Nourishing the New Mother
February 26, 2024

Nourishing the New Mother: Ayurvedic Postnatal Care Practices

The postpartum period is a transformative and delicate time for a new mother. It's a phase that demands care, nurturing, and attention to ensure the well-being of both the mother and her newborn. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system, takes a holistic approach to postnatal care, emphasizing the balance of body, mind, and spirit. This article explores Ayurvedic practices for postpartum care, offering new parents insights into after-delivery care for the mother through time-tested wisdom. 

Ayurvedic Principles of Postpartum Care 

Ayurveda views the postpartum period as a critical time for healing and rejuvenation. It emphasizes warmth, rest, and nourishment to restore the balance and energy lost during delivery. The Ayurvedic approach to postnatal care focuses on simple, natural practices and remedies to support the mother's recovery and enhance her ability to care for her newborn. 

Ayurvedic Nutrition for Postpartum Wellness 

Sattvic Foods for Healing:

Ayurveda recommends a sattvic diet to promote purity and balance in the body. Foods like rice, lentils, fruits, and vegetables that are easily digestible support the body's healing process and aid in milk production. 

Herbal Infusions and Teas:

Herbal teas made from fenugreek, fennel, and ginger are valued in Ayurveda for their digestive and lactation-supporting properties. These gentle infusions help soothe the digestive system and enhance milk supply. 

The Importance of Ghee:

Ghee, or clarified butter, is considered highly nourishing and rejuvenating in Ayurveda. Incorporating ghee into the diet helps improve digestion, promote healing, and provide vital energy post-delivery. 

Self-Care Practices 

Ayurvedic Abhyanga (Oil Massage):

Regular self-massage with warm oil, known as Abhyanga, can significantly aid in postpartum recovery. It helps relieve stress, improve circulation, and strengthen the body. Sesame oil is often recommended for its warming and nourishing properties. 

Herbal Baths and Steams:

Herbal baths and vaginal steams with healing herbs like lavender, chamomile, and calendula can be soothing and promote healing, especially after a cesarean delivery or vaginal birth. 

Restorative Rest:

Rest is a cornerstone of Ayurvedic postpartum care. It is essential for the new mother to get adequate sleep and relaxation to replenish her energy and support her body's healing process. 

Emotional Well-being 

Mindful Practices for Emotional Balance:

Practices such as meditation, yoga Nidra, and gentle pranayama (breathing exercises) can help new mothers manage stress, combat postpartum depression, and maintain emotional equilibrium. 

Connecting with the Newborn:

Ayurveda emphasizes the deep bond between the mother and her baby. Skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, and spending quality time connecting with the newborn are considered vital for the emotional well-being of both the mother and the child. 

Gradual Physical Activity 

Introduction to Postpartum Exercise in Ayurveda:

Ayurveda advocates for a gradual return to physical activity. Gentle yoga and walking are recommended to strengthen the body, improve flexibility, and promote overall well-being. These activities should only be started once the mother feels ready and with the approval of her healthcare provider. 

The postpartum period is a time of profound change and adjustment. Ayurvedic postnatal care practices offer a compassionate and nourishing approach to support the new mother's journey towards recovery and bonding with her baby. By incorporating principles of Ayurvedic nutrition, self-care, and gradual physical activity, new mothers can experience a holistic recovery, setting a strong foundation for their new role. Embracing these ancient practices can lead to a balanced, joyful, and healthy postpartum period, enriching the experience of motherhood in the most natural and supportive way. 


  1. What are the best Ayurvedic foods for a new mother to eat after delivery?

    Ayurveda recommends easily digestible, nurturing foods such as rice porridge (khichadi), boiled vegetables, soups, and stews. Including ghee, milk, dates, and almonds can also help in recovery and milk production. 
  2. How soon after delivery can I start Ayurvedic Abhyanga (oil massage)?

    For natural deliveries, mothers can start Abhyanga as soon as they feel comfortable, typically within the first week postpartum. After a cesarean delivery, it's best to wait until the incision has healed and to consult with a healthcare provider. 
  3. Can herbal teas really help with milk production?

    Yes, certain herbs like fenugreek, fennel, and ginger are known galactagogues, which means they can help increase breast milk production. 
  4. What Ayurvedic practices are recommended for emotional well-being after delivery? 

    Mindful practices such as meditation, gentle yoga, and pranayama (breathing exercises) are highly beneficial. Also, ensuring adequate rest and connecting with your baby can significantly improve emotional health. 
  5. What is postnatal treatment in Ayurveda?

    Postnatal treatment in Ayurveda, or "Sutika Paricharya," includes a holistic regimen to restore a mother's health after childbirth. It focuses on a balanced diet, herbal remedies, oil massages (Abhyanga), and relaxation techniques to support physical recovery and emotional well-being. 
  6. What to avoid during postpartum recovery? 

    During postpartum recovery, avoid cold and raw foods, caffeine and alcohol, strenuous exercise, neglecting rest, and stress to ensure a smooth healing process. 
  7. What is the best position to sleep after giving birth?

    The best position to sleep after giving birth is on your side, especially with a pillow between your knees for hip alignment and comfort, which is particularly beneficial for those recovering from a cesarean section. 


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