81 Tagore Lane, TAG A, #01-11 Singapore 787502 ♦ Reservation : +65 6727 5599
After enduring the nine-month-long pregnancy and the labour and the delivery, along comes post-pregnancy confinement. Chinese women have long practised this tradition of postnatal care which traditionally lasts for a month after the baby is born. To this day, this is a month-long period of rest and recuperation following childbirth that is still practised by many new mothers in East Asian countries.
During this time, new mothers are confined to their homes and are not allowed to venture outside, even to do basic chores like cooking or cleaning. Instead, they are supposed to be waited on hand and foot by family members and friends. This is in the hopes that the limited movement will help boost recovery and prevent muscle fatigue.
Remember, one of the most important aspects of postnatal care is the diet. New mothers are encouraged to eat nutrient-rich foods that will help them recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply.
A traditional Chinese postpartum diet consists of dishes that are designed to help the mother heal and recover from childbirth. Here are some of the top traditional Chinese dishes for post-pregnancy confinement recovery.
Steamed Wolf-berries Pork Ribs With Red Dates And Black Bean Sauce
Pork ribs are an important confinement food for new mothers in many cultures. After giving birth, a woman’s body is weak and needs time to recover. As a great source of protein, eating pork ribs helps to replenish the energy and strength of muscles. On the other hand, iron in the meat helps to build up red blood cells.
Hold up, mothers in post-pregnancy confinement are also often advised to consume wolf-berries. These small, tart fruits are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are essential to promote wound healing and skin health.
Red Date Tea
Red date tea is a herbal tea made with red dates, goji berries and longan fruit. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it has traditionally been used to help new mothers recover from childbirth. Red date tea is believed to help reduce fatigue and improve circulation because of iron.
In Chinese Medicine, it is said that “a woman’s body is like a painting”. A woman needs to be delicately taken care of – especially so when she has just given birth. After childbirth, a mother’s Yin energy levels are said to be depleted, and she needs to consume warming and nourishing foods to build her energy back up.
This is where red dates come in. Red dates are traditionally used in Chinese Medicine as Qi and Blood tonic. It is traditionally believed to be “warming” and may give a calming effect. Hence many people use it to relax and have better sleep. Red dates can be cooked in many different ways – they can be added to soups, or even made into tea. However you choose to have them, red dates are an important part of postnatal care for mothers in Chinese tradition.
Gingko Lotus Seed Pig Stomach Soup
This lotus seed soup is made from a mixture of lotus seed, ginkgo, pig stomach, pork ribs, wolfberries and yu zhu herb. Lotus seeds are often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for their nutritional value and healing properties. They are a good source of protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and are known to be helpful in restoring energy levels. For mothers who are going through the post-pregnancy confinement period, lotus seeds can help to nourish the kidneys and spleen.
In addition, lotus seeds are thought to promote better sleep and calm the mind, which can be helpful for new mothers who may be struggling with sleep deprivation. Lotus root is a source of fibre which is essential for supporting a healthy gut. Overall, lotus seeds can be a valuable part of post-pregnancy care for mothers who want to restore their health and energy levels.
Nourishing And Beautifying Chicken Soup
Chicken soup needs no introduction; this soup is light but nourishing. It is a beloved dish around the world for its nourishing properties with ingredients like white fungus, red dates, wolfberries, yu zhu lily, Chinese yam, and chicken. For new mothers in confinement, chicken soup is thought to help replenish lost energy and boost immunity due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
This soup is traditionally known to be great for the skin too due to its pairing with white fungus. White fungus when cooked has a gelatinous and soft texture. Its Traditional Chinese Medicine function is to moisten the lungs and stomach. It relieves thirst, dry mouth, and dry skin and even prevents constipation. White fungus contains a form of plant collagen and contains some of the amino acids that are part of the building blocks of collagen. One study found it could reduce water and collagen loss in the skin in mice. Although more research and evidence are still needed especially in human trials, it can be used as a potential functional food supplement for skin protection function.
Lemongrass Fenugreek Braised Fish Fillet
New mothers are traditionally confined to their homes for a month after giving birth. During this time, they consume a diet of warming and nutrient-rich foods that are designed to help their bodies recover from the birthing process. Fish is a common ingredient in postnatal diets, as it is believed to be especially beneficial for new mothers. Fish is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that can help to support the recovery of postnatal mothers. Omega 3-DHA particularly helps to not only support brain development in babies via breast milk, it also helps to reduce the risk of postpartum depression in mothers.
This dish is made with fenugreek which is also known as a traditional lactogenic food ingredient commonly used among mothers in hopes to increase breast milk supply. For all these reasons, fish plays an important role in postnatal care in many cultures around the world.
If you are going into post-pregnancy confinement or if you know someone who is, these traditional dishes can help the mother heal and recover from childbirth. From rice congee to chicken soup, these dishes are packed full of nutrients that are vital for postpartum recovery.
Similarly, you could swing on over to our homepage and browse through our menus for confinement with all the traditional confinement food Chinese people have raved about through the ages. Yes, we are not kidding about our menu that’s chock full of well-balanced and nutritious confinement food Singapore mummies love!