A statistical report suggested that between 2015 to 2019, out of the 48,500,000 pregnancies, around 16,600,000 ended in abortion in India. According to the laws and legalities in India, abortion is legal under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971.
Every legal adult woman in India has the right to get an abortion if the pregnancy is unplanned, threatens their health, or for personal reasons. That said, diet after an abortion is often a subject that most women aren’t aware of or don’t pay attention to.
This article will explore the list of “foods to avoid during pregnancy” and after an abortion and the list of foods to eat.
In this Article
How Does Diet Help After Abortion?
After an abortion, maintaining a healthy diet can support your recovery and overall well-being. While there isn’t a specific diet designed exclusively for post-abortion recovery, consuming a nutritious and balanced diet can promote healing, replenish nutrient stores, and support your emotional and physical health.
The following are a few factors worth paying attention to:
Nutrient replenishment – Abortion often leads to a nutritional imbalance in the body, which should be replenished for optimal recovery. Hence, eating a diet enriched with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats rich in iron, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and calcium is considered ideal.
Energy levels – Many women experience physical and mental exhaustion after abortion. Hence, eating a diet consisting of complex carbohydrates is essential for sustained energy throughout the day.
Emotional well-being – How does food have any influence on one’s emotions? Thoughts like these are common. But studies have found that eating foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines), walnuts, and flaxseeds, are known to have mood-boosting properties.
Physical recovery – A crucial part of post-abortion is physical recovery, which heavily relies on diet. Adequate amounts of protein, fats, and carbohydrates are essential for tissue repair and recovery in the woman.
Hydration – Besides food, even water plays a crucial role in the recovery after abortion. Prioritizing hydration throughout the day prevents risks of constipation, promotes healing, and aids digestion.
Every woman’s nutritional requirements after their abortion might be different. This is one of the primary reasons why, at Queen’s Gynecology, we often connect our patients to our nutritionists after the procedure. Not only does it prioritize clear communication, but it ensures that our patients are on the right road to recovery.
Foods to Avoid After an Abortion
Before we walk you through a list of foods to eat during an abortion, let us familiarize you with the foods to avoid during pregnancy and abortion.
1. Fatty Meat and Dairy Products
Post-abortion diet should include anti-inflammatory foods to promote quicker healing and recovery. Fatty meats like pork, beef, etc., and dairy products like cheese, butter, etc., are often considered inflammatory, leading to pain and discomfort.
While processed dairy products are often ideal to avoid, you want to stick with calcium-rich products like skimmed milk. It is all about the choices you make in food that promote your healing in the long run. Also, overeating dairy products are linked with digestion issues, which might be exacerbated after an abortion.
2. Refined Starch or Carbohydrates
We discussed the importance of carbohydrates for women in the post-abortion phase. But we highlighted the importance of complex carbohydrates and not refined ones.
Refined and highly processed carbs in pasta, white bread, etc., have minimal fiber in them. Their high carb and low fiber content often contributes to unstable blood glucose levels and delayed healing after an abortion.
3. Soy Products
Before you think we are talking about the soya granules we are used to eating in Indian households, we aren’t.
When discussing soy products, we primarily emphasize soybeans, soy milk, etc. Studies indicate that soy products contain an active ingredient called phytate, which reduces iron absorption in the body.
Since a woman needs a good amount of iron after an abortion, eating foods that would eventually hinder that process is a big no. Hence, soy products are often considered unsuitable after an abortion.
4. Junk and Processed Foods
Abortion often instigates emotional eating in some women, and craving fast and junk food is normal. Indulging them once in a while is considered normal, but it is ideal to avoid eating junk food right after an abortion.
Most junk food often contains trans fats and is cooked with unhealthy and processed ingredients, which trigger inflammation in the body. Relying too much on junk food also contributes to unprecedented weight gain, which can trigger post-abortion in some women.
5. Canned Foods
Canned and preserved foods are a massive no after abortion due to the high amount of preservatives present in them.
These foods are indeed affordable and accessible, but they often contribute to high risks of food poisoning, which is the last thing anyone wants or needs.
Sparing a treat or two is fine, but eating too many sweets, especially the Indian mithai or chocolates, right after an abortion, is not ideal.
