Confinement is a common practice in Asia that has a long history dating back centuries, and many mothers today consider it to be an outdated and unnecessary practice. Having to follow a strict diet, adhere to various new lifestyle practices and pay extra attention to your health may seem draining and restrictive, especially for liberal minds. However, confinement is a very important part of pregnancy and childbirth that mothers must go through.
The confinement period of 30 to 40 days is critical because it helps in many aspects of postpartum recovery. It also helps you adjust to your newborn, bond with your child and adapt to a new lifestyle with an additional family member. Throughout pregnancy, as well as during and after childbirth, mothers go through excessive stress physically, mentally and emotionally, and the postpartum recovery period is necessary to nurse one back to good health in all aspects.
Aside from getting plenty of rest and adhering to strict lifestyle practices, your diet during this time is crucial for providing you with the energy you need to get through each day as well as the nutrients you need to nourish both your body and your baby’s. Your breastmilk supply will be affected by the confinement food you eat, which can either help you get a pleasant breastfeeding experience or make it excruciating for you.
Most mothers need to consume at least 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day to keep up with their energy needs. This amount will increase if you’re breastfeeding. Additionally, breastfeeding mothers must ensure that they are consuming enough nutrients through their confinement food to aid in their baby’s development.
Why is the Confinement Period Important?
1. Prevent postpartum complications
If mothers do not take this time to consume all the right confinement food and recover properly, they may suffer from postpartum complications such as infection or sepsis, cardiomyopathy, and more, which can last a lifetime and lower their quality of life. It also allows mothers to live in peace, away from the stress that may come from their friends, family, or other people, and to spend more time reflecting, recovering from any negativity, and strengthening relationships with their closest family members. This helps to prevent them from developing mental health issues, such as postnatal depression.
2. Boost your health and promote recovery
The confinement period and confinement food comes as a package, you can’t recover well without the right diet. Whether your mother or mother-in-law prepared your food for you or you hired confinement catering services, the food you eat will typically contain high amounts of nutrients that will help you recover faster and return to a normal, healthy state.
A mother needs to consume a lot of protein, calcium, and iron after childbirth to help her recover, regain strength, protect her bones, and generate new blood cells to replenish blood lost during delivery. This is just the tip of the iceberg as there are many more nutrients her mother needs in order to fully nourish every part of her body. The normal meals you eat on a daily basis may not contain sufficient nutrients, hence the importance of specially prepared confinement food.
3. Strengthen the bond between mother and baby
The confinement period also provides mothers with the chance to form and strengthen bonds with their newborns, learn how to interact with them, understand their baby’s needs, and how to best care for them. If mothers return to work or spend their time right after childbirth on other tasks and activities, they will not only cause harm to their own health but also jeopardise their relationship with their child.
Though confinement may appear to be a restrictive and agonising practice, it is an important practice that will only benefit you and your baby in the long run. Some confinement practices, however, are myths and traditions that no longer apply today, so do your research and nurse your body back to health in the safest way possible.
In addition to daily living practices, confinement food is essential for your recovery.
Get your meals taken care of with NouRiche’s confinement food package, prepared with love to help new mothers enjoy delicious meals while nourishing their bodies. NouRiche is one of Singapore’s best confinement food caterers. Visit our website to view our menu offerings.