Nutrition and Diet After Cesarean Birth

Good nutrition is needed to speed healing after your cesarean and give you needed energy. Keep up the same good eating habits you developed while you were pregnant. Eat foods high in protein, vitamin C, and iron. Protein helps the healing process and is needed for the growth of new tissue. Vitamin C plays an important role in healing and fighting infection. Iron helps the immune system and is needed for hemoglobin. Your body loses iron when it loses blood.

A food is high in protein, vitamin C, or iron if you meet at least 20% of your daily needs by eating one serving of that food. Reading the nutrition facts on food labels will help you learn which foods are high in protein, vitamin C, and iron. Foods high in protein are meats, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy foods, nuts, dried beans, and peas. Foods high in vitamin C are oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, melons, and papayas. Foods high in iron are red meats, liver, dried beans, dried fruits, and iron enriched cereals.

It is important to drink plenty of fluids. Drinking fluids helps prevent dehydration and constipation. Drink 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of fluids each day, including low-fat milk, nonsweetened fruit juices, and especially water. If you’re breastfeeding include at least 4 glasses of low-fat milk or calcium fortified juice or eat low-fat yogurt to get enough calcium and to increase your milk supply.

If you are breastfeeding. Drinking extra fluid is important if you are breast-feeding. Drink 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of fluids each day, especially juice, low-fat milk, water, and soup. Nursing can make you thirsty so keep a big glass of water nearby. Add 500 extra calories to the diet you would normally eat every day if you were not pregnant. Or, add 200 calories to your pregnancy diet. Extra calories and fluids are needed for making high quality milk. You can add the extra calories by drinking extra fruit juices and low-fat milk. Also, make an effort to include foods rich in Vitamin A such as greens, cantaloupes, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamins And Iron Supplements

Your doctor may want you to keep taking your prenatal vitamins and iron pills for the first 6 weeks. Iron can upset your stomach if you take more than one iron pill at a time. It takes about 6 months for your body to restore its supply of iron. If you are bottle feeding your newborn, you can take an over-the- counter vitamin with iron for 6 months. If you are breastfeeding, your doctor may have you take prenatal vitamins for as long as you breast-feed.

Bowel Movements

It is normal to fear that straining during a bowel movement will cause pain from your stitches or hemorrhoids. You can make bowel movements easier by drinking plenty of fluids and eating plenty of fiber. Eat more servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, and bran cereals or breads that are high in roughage. Foods high in roughage stimulate normal bowel movements. Walking also speeds the return of normal bowel and bladder function.

Constipation is not uncommon and can result from hemorrhoids, perineal swelling, fear of having a bowel movement, or as a side effect of some medicines (narcotics). Also, the loss of muscle tone in your abdomen can make it harder for you to move your bowels. If you have problems with constipation or moving your bowels, or you do not have a bowel movement by the 3rd day, call your doctor. Your doctor may order a stool softener, an enema, or a suppository. Avoid laxatives that make your stool very loose or watery. Loose stool can get onto your stitches more easily than soft stool. Also, stool can irritate the skin.

Getting a little exercise like walking can also help with constipation.

Weight Loss

New mothers on TV get their figure back right away. In real life it takes awhile longer! A good rule of thumb is “9 months up, 9 months down.” You will lose about 12-13 pounds with your baby’s birth and another 5 pounds from normal fluid loss by the 5th day. Weight loss usually levels off after the first 6 weeks, when you should be back to your normal weight. Breastfeeding mothers usually lose weight more quickly than non-nursing mothers.

Because nutrition is so important for healing, your doctor may want you to wait until after your postpartum check-up to begin a weight loss diet. Avoid adding unwanted weight while your activity level is low. Avoid junk foods or foods high in calories and low in nutritional value. Crash diets or pills that promise quick weight loss are unhealthy for you and your baby if you are nursing. However, it is OK to reduce the amount of fat in your diet. A regular routine of continuous moderate exercise for a half-hour each day is the safest way to lose weight.

