Most Asian mothers have to go through confinement, which is a period of time believed to be crucial for recovery and mothers must consume healthy confinement food in order to boost their immunity and recuperate. However, how nourishing can confinement food be and how does it help with recovery after childbirth?
In Chinese culture, there are three stages to confinement, each stage focuses on helping a mother recover from different bodily issues while strengthening her body.
Stage 1: Uterus Recovery & Wound Healing
During childbirth, every woman will experience heavy blood loss. Even after delivery, the uterus may continue to bleed until it contracts back to its normal size. There may also be vaginal tears, blood clots, and other wounds sustained while giving birth, causing pain to the mother. This is why it is important for you to help your wounds heal, promote blood circulation and discharge to reduce diastasis recti as soon as possible after giving birth.
At this stage, mothers should consume protein and iron-rich maternity food to replenish lost blood and promote wound healing. Some of these food items include pig’s liver, multi-grain porridge, dang sheng tea, sheng hua soup, ginger, red dates tea, ginger and kidney. Herbs such as Schisandra berries, which are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, can fight off infections that enter the body during this period and aid with postpartum bleeding and healing.
Stage 2: Digestive Well-Being & Tissue Repair
A woman’s body will produce 50% more blood during pregnancy because of the baby. Not all the blood is expelled upon delivery and can result in fluid build-up. During this period, mothers must strengthen their gastrointestinal system through the maternity food they eat in order to flush out excess fluids, repair tissues and improve the quality of breast milk.
Pork loin, pig’s feet, ginger, sesame oil, green papaya, fried eggs, barley, and other whole-grain products are some foods that new mothers should eat. Herbs such as ginseng root and moringa are great during this period. Ginseng root replenishes energy once the bleeding stops, while moringa has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in nutrients that can help boost your milk supply and aid in healing.
Stage 3: Strengthen Physique & Nourish Body
The last stage of confinement focuses on strengthening your physique and improving your immune health. Good nourishment from confinement food is important in helping you regain your vitality, fight premature ageing and prepare you for any future pregnancies.
Mothers may experience muscle strain around the abdomen area, cold limbs, and may feel fatigued. During this stage, focus on improving your blood circulation, maintaining body warmth, and nourishing the body with essential nutrients.
Some confinement food you should consume include vegetables, kelp, fruits, lotus seeds, dried longan, seafood low in mercury content, and kidney tonic soup. Herbs such as Chinese angelica root, wolfberries and red date tea can be consumed to help promote the circulation of Qi and blood.
Confinement is an important period for mothers and it is extremely important to properly nurse yourself back to health such that you have the energy to care for your newborn child and slowly get yourself back to work. However, putting together a nutritious meal for yourself while juggling infant care can be challenging. This is why NouRiche is here to help you.
NouRiche is a confinement catering company in Singapore that provides nutritious and delicious confinement meals to recovering mothers. We wish to help new mothers in recovering well by combining the health benefits of traditional Chinese medicine and the expertise of our chefs to provide the best confinement food. Click here to check out our menu. Visit us today!