Friday, September 05, 2008

My foodlist for before and after labour

I am now officially just 4 weeks away from having my baby! This is a very exciting final month of pregnancy, with discomforts eased by the cooling weather and ceasing work, having time to focus on the new life ahead. One of the things I want to do is indulge in a healing ayurvedic diet for before and after delivery.

My instincts tell me that in this time, I should have fresh, nutritious meals that are either tridoshic or that pacify Vata. My constitution is Pitta-Kapha (and have certainly been feeling it!), but feel that Vata-pacifying foods will be easy to digest, moist, soothing, and full of fibre, all important qualities in preparing for the big challenge to come and for healing my body afterwards.

Did you know that pain is a Vata characteristic? If pain is a part of labour, then soothing my Vata will hopefully prepare my body to feel it less acutely. Also in this last month of pregnancy, my digestion is more sluggish than ever, and Vata foods help stimulate digestion and elimination naturally. And for my recovery after my child's birth, what could be more soothing and healing than soft, comforting, healthful Vata meals!

Here is a list of the foods I'll be preparing:

~ Creamy Kale Soup substituting zucchini or artichoke
~ Dahl Soup with Squash
~ Detox Soup
~ Yoga Mung Beans and Rice
~ Carrot Apple Soup
~ Rice Pilaf
~ Milletto substituting rice or quinoa
~ Coconut Mung Bean Soup (recipe to come!)
~ Warming Kichadi (recipe to come!)
~ Stew of autumn vegetables
~ Rice pudding
~ Stewed fruits

After some weeks of following this diet after delivery, I'll ease into a Kapha-pacifying diet. The weather will be Kapha (cool and wet October/November), and it will help me lose the extra weight I've gained. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain that for some time, as it will also give me energy and warm me up throughout the winter!


Anonymous said...

Wow, 4 weeks to go. It is a magical and mystical time, the birth of a baby.

Maybe you might want to cook some meals beforehand and freeze them, or find a great friend/neighbour/relative who will cook for you for the first couple of weeks. It is a busy time and you will be very tired.

I stayed with my daughter for 1 month after her baby was born. I cooked every meal and even tho there were 2 of us helping, both of us were run off our feet for the first 2 weeks.

Can't wait to see the pics and hear the news.

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thanks, vegeyum!

I'm actually enlisting the help of my mom :-) She and I do lots of cooking and eating together and she understands my Ayurvedic philosophies. I'm sure I'll be needing her help quite a bit, especially in the first 2-4 weeks! I'm lucky she lives 10 minutes away. Your daughter's lucky to have had you with her at that special and crazy time!

truoti said...

oh wow....! I hope these weeks are easy on you! Have you checked out " Almond Eyes,Lotus feet"? it is an amazing book, especially on Ayurvedic beauty rituals and has some really great tips on pregnancy,childcare and all...It's at 'chapters'. good luck to you!

The Spice Who Loved Me

Anonymous said...


thanks for all the great recipes:) Excited to hear you are expecting. Are you doing anything non-traditional with your birth? I'd love to hear... home birth? Water baby? :) Etc.

Portland, OR

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Thanks so much for the book recommendation, Truoti, I've reserved it from my library! Thanks for your good wishes, too!

Same goes to you, Britt. And the only thing I'm planning that's non-traditional is going with a midwife instead of doctors. Most of the labouring will be at home, and hopefully all goes well enough to actually deliver our baby here too, but I'm open to a drive to the hospital if that's what's best, I'd like to keep it very flexible as I've never been through this before ;-)

Warm thanks to all,

Mary said...

Fran, Love your blog~ I am an Ayurvedic teacher/student/ practitioner in California and enjoy your blog on all of those levels. I gave birth to my first (& only) baby at home at the age of 43.

what I learned and would like to pass on is that the "pain" of childbirth was really intensity~ one friend called it an alarm clock for the baby to wake up and move out~ true pain occurred only when I was in fear (of the pain) and resistance.

When I breathed deeply into my belly and counted my breaths, I found that the contractions lasted about 10 breaths. Whenever a contraction began, I would count~ once I got past five breaths I knew I was half way done. I can last through just about anything for ten breaths. The miraculous thing was that there was no pain between contractions~ pure relaxation.

With the mantra (maha mritunjaya) playing in the background and my closest friends and family around me, my son was born in our bedroom. That was almost six years ago now~

Good luck~ I wish for you a joyful, peaceful and uneventful birth.

namaste, mary

Claudia Davila (Fran) said...

Mary, thank you so much for your kind and supportive words of encouragement and reassurance. I am also a believer in deep breathing, as it's gotten me through many challenging yoga postures and emotional turmoil as well. Your experience sounds like it was a very lovely and grounded one, and definitely hope to have one similar to yours, and maybe even at home!

Thanks also for visiting and enjoying my blog :-)

Joyce Byrne said...

Hey lovely girl! I was inspired to get the ingredients for the soup today. I'm so glad you posted your due date, I was wondering when it was. I'll be home on Thanksgiving weekend - there will be even more reason to celebrate!
xox joyce

Julia said...

You might also like to have a look at

She has written some wonderfula rticles and published Ayurvedic cookbooks for new mums. There is also lists of foods to eat and avoid post partum.

Hope all goes well!

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