In continuation to one my previous posts about Taking care of a pregnant woman, I want to share few traditional practices about taking care of a woman after delivery. Since the woman had undergone a major change in her Physic, it would take few months for her to come back to normalcy. Same time she has to take care of the infant in terms of feeding, going through sleepless nights, etc; it is essential to offer the woman with some healthy tips. This helps her to take care of her health and the infant. Since the infant takes the mother’s feed as the primary food for at least three months, the food consumed by the mother is very important.
Traditionally, post natal care starts immediately after the delivery happens. The grandmother needs to be prepared before delivery by collecting the things that are required. The items need to be used for pathiya samayal are usually available in Naattu marundu Kadai.
A pinch of Kasturi is placed in a Betal leaf and provided to the woman who delivered the child. This is given within 24 hours of delivery. Sometimes if the delivery happens to be a C-section then we cannot give it immediately. Hence the timeline is usually within 24hours. It is believed that the mother will not develop seizures if she consumes the Kasturi.
When the Doctor allows the woman to take food, we start the traditional method of Pathiya samayal. This does not include much of Tamarind, Brinjal, Root vegeatables that develop gastric related problems/Alergy. Inclusion of garlic is very much recommended since it helps in feeding.
My mom used to sauté Garlic and onions with little pepper and salt in Gingely oil. This is provided during lunch before the normal food. Hot Rice is mixed with this and consumed every day. This also improves feeding and reduces the heat of the body. Most importantly, my grandmother do not allow anyone to serve food for the woman who underwent the delivery. In fact, food is always served separately, without the knowledge of anyone in the house.
The Paithiya samaiyal includes Poricha koottu without Coconut and including pepper, Poricha Rasam, Paruppu Thogaiyal, Milagu Kulambu, Sutta Appalam, Angaya podi etc. Food does not include/ less amount of toor dhal at least for 60 days since it is believed that, gas related issues will crop up.
Ghee is also one of the most recommended items that are added in food. Betal leaves are also highly recommended to be chewed on a daily basis since it is rich in calcium that is required for the woman and the baby at this stage.
Legiyam is provided from the day of Punniyavachanam and milk is recommended on a daily basis. This legiyam is readily available in shops nowadays. This is popularly known as Diwali Marundhu or Pillaipetha legiyam. You can also visit this page to prepare this simple version of Legiyam at home.
Every time before feeding the Baby, drink good amount of water. This helps in better feeding. Ensure to take one glass of water before feeding.
Both mom and child should take oil bath alternate days. Mom is advised to use Kasturi manjal while bathing since it is used as a anti disinfectant.
After 60 days Mom can start taking normal food slowly and monitor health conditions for any abnormal behavior of some food. However, feeding mothers should avoid Jackfruit, Mangoes, outside food to avoid any impact to the baby consuming mother’s milk.