There are so many nuances in how each family / culture / community treats a new mother. For the three of us, we had very similar experiences when it came to our diets. Where Sheena and Nina were very strict with the rules, Dipti took some liberties and quickly realized that there was rhyme and reason to the diet after witnessing Diav’s discomfort. So after three weeks of being very lax, she started following the recommended diet as per our mommies and instantly noticed a difference in Diav! We wanted to share the various components of our postpartum diet and the reasons we were given to follow it.
“Suva Nu Pani” (Dill water)
In place of plain water, we drink strained water that has been boiled with dill seeds and embelia ribes . Our mothers tell us that this helps prevent gas in us and our babies if we’re breast feeding. In any given day, we go through about 8-10 glasses of this water. We also add vakumba to complete the concoction.
“Siro” (Whole Wheat Flour and Almond Meal)
After making a roux using “ghee” (purified butter) and whole wheat flour, we add crushed almonds, jaggery and water to create a morning or late afternoon energy boost. The ingredients, especially the ghee, is thought to increase the new mom’s milk fat for the baby. The almonds add some protein and the jaggery gives it sweetness. The carbs come from the whole wheat flour – all in all making this a pretty good snack.
This is basically a concoction of different spices (especially ginger powder and methi (fenugreek powder)) and nuts mixed with ghee and flour that helps promote milk production and helps the mother’s body recover from the delivery. Usually, our aunt makes it for us and has sent it the day of each delivery. We are meant to eat 1-2 pieces with a tall glass of milk. The taste takes some getting used to, but it grows on you :).
“Bajri Rotla/Thepla” – Millet flour chapatis
Bajri flour is very high in iron, protein, fiber and folate – all good things to help mommy recover from childbirth. Our mommies make rotla (chapatis made from plain millet flour) and thepla (millet flour mixed with wheat flour, spices, and fresh methi (fenugreek leaves)) for our morning meals. We can eat these with jaggery or with yogurt as breakfast. This flour is very filling so it keeps mommy from getting too hungry before lunch and gives her the energy she needs to produce milk for baby.
Please share your postpartum must have meals with us too! It’s always good to know what other cultures find to be helpful to new mommies during this new phase of our lives!