After the delivery, women’s appetite increases to a large extent, particularly when feeding the child, says Bharati Sharma
After all the pain of labour that a woman undergoes during childbirth, the postnatal period is considered to be important, particularly during the first 40 days after the delivery.
Family members suggest what should be the diet and what needs to be avoided during the time. However, understanding what you need to eat and designing a well-balanced diet add value to your health in the long run. Marwari women say that eating healthy food, following relaxation techniques such as oil massage and resting, well help recoup a woman’s health after childbirth. “Your body needs good proportion of iron, calcium, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Right meal planned post delivery will build stamina for the rest of your life,” Aruna Agarwal, a housewife, explained.
“We used to drink four to five glasses of milk a day, eat sonti (dry ginger) powder for a period of 15 days after six days of delivery. This, according to our elders, is consumed to strengthen the bones. Ghee is added in almost every item -- from laddus to rotis and homemade snacks and sometimes even in milk,” she explained.
Bharati Sharma, another Marwari explained: “After the delivery, women’s appetite increases to a large extent, particularly when feeding the child. My mother used to prepare healthy snacks to devour between the meal period.” She then explained how fried ‘phool makhani’, date and oats laddu and dry fruits became her best companions. A mixture made of ‘ajwain’ (one table spoon), almonds (handful), khanewala gondh (one tsp), wheat flour (two tsp) and sugar (1tsp), roasted in ghee separately and powdered, form a traditional snack for the new mothers.
Ms. Bharathi said: “Dates are rich in iron whereas oats contain significant amount of dietary fibre. When both are combined with substantial quantity of ghee, the snack is packed with essential nutrients that help increase the volume of blood.”
According to her mother, ‘ajwain’ powder clears the stomach of all the internal stains after delivery.
Khanewala gondh and ghee help in lubricating the joints and reduce back pain or joint aches. But she cautions to eat them in small portions as edible gum increases the temperature of the body. “My mother used to recommend ‘laung ka paani’ (4-5 cloves added to one litre of water, boiled and cooled) as it helps flush out the toxins from the body,” added Ms. Bharathi.