More About Self Care After Cesarean Birth

Introduction to Self-care After Cesarean Birth
Preventive Self Care
Perineal Care
Physical Changes and Healing
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Breast Care
Activities and Healthy Exercise
Nutrition and Diet
Family Planning and Birth Control
Normal “Baby Blues” or Postpartum Depression
Your Postpartum Check-Up
Get as Much Rest as You Can
When to Call Your Doctor

Nutritious Salad
TIP 10
Some quick and nutritious foods and
snacks are:
• Bagel with cream cheese.
• Bean burrito.
• Cottage cheese and fruit.
• Flavored yogurt.
• Fresh fruit or fruit juice.
• Grilled chicken sandwich.
• Peanut butter sandwich.
• Vegetable pizza.


  1. Hi ma’am
    My sis had C-section today by 10am,. pls when can she drink water, she’s still unconscious, how will the baby be fed

  2. What type of food is good after c /section.

  3. Abigail says

    I had c section 4months ago but lost the child, but i still feel pains around the site. Please is there anything i could do to make it heal faster because the site is still pinkish.

  4. Mrs Evelyn Dont feel bad Iam also lost my baby boy as like u after six months I can planned now iam having 2 years girl baby and one month boy baby.God bless u so u can planned after six months pray well

  5. Sherry Jesse says

    What can I do to make my wound heal faster after a cesarean delivery?
    I was c-sectioned four days ago.
    Can I eat fruits lyk watermelon and cucumber? Can I also eat roasted peanuts?

  6. Hi .
    I had a c.section 16 days ago. Any one can tell me that can i eat sweets ??? Is there any trubble accure to eat sweets????

  7. Idelivered abby boy through an emergency c section..after labouring and could push my baby for he was big….and he passed on…..ifeel sooo stressed and cant believe till to date….after how long can i concieve and get ahealthy baby

  8. Catherine says

    For how long should i avoid red meat

  9. Is it advisable to take in cold water after cs

  10. Confidence says

    I had c section some weeks back, and my Tommy is too big, pls what is the possible means to lose Tommy fat as soon as possible

  11. I had c section 2month back how to control my stomach

  12. I had my first twins 2016 and my second twins 2018.what should I do to be my normal self,I at times feel fast heart beet and feel light in body although i eat well. Can someone help me here please

  13. Joseph Nehemiah J says

    Hi There,
    My wife having severe back pain often after c section. It’s been six months now. Can you help on advising some food nutrition to overcome the pain.

    Joseph J

  14. Hi I had c section 10 months back but my stomuck looks like 6months pregnent what can I do for it if there is solution please give me solution

  15. Bethel Madison says

    You need to eat healthy foods that are lean- vegetables, greens, rice, beans, etc. And you need to keep exercising to stay healthy too. Mummy magic tea helps with weight loss. It has lots of benefits for health and weight loss. You should drink 2-3 cups of this tea each day to improve your health and get close to lose weight.

  16. Hi
    Small Doubt, Unknowingly my wife ate senaga papu – changa papu (recently cesarean happend -3rd mnth now).
    is there any problem ?
    Please advice.
    Thanks in advance.

  17. I had c sec one month ago and my wound has no t recovered is there any prblm?

  18. Ya u can eat pumpkin and pineapple.

  19. Hi Deepika,

    U can take more methi (fenugreek) n dill seed boiled in water. Also the greens of methi n dill for milk production.

  20. hello
    i had c section on 8th feb this month, how can i produce more milk for my baby, i feel like i can’t breastfeed my baby enough.

  21. Hema Singaram says

    Hello, I had a C – Sec 6 months back. My prob is I couldn’t get up from the bed after a long sleep like I couldn’t move my abdomen even to turn left or right. Also I have pain around the spine. I have consulted doc, she gave me medicines for Magnesium, calcium and iron, but no luck 🙁 can you suggest what better could be done to avoid pains 🙁

  22. Sandhiya Dheivaprakash says

    I had cesarean birth 3 months back and blessed with girl baby.But now also am looking like pregnancy lady.over weight(68) at age of 22, how am control my diet.

  23. could take

  24. hi

    i had a smal ldoubt
    i had c sec 6 months back , and blessed with baby boy
    now can i eat pupkin or not

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