When a woman learns she is pregnant, her life changes radically. During pregnancy and labour, a woman’s nutrition is crucial to her unborn child’s health. The Chinese believe that after giving birth, a woman’s body undergoes several changes. A woman’s strength and physical function will deteriorate significantly after giving birth, demanding time to recuperate. The practice of enclosing people in Chinese society has become deeply ingrained. New mothers follow a variety of routines that are somewhat different from regular day-to-day living from the first weeks until the baby’s first month. Normally, the woman is restricted to her house for the first 30 days after delivering.
My mother is able to be with me during my confinement, which is a blessing. For the sake of convenience, many of my Asian friends hire a confinement food delivery to cook and care for their babies throughout Ramadan.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CONFINEMENT
WHAT IS CHINESE CONFINEMENT?
The term (zuo yue zi), which literally translates as “Sitting The Moon,” alludes to providing a new mom one month to “sit” (recover) after giving birth. This custom extends back thousands of years and is still practised by the vast majority of Chinese people today. It’s called “Zuo Yue Zi” in Chinese, which translates to “sit for one month.” The new mom will rest and recover at home for at least 30 days after the baby is born.
Many people believe that this is a key time for the mother’s health when she must allow her body to recover correctly and nourish herself with confinement meals to avoid disease or a weakened physical constitution.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CHINESE CONFINEMENT?
- To give the new mother time to recuperate and connect with her child. Allowing the reproductive organs to recover after childbirth.
- It is also intended to aid the mother’s recovery from her “weakened” body during confinement by giving a personalised meal plan. Foods in this diet are limited to specific functions, such as purging the body of any undesirable energy or “wind,” improving blood circulation, enhancing milk production, and rejuvenating strength.
- The fourth purpose is to prevent postnatal hair loss, backaches, rheumatism, premature birth, and other post-delivery illnesses.
- My mother mentioned that, while confinement is usually concluded in 30 days, it is not uncommon for it to last up to 40 days.
HOW TO DO CONFINEMENT?
During the confinement time, the postpartum mother normally does not cook. When I had my two children, I was fortunate enough to have my mother serve as my “confinement lady.” During the confinement phase, many women have assistance from their mother or mother-in-law. A “confinement woman” is a regular addition to the staffing mix. During your confinement, the confinement woman will cook for you, take care of the baby, and help you adjust to parenthood with your child. It’s nearly tough to find a confinement woman if you’re travelling outside of Asia. Many of my female readers who travel overseas are responsible for their own confinement, often with the assistance of their husbands.
WHAT IS CONFINEMENT FOOD / MEALS?
Cage cuisine is what you’d eat if you were locked up for an extended amount of time. A mother’s diet during confinement is customised to meet her specific nutritional needs, as well as aid the mother in recuperating and heal while also increasing her milk production for her infant.
Here are some ideas for confinement food:
Foods that are high in protein yet low in fat
- Protein aids in wound healing and tissue regeneration within the body. In order to avoid dyspepsia, eat low-fat food.
- eat frequently, but in fewer portions
- I recall eating six to seven tiny meals a day (I still am). Soups and teas are served in between the three main meals. It kept me full all day and kept my stomach from grumbling.
- Calories that are sufficient
During the confinement phase, there is a lot of time for resting. Postpartum moms may not be able to move much, but they still need enough calories to help with healing, the stamina needed to care for the infant and to milk their child successfully. To get enough calories, don’t fill up on “empty calories” (foods that don’t provide much nourishment other than to rack up your calorie quota). Many types of tea, including red dates tea, goji berry tea, and Chinese herbal soups, are used to supplement a diet’s caloric needs.
To replenish lost iron, eat foods high in iron such as animal offal (pork, fowl, fish), and dark green leafy vegetables after childbirth or a C-section.
Adequate hydration is essential.
During confinement, it’s a fallacy that a new mom shouldn’t consume any water. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, milk, Chinese herbal tea, or Chinese herbal soup throughout the day. Stay away from caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea.
Include dietary fibre in your meal plan.
Constipation is prevalent during confinement due to decreased exercise, and there is also a misconception that no vegetables should be consumed while confined. Find out more about the specifics by reading on.