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Confinement diet is a crucial part of your body’s path to recovery. During confinement, mothers are urged to consume more “heaty” or warm foods to enable the womb to heal faster and to discharge wind from the body. If you are breastfeeding, whatever you eat will be transferred to your baby via your breast milk.
Hence, it is necessary that you eat a balanced diet so that your baby will get the right nutrients for optimum growth and development. To encourage lactation and maintain the quality of breast milk, you should eat a variety of food consisting of a variety of foods.
Traditional Chinese confinement food consists mainly of old ginger, sesame oil, black vinegar, lots of meat and many more which is meant to refurbish the body of a new mother with energy and nutrients. Below are some foods that you might want to add to your diet during the postnatal confinement month.
Ensure that you consume enough dairy products for your calcium needs. Milk, yoghurt and cheese products are all safe for consumption if you are breastfeeding. It is also recommended that you consume at least two servings of dairy products a day to replenish your body’s calcium.
Oats are high in vitamins, protein, and fibre, vital components for your body. Fibre will help fight constipation, a common occurrence during the postnatal period. They are also a great energy booster for breastfeeding mothers when you require the additional boost of energy and excellent for building and maintaining your milk supply. Oatmeal also helps to control diabetes during post pregnancy.
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One of the highly recommended food to eat during confinement is pork liver. It is rich in Vitamin A and iron. It is usually consumed by most confinement mothers to replenish their blood after childbirth. Nevertheless, pork innards like the kidney, intestines, and liver must be consumed in moderation as these may cause high cholesterol and uric acid. The flavour of pork liver might be too overwhelming for you at first, but there are several ways to make the dish much more appealing.
The red dates are typically brewed with Chinese wolfberry and dried longan to nourish the blood and to act as water substitute because water is believed to contain “wind”.
They are rich in vitamin E, which assists in healing the itching caused by stretch marks. With the presence of omega 3, it helps lactation and boosts hormones to help increase milk production.
Vegetables & Fruits
Green leafy vegetables are rich in fibre, iron, Vitamin A and C. When it comes to vegetables for confinement, spinach is well known for replenishing blood. Remember, the quicker your blood is replenished, the faster you recover.
Therefore, you must not forget your vegetables. Meanwhile, if you tend to have the urge to snack in between meals, fruits are healthy and great choices that can further boost the nutrients in your body. Some fruits to eat during confinement include bright-coloured fruits like blueberries, strawberries, papaya, grapes, and apples. Most of these fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C to help with perineum and caesarean wound healing by improving your collagen formation.
Red meats are high in iron and protein and help confinement mothers to replenish blood loss. Nevertheless, do consume in moderation, as you only need 19mg of iron in your daily intake to recover. For a healthier consumption of red meat, go for lean red meats like lean beef and lean pork. In general, lean red meat contains lower fat levels compared to the usual red meat, which helps to keep your cholesterol level and blood pressure level in check.
Compared to white rice, brown rice contains higher nutrient content. Brown rice has a higher level of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help with your postpartum recovery. It releases certain chemicals that help to normalise sleep patterns and mood swings. Also, it contains hormone stimulants, which increase appetite and boost lactation.
It is a good source of omega 3, essential fatty acids, and both are vital in increasing milk lactation for mothers and highly nutritious.
It is technically not food, but it is one of the essential components to ensure you have an adequate supply of milk. The reason is that during breastfeeding, your body releases the oxytocin hormone, which makes you feel thirsty. Therefore, it is necessary to have a bottle of water next to you during breastfeeding and keep yourself hydrated.
The important thing is to follow your own body’s needs and be comfortable with what you eat. Whatever you take, do make sure that you have the best confinement food in Singapore that is full of proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, and water.