verywell Family. 2022. New Study Warns Against Sugary Drinks While Breastfeeding. [online] Available at: <https://www.verywellfamily.com/sugary-drinks-during-breastfeeding-5083312#:~:text=A%20recent%20study%20finds%20that,and%20other%20sugar%2Dsweetened%20beverages.> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- Medicalnewstoday.com. 2022. Postpartum gas: Causes, treatment, and home remedies. [online] Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322683> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- Verywell Health. 2022. What to Eat After Surgery and What to Avoid. [online] Available at: <https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-to-eat-during-your-recovery-after-surgery-3156923#:~:text=Summary,cause%20constipation%20and%20avoid%20them.> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- Healthline. 2022. Does Spicy Food Help with Digestion?. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/spicy-food-digestion> [Accessed 16 May 2022].
- The New Paper. 2022. Debunking Asian food myths. [online] Available at: <https://tnp.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/health/debunking-asian-food-myths#:~:text=The%20myth%3A%20Avoid%20chicken%20and%20seafood%20after%20surgery&text=However%2C%20according%20to%20a%20post,help%20strengthen%20the%20immune%20system.> [Accessed 16 May 2022].