Mom and Baby Healthcare Tips


Nutrition & Exercise During and Post Pregnancy with Sonali Shivlani

  • March 24, 2021
  • MKB Team

Childbirth extracts a lot out of a woman. Thankfully, good nutrition and exercise helps heal the body.

Hence, the nutrition plan and the workout regime during and post pregnancy is of vital importance. We spoke to Sonali Shivlani, who provided some great insights. She also broke a few myths that have traditionally misled us for centuries.

What are the guidelines during pregnancy?

Include folic acid in your pre-delivery diet as a supplement. Sonali recommends normal, healthy home-made food with an emphasis on a fresh and balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy products. Do remember to eat every two and a half to 3 hours because baby is feeding 24/7.

Don’t worry be happy!

It’s important to reduce stress levels and be happy before delivery. Remember, a happy mother makes a happy child! While we agree that domestic situations like the maid bunking make it an impossibility to keep smiling, Sonali has a wonderful suggestion. Check the mirror every morning. What do you see? A grumpy mum or a smiley mom? If you see a grumpy mum, indulge in something that makes you happy, from having your favourite food to meeting your friends. Remember, what affects you will affect baby too.

What roles do Dads play?

It takes two to tango, and make a baby as well. Your husband should be your close confidante and best friend. Don’t ask twenty people for advice. Consult your doctors and confide in your husband. Dads must have a healthy and nutritious diet too, taking a zinc supplement for healthy sperm when planning a baby. Quit smoking and alcohol if possible.

What are some of the myths?

  • Sonali agrees with the ‘Eating for 2’ theory during pregnancy, but lays stress on eating proportionately. Moms have 4 rotis when they normally eat 2, forgetting the size of the little one. There’s no need for doubling everything. Make it proportionate!
  • Another myth is that eating something white will make a fair baby. We pray that most Indians get rid of this fairness fetish and aim for a healthy baby instead.
  • Whoever told you that gulping down ghee would help was wrong. While a little bit of fat is essential, too much ghee doesn’t help the cause.

How to exercise during pregnancy?

Begin with a simple walking program of 20 minutes, extending it to 40 minutes later. Remember, walking is not strolling around with a phone. That’s leisure! Carry a bottle of water and indulge in a proper walk!

Post pregnancy tips

WHO recommends that breast milk is best for baby in the first 6 months. Other options like cow’s milk, buffalo milk, and goat’s milk are not feasible. These can cause kidney damage.

Is breast milk the only option?

If moms cannot produce breast milk for some reason Infant formula milk is the next option.

Does a breast pump help?

A breast pump is helpful as it helps baby to latch on. But remember that happy moms make more milk. Have 12-14 glasses of water to stay hydrated as you just need water to make breast milk.

What kind of food helps to breast-feed better?

You can eat anything as long as it’s healthy. Oats, papaya, cumin seeds, and methi are recommended. Have vegetables to balance your meals and have a stress free lifestyle. A lot of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are recommended. Remember that you need an extra 500 calories/day to make milk.

It’s a myth that sweets, ghee, and laddus produce more breast milk. Fatty ingredients make moms put on too much weight. Less ghee and sugar with healthy stuff in your snack is what’s needed.

When can one start exercising post pregnancy?

You can exercise after a few days post pregnancy. But go for a proper workout only after your stitches go. Do listen to your body as baby might give you a sleepless night. Focus on chest and pelvic area exercises and most importantly on exercising your back muscles. Do something sustainable and regular. Going to the gym for three days and then not going for a week is a big NO! Instead, an hour a day for 4-5 days a week is recommended.

How much weight should one lose post-pregnancy?

Losing weight post-pregnancy works best when both a balanced diet and exercise play a part in your plan. An average woman puts on 10-12 kilos after pregnancy. Its best to lose 5-6 kilos post that and 3 kilos should be shed gradually over the next 3 months. Don’t worry if you exceed your normal weight as the remaining 2 kilos are in your breasts if you are breast feeding. So don’t be harsh on yourself as this will go after you stop breast feeding.


People also ask

Can you work out during postpartum?

If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal delivery, you should be able to start exercising again soon after the baby is born.

How can I lose my weight after pregnancy?

Walking, Exercise, Swimming and Yoga help you lose weight.

What food should be avoided after delivery?

Foods to avoid while breastfeeding- Coffee and tea, alcohol, chocolate, parsley, peppermint, sage, garlic, and gassy foods.

What is the best exercise after pregnancy?

Other safe exercises include:

Pilates, low-impact aerobics, light weight training and cycling.



Sonali Shivlani’s organization is aptly named 360 degrees, covering almost everything you need to know about nutrition and exercise during and post pregnancy. But Sonali insists that her class will only prepare you for 40 percent and mums will have to do the rest on their own. So, Mum’s the word!

Sonali encourages you to prepare your maternal instincts to the fullest. It’s natural to make mistakes along the way. But be encouraged that the love for your baby will supersede everything else.


Write to us if you have something to share related to this article or have questions regarding the same. We’ll be happy to oblige.

Published by

MKB Team

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