Caesarean Recovery Nutrition

Birth a huge topic. Lots of research, lots of opinions. And sometimes too many opinions from people who have no place to have them.

Birth is birth. No birth is the same. No birth deserves shame or judgement. No c-section is the same, no vaginal birth is the same. Birth is as unique as a fingerprint. I delivered one of my babies vaginally, and another via caesarean section. Each physically and emotionally unique, but not solely because they entered the world through different doors, because they were incredibly different experiences.

Babies can come into this world through the vaginal birth canal (vaginal birth) or via the stomach (c-section, caesarean, tummy birth). The recovery from either birth is nuanced, there is no one diet prescription only for c-sections and another for vaginal births. What you specifically need to nourish yourself after birth depends on your health pre birth, nutrient levels, blood loss, length of labour, previous births, age, if you are breastfeeding, your cultural background, taste preference, medical history, birth experience and so on. And while there is no one diet fits all, there are some key food groups worth keeping top of mind.


Replenish Nutrient Levels

You likely won’t have a blood test in hospital, but your serum (blood) levels (ie: iron, vitamin D and vitamin B12) during pregnancy + your diet + your birth (for example blood loss) and so on can help to paint a picture. Ensuring an adequate intake of zinc and vitamin C (among other micronutrients) foods can benefit the wound healing process too.

I usually recommend my clients continue taking their tailored prenatal supplement after birth to top up nutrients. And pack iron rich snacks like nuts in the hospital bag. I also recommend selecting menu items high in iron, such as lean red meat, oily fish and legume dishes paired with vitamin C foods to increase iron absorption -if low iron is a concern-.


Fruits, Veggies & Whole Grains

These fibre and antioxidant rich foods can be stocked up in your hospital snack bag. Surgery and pain-killers can slow down the gastrointestinal tract leading to sluggish bowels (constipation, blocked up, not pooping regularly). And I say this all my mums, it doesn’t matter if you birthed via your belly or vagina, you want to avoid pushing on the loo to poo, so you don’t want to be constipated after birth.

If your c-section is planned and you know the date, prepare a bag of fruits and veggies like carrots and cucumbers which you can eat in hospital. Pack whole grain rice cakes and oat bars and request these foods from your friends and family when they visit (provided we don’t encounter another global pandemic)



Buy yourself a beautiful, big water bottle and take it with you to hospital. For your bowels, for your wound, for your breastmilk if breastfeeding, for your mental health, drink water and drink it often.


Protein & Fats

Wound recovery is benefited by quality protein intake. Supplying your body the dietary amino acids (found in animal and plant based protein foods) it needs to build new proteins sets you up for recovery. There is some evidence suggesting omega-3 fatty acids paired with protein can aid wound healing. This research is not specific to caesarean sections, but as omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and associated with positive mental health outcomes amongst new mums, adding or keeping at least 2 x serves of oily fish a week in the diet is a good idea (unless you are allergic to or dislike fish of course).


Prebiotic rich foods

Topping up your microbiome’s preferred food source by eating prebiotic (mostly fibre rich) foods can help to rebuild and replenish your microbes if you had a course of antibiotics during or post birth. Don’t go over the top with prebiotic foods if you don’t usually eat them to minimise the risk of gastrointestinal symptoms. Focus on eating colourful fruits and vegetables as a priority before using any supplements.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and general advice only.

email or contact me me if you have questions and I will get right back to you 😊

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