These sweets have a high glycemic index and contribute to drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which is the last thing you want to experience. So, avoid sweets like carbonated beverages, chocolate, candies, etc., after an abortion.
7. Foods that Spoil Easily or are Untreated
The last thing you want after an abortion is food poisoning or an infection. Eating foods that are a good breeding ground for bacteria, like unpasteurized milk, seafood, raw meat, etc., is crucial to avoid after an abortion.
Consuming most of these foods can lead to risks of infection in the body, which you don’t want to risk right after an abortion.
This shouldn’t require a warning, but consuming alcohol after an abortion is not advisable. Prioritizing hydration after an abortion is necessary.
Since alcohol dehydrates the body, that’s not something you want to include in your diet. Besides dehydration, alcohol also delays healing and recovery, which we’d not advise risking.
9. Spicy and Acidic Foods
Some may find that spicy foods or those high in acidity (such as citrus fruits or tomatoes) can irritate the digestive system or cause discomfort.
However, we understand that everyone has a different affinity towards food. This is one of the reasons our specialists at Queen’s Gynecology often advise discussing all things nutrition after an abortion with a certified nutritionist for better clarity of what to eat and what to avoid.
10. Allergenic Foods
If you have known food allergies or sensitivities, you must avoid them to prevent allergic reactions or digestive discomfort.
Foods to Eat after an Abortion
Now that you have a comprehensive idea about the post-abortion and pregnancy food to avoid, we must focus on the foods you should eat to promote healing and recovery.
Here’s a quick rundown:
11. Protein-rich Foods
The body needs optimal nutrition, especially protein-rich foods, to promote recovery and repair the damaged cells and tissues that often occur after an abortion.
This is one of the primary reasons why consuming a protein-rich diet is often needed after an abortion. Some of the most nutritious protein sources are cheese, curd, milk, eggs, lentils, fish, grains, quinoa, lean meat, etc.
12. Plenty of Fluids
It is crucial that you cut out sugary drinks, carbonated soda, and alcohol from the diet after an abortion, but it’s essential to replace the same with plenty of healthy fluids like water, juices, etc.
Several women experience blood loss after an abortion, which can deplete the body’s normal fluid balance. Drinking enough fluids helps the patient recuperate and recover a lot quicker. Drinking turmeric milk is also a great healing agent after an abortion.
13. Folate-rich Foods
Folate is a mineral that women need for optimal well-being and even more so after an abortion. It is also a great agent that promotes recovery and healing after an abortion.
Some of the best sources of folate include kale, spinach, nuts, broccoli, seeds, lettuce, etc. Your specialist will switch you to supplements if the dietary sources aren’t meeting the required folate levels.
14. Calcium and Magnesium-rich Foods
Calcium and magnesium are two integral components that promote healing and recovery. If you want to quicken recovery after an abortion, eating a diet rich in calcium and magnesium is considered ideal.
Studies have found that magnesium deficiency is also associated with depression, which can worsen after an abortion. Hence, include foods like whole grains, green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, skimmed milk, etc., in the diet.
15. Iron and Vitamin C-rich Foods
Abortion often leads to tiredness, blood loss, and weakness, all of which can be supplemented with iron and vitamin C in the body.
Including foods that supplement these vitamins and minerals in the body post-abortion is thus a necessity. Some excellent dietary sources include oranges, papaya, fish, etc.
Foods play a crucial role in our body’s recovery; thus, prioritizing a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet after an abortion is the need of the hour. If you were unsure about the abortion food dos and don’ts, we hope this article gives you all the necessary insights you need.
At Queen’s Gynecology, we understand that abortion is a sensitive subject and procedure. Not only do we prioritize a safe and judgment-free consultation and procedure, but we also focus on the post-abortion recovery of the patient to ensure that they are back to their everyday life in no time. For more details about appointments, kindly contact us directly.
There is no specific or “standard diet” that one needs to follow after an abortion. Instead, a balanced diet that should include healing foods rich in vital minerals, vitamins, and the necessary nutrients that promote recovery after an abortion.
Eating fruits rich in Vitamin C is typically considered beneficial after an abortion. Fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits, berries, etc., are great post-abortion.
Milk is rich in calcium and protein, which promotes repair and rebuilds the tissue. Hence, drinking skimmed milk after an abortion is encouraged. Some doctors even suggest drinking turmeric milk.