If you’ve had an abortion, your body has experienced the changes of pregnancy and the added nutritional burden of supporting a fetus. Your use of calcium, iron and vitamin B9, or folate, may have increased.
Early pregnancy places pretty strong demands on your body, as does any medical procedure, including abortion. While there's not a specific diet to follow after terminating a pregnancy, it's a good idea to eat bland or mild foods to avoid exacerbating any nausea you may have. Stocking up on lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables before the procedure can make it easier to eat well in the days right after.
Facts About Abortion
There are two types of abortions most commonly used in the first trimester, according to Indiana University Bloomington's Health Center. The first is a medical abortion that involves taking two medications, called Mifepristone and Misoprostol. The second is a surgical procedure called suction curretage or vacuum aspiration, which doesn't require a general anesthetic or actual cutting.
It's common to receive a sedative and to be prescribed painkillers after the procedure if you're having a surgical abortion, so it's a good idea to have someone drive you home. You can resume your normal activities the next day, the experts at UCLA Health state, but you may experience cramping and nausea, so take it easy. Don't push yourself too hard, and follow a nutritious diet.
Read more: Effects of Surgical Abortion
Best Post-Abortion Diet Plan
The best diet after abortion, according to the health care professionals at MyHealth.Alberta.ca, is light, bland and comforting — because terminating a pregnancy, as with many medical procedures, can result in nausea. In addition, you should concentrate on eating fresh, whole foods that offer dense nutrition. Stick to a diet that's high in iron, including brown rice, lentils and spinach, which will help your body recover after blood loss. Proteins like lean chicken, beef and pork contain the amino acids you need to rebuild tissue and generate new red blood cells.
Fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which support your heart health by lowering your levels of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, and raising your levels of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol. Found in many nuts and seeds as well, omega-3 fatty acids also fight both inflammation and depression.
Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole wheat bread or pasta provide complex carbohydrates that your body can use for energy. Fruits high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, support your immune system and help speed healing, as does the vitamin A found in leafy, green vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables not only offer necessary vitamins and minerals, they're fairly water dense and will help keep you hydrated. Drinking between 32 and 64 ounces of water every day will also help your recovery, because water is vital to every aspect of your body's functions.
Read more: Foods That Promote Healing After Surgery
Things to Avoid After Abortion
Stay away from empty calories, such as those found in processed flour, refined sugar and snack foods, which won't do your body any good. Avoid alcohol as well while you're recovering, according to the experts at UCSB SexInfo, because it can be an unhealthy way to try to cope with your feelings. Alcohol is a depressant, so if you're feeling sad, a drink or two can make you feel even worse. Feeling relieved is a valid and appropriate response, just as sadness is — but alcohol can alter your mood, which is neither healthy nor helpful. Allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling without any type of mood-altering substance, unless your doctor has prescribed one.
Read more: Can I Exercise After Surgical Abortion?