Caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human. Hillary Clinton

In the last week of May, I was approached by a couple, who are doctors by profession. I still remember the evening, when I received a phone call from Dr. Waghmare. The first line of conversation was, “whether I could cater for them for two weeks?” And then he revealed that they were welcoming a new born baby and they don’t have a family around to look after a new mum. I can understand how difficult it would be when you start a new chapter with your new born baby because I had been there when I had my first child and did not have any family around. Dr. Waghmare said, “since you use quality ingredients and cook everything fresh we could not go anywhere else”. That was a wow factor and proud feeling about Dalvi’s and a beautiful opportunity to look after a new mum and a new born. I would not want any new mum to struggle the way I did with my first child. If I had any services like Dalvi’s I would definitely have taken them on board. Being passionate about food even then, I knew what to cook as a complete meal, but I could not help myself as I was physically very week and tired. During those days, along with Weetabix and fruits, I used to cook everything (like Rice, lentils, spinach, mix vegetables with cumin seeds, turmeric and ghee) in a pressure cooker in one go. Being food crazy and taste perfectionist, it wasn’t the best of recipes I have ever invented but mind you, it was doing its job.

Becoming a parent changes everything, you have probably heard this sentence many times. Having a baby, is not only about having new responsibility and little one to love but it also influences your sleep, your daily schedule, your relationship, emotions and of course your diet. A mother has to pay special attention to her diet, especially, if breastfeeding. Sagrani from Ayurvedic Wellness centre says that after giving birth, a mother’s digestive system is very fragile, and her dietary needs are substantial. My mum and mother in law always say that the baby gets his nutrition from mum’s breast milk so it’s important to eat well. According to Indian Ayurveda, a balanced diet with spices like cumin seeds, poppy seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds etc increase milk supply in new mum. A mother’s diet will affect the quality of breast milk and will aid or prevent colic pain in babies. They, like many other ladies believe that a balanced diet must include:

– Starchy foods like rice, chapatis, oats, potatoes, pasta etc

– Dairy produce like milk, yogurt etc

– Ghee (Indian clarified butter) – Indian believe that ghee is a healing food that dries up wounds quickly and gives instant energy to a new mum. Ghee I use is a homemade ghee and not the one you get in supermarkets.

– Protein; such as lentils, pulses, nuts, eggs, fish and lean meat

– Fruits and vegetables

– Spinach – We all know that spinach is universally accepted as superfood that gives iron, calcium, Vitamin K and Vitamin A

It was an absolute pleasure and great satisfaction to cook fresh authentic Indian food for this family. The menu was slightly different than what you see on my website

Everyday, I was making sure that meal was complete and inclusive of daal (lentils), rice, chapatis, sabji (vegetables) and one lean meat dish. I was very careful with the spices. I was making sure that I was using

Homemade ghee or Indian clarified butter

Fenugreek seeds- The research says that fenugreek seeds have lots of iron and vitamin K that helps the new mother regain her health. They are rich is omega- 3 fatty acids that’s essential for the brain development of the baby.

Dry fruits- they are rich in good cholesterol, energy and vitamin E.

Eggs- Provide the perfect combination of fats, proteins and calcium

Spinach- has iron, calcium, vitamin K and vitamin A. I was adding spinach in daal or any vegetable curry

Red split lentils and Moong Lentils- According to my mother in law these daals are excellent in the production of milk. And they are rich in protein, iron and fibre.

Garlic: Garlic helps increased the milk supply too but too much garlic can affect the taste of the milk.

Interview with Dr. Waghmare

1) How was your whole experience with Dalvi’s?

From the past experience we knew Seema uses quality ingredients. Her food is quality, fresh and authentic. I will definitely say it was healthy too. I knew I was in safe hands. I did ring Seema before I was going to the hospital and we had a good chat about what food to eat. After birth, a new mum needs to look after herself and a new baby. One needs to pay special attention if you are breast feeding too. I loved and enjoyed every bite of Seema’s food. Every day I looked forward to receive Seema’s meals.

2) In my cooking I used ingredients like fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coconut, homemade ghee, turmeric, garlic, dry fruits (cashews, almonds, Pistachio) etc. According to Indian Culinary and Ayurveda these ingredients help new mums to recover quick and help to produce more milk. I was very careful with the spices. What are your thoughts about the same?

I always wanted non-spicy food specially in my maternity phase which I got from Dalvi’s. My mum suggested me to eat things like fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, ghee, lots of vegetables to increase the milk supply. But Physically, it was not possible for me to stand in a kitchen and cook whole some food. Hence, my husband and me decided to ring Seema. Seema was aware what special ingredients to use to increase milk supply and yes, I could tell that my new born was getting enough.

3) Is there anything you would like to say?

It’s true INDIAN food I got in the UK. In many Indian takeaways and restaurants, you won’t get true INDIAN flavours and taste. I did not have time to look at the menu, hence, we did ask Seema to plan each day’s menu. She gave us a mix from her menu and some of her own and made sure that we got a balanced and healthy diet. Overall, I was very pleased the way Seema looked after me and my family.

Disclaimer: Please note that this blog is based on my own and Dr. Waghmare’s personal experience. It may differ with individuals and ingredients discussed may not be suitable.