Dear Moms, Here’s How to Take Care of Your Body After Pregnancy

Motherhood changes your body forever — but you can help it recover. (Photo: iStock)

By Radhika Bajaj

You already know being a new mother is a life transformation.

You also know motherhood changes your body forever.

What you probably haven’t paid attention to, is the fact that YOU can help your postpartum body recover and rebuild faster. So while 90 per cent of your attention is on your newborn, undoubtedly, there is a need to focus on your physical recovery as well.

Calcium Ain’t the Only Fall-Back

Childbirth means the body has undergone a major upheaval and needs time and care to recover. (Photo: iStock)

The conventional 40-day “stay-at-home” tradition for a new mom has scientific value. Dr Rekha Agarwal, gynaecologist with the Lilavati Hospital Mumbai, says childbirth means the body has undergone a major upheaval and needs time and care to recover.

There is a need to eat and sleep well. While sleeping well may be a challenge as you get used to a newborn’s schedule, eating right is in your control. Losing pregnancy weight should not be a factor at this stage. Self inflicted food deprivation can be one of the causes of postpartum depression.

Dr Rekha Agarwal, gynaecologist, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai

Losing pregnancy weight should not be a factor at this stage — eat right instead. (Photo: iStock)

So what does eating right at this stage really mean?

Most doctors ask mothers to take oral supplements, especially when it comes to rebuilding calcium reserves. But JUST CALCIUM ISN’T ENOUGH.

Nutritionist Pooja Makhija explains — “Deposition of calcium into bones works when amongst other things calcium, magnesium and potassium come together in certain ratios. Trace minerals are needed in miniscule amounts but they strongly affect vital functions like bone strength, digestion, hair fall and more. Postnatal oral supplements must include these minerals because lactation is demanding on the mother’s body and it needs to be constantly nurtured.”

Why Water is a Must-Have for a Newbie Mommy

The celebrity nutritionist also informs that several studies reveal that the quality of mother’s milk is largely universal.

The mother’s body suffers if you don’t eat well. (Photo: iStock)

The body uses its best-stored resources to produce nutritious milk. So, while your infant will continue to get healthy milk, it’s the mother’s body that suffers if you don’t eat well. And here’s where macro nutrients like carbohydrates, fat and protein are essential.

“In fact carbohydrate-rich foods can be a “feel good factor” at a time when many mothers face different degrees of post partum depression,” adds Dr Agarwal.

Finally, both our experts stress on the water intake for the new mom.

While a lactating mother may feel thirsty often anyway, because of the increased need for liquid, additional and conscious intake of water is very important.Water also helps by hydrating and refreshing a sleep deprived body.

Our experts stress on the water intake for the new mom. (Photo: iStock)
Each body and its demands are different so there is no one formula on how much water you should drink. The simple rule is that your urine should be clear. If it’s yellow, it’s not a good sign.

Dr Rekha Agarwal, gynaecologist, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai

However, intake of B-complex supplements does result in yellow urine, so if you are taking those, make sure you glug enough water throughout the day!

(Radhika Bajaj is a journalist and news presenter with over a decade’s experience in Indian media. She has also designed and created content centred around women, lifestyle, health, entertainment, business & travel and enjoys writing about the same.)

(This story was first published on The Quint.com.)

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