Ayurveda & fourth trimester foods


“After giving birth a new mother is fragile, energetically open, and vulnerable, just as her new born. Love, patience, and gentleness are essential for everyone’s health and harmony.” Margo Shapiro Bachman

How do we accomplish a truly nourishing postpartum period? Most health care providers are focused solely on pregnancy and the health of the baby, and rarely place focus on the mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of the birthing parent/ mother in postpartum. Paying tender attention to this period can be a key to preventing postpartum anxiety, depression, and many

other health concerns.

The ancient holistic teachings of Ayurveda, the 5000 year old science of life from India/ South Asia, describe the early postpartum period as a sacred healing time to deeply nurture a birthing parent /mother’s wellness. Ayurveda emphasizes that incredibly gentle care should be given to the new mother during the first 40 days postpartum. This care is thought to positively influence her health for the next 40 years of her life. The first 40 days (at minimum) should be dedicated to indoor rest, rejuvenation, and bonding with baby. In this short article, we’ll review the food guidelines suggested through Ayurveda teachings.

However, we’ll get into more depth of these guidelines and more during the course The Nutured Way- Ayurveda for Perinatal Care!


Nourishing foods

Ayurveda outlines foods to favour and to avoid during the postpartum period. After going through such an epic transformation from pregnancy into birth: we should look to food as medicine. Specific meals, spices and teas are given to aid in healing, nourishment and breast milk production. From the Ayurveda perspective, physiological birthing or having a c-section naturally increases the Vata dosha. This means there maybe susceptibility to digestive weakness, gas, and bloating. If digestion is not properly cared during this time, this could lead to further health concerns down the line such as nutritional deficiencies, arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Foods to favour:

Warm your belly

Fresh, warm, moist, heavy, non-spicy, digestible foods are encouraged (Porridges, soups, stews, congees)

  • Grains: rice, oats
  • Lentils: mung beans, adzuki beans
  • Dairy: traditionally spiced milk would be given to the new mother
  • Spices: garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, turmeric, saffron, basil, oregano, black pepper

Healthy Fats: grass-fed organic ghee, olive oil, coconut, sesame oil (Bone broths maybe encouraged after about 10 days)

Foods to avoid:

  • Say no to cold
  • Raw foods, frozen fruits, and cold foods
  • Cold smoothies
  • Cold drinks/ iced drinks
  • Nightshades
  • Brassica vegetables
  • Processed foods

Dr. Sairupa is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and Ayurveda Practitioner. She is also a home-birth mama of 2 sweethearts and an advocate for peaceful birthing and nurtured postnatal care. She has a clinical practice that focuses on Reproductive Health, Fertility, Pregnancy, Postnatal-care, Pediatrics and Mental-Emotional Health. Dr. Sairupa has had the great privilege of walking with many women and families through pregnancy, IVF, donor pregnancies, miscarriages, loss, and many births of different kinds. Dr. Sairupa received training in Ayurveda from the Center for Ayurveda and Indian Systems of Healing, and Naturopathic Medicine at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

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