Foods to Avoid After Giving Birth...???!!

Updated on September 13, 2009
J.S. asks from Bellingham, WA
5 answers

my aunt just given birth about a week ago..she ate something last yesterday ( some sort of green leafy veg.) and feeling sick..she's in the first phase of dying..she cannot speak at all...her stomach, abdomen areas are swollen, and very much in pain, im not sure if there's something wrong with her lymphatic system, cardiovascular, or nervous system... she lives in Laos..and yes...she cannot get to a doctor.

I think she'll be fine..but my mother told me there are certain foods to avoid, like cow meat...ect..she witnessed many deaths due to eating the wrong food after giving birth back in Laos. Any suggestion on what to avoid??

Addition to this after reading 3 responses:

I think it had nothing to do with the foods that she ate...its a poor country and not sanitary for giving it could have been an infection or complication due to the lack of a doctor or mom's lack of education may have led her and other people in my country to suspect that its the foods that can"cause death" after women give birth...i didn't think that it was almost impossible to die from any type of foods unless you are allergic to them or if the food is bad. thanks for the comments!

My ant is doing well, she can actually speak now, and feeling a bit better even though there is no doctor around, just family to take care of family is taking care of the new healthy baby.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

I am a midwife and I've worked extensively in the Philippines (not Laos, though). There really are not any foods to avoid after giving birth. Of course, if a particular food makes you unwell or is rotten or makes your baby sick through your breastmilk, you shouldn't eat it, but other than that it is fine to eat pretty much anything! Cow meat should actually be a good thing--it is high in iron and protein and helps to rebuild the body after the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. Your mother's concern sounds more like a superstition, I'm sorry to say. There is much more possibility that your aunt could have acquired an infection during the birthing process (particularly if she gave birth at home or in less than ideally clean environment). Or may have eaten some contaminated food. If it is an infection, she should definitely get a prescription for the right type of antibiotics, because it is quite common for women (especially in poor or developing countries) to die from infections following birth. Are you sure she is unable to see a doctor? I would highly recommend it. If it is an infection, it is nothing to fool around with! I hope she feels better very soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I was going to mention the e. coli thing too
after that big lettuce scare, and the big spinach scare, clearly these "animal" diseases are very easily spread to the vegetables as well (manure not fully composted would be the primary reason) ... very likely, I'd figure, some kind of foodborne horrible intestinal disease

I hope her local elders/wise people can help her, and certainly hope that everyone who hears of this will pray for her and her baby ... I am glad to read she is doing better :).

God bless,



answers from Seattle on

Dear J.,

I am happy to read that you aunt is doing better. The most common complication from childbirth in developing countries are infections and the symptoms above could certainly fit. If there is any chance at all to get her seen by a health care provider of any kind (doctor, midwife or even nurse) that would certainly be advisable.

As to foods, she can certainly eat all regular foods, however they should be well cooked. In countries with poor sanitation food poisoning can often be caused by germs in the water, which is why many traditional cultures have strict diets for new moms. They mostly incorporate soups and stews, simply because the long cooking time kills most germs in the water and will protect from food borne illnesses. So my suggestion would be to stick with whatever the traditional diet for new moms in that area is, even if it doesn't make sense to the western mindset. In addition educate your family about food borne illness and how to prevent them: boiling drinking water, cooking meat thoroughly, washing hands with soap and water frequently...

Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

It's impossible to diagnosis what is happening to your aunt so far away. I'm so sorry. She could have had complications of her delivery. The vegetable she ate may have been poisonous. To the best of my knowledge, there are no specific foods to avoid after giving birth. Eating meat was never a problem for me, as a matter of fact my husband and I had steak and lobster at the hospital as a celebration dinner before I went home.

I would encourage her to walk as much as possible, drink bottled water... make sure that she is voiding (urinating, having bowel movements). That her uterus is shrinking down and that she's not having excessive bleeding following the birth. If she has access to a midwife, than get her there for an exam.

Again, being so far away and without a doctor available, it's very hard to provide suggestions.

My thoughts and prayers are with her and your family. Who's caring for her baby?


answers from Seattle on


I haven't heard of any food to avoid unless you personally are allergic/intolerant of them or maybe they're rotten and past their freshness date. At least here in the US.

After I gave birth to my son 6 years ago I was not told to avoid any foods. After I gave birth to my daughter 2 1/2 years ago I was not told to avoid any foods.

Hope this helps,

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