Tips On How To Eat Right During The Confinement Period

Eat Right During The Confinement Period

Throughout the pregnancy, the baby depends on you and will absorb all the needed nutrients from your system for its growth. If you eat correctly and your diet has adequate nutrients, you and the baby will be healthy. But did you know that a healthy diet also extends to the confinement period?

If you don’t provide your body with nutrients during confinement, you may remain weak for a long time. Eating the right foods and maintaining a proper diet will ensure that your body is adequately replenished.

Confinement meals are all about replenishing the nutrients that your body loses during delivery. It is understood that a woman loses a lot of blood during childbirth. Hence you should replenish your system with plenty of supplements and herbs acquired from the best confinement food in Singapore. Here are some tips to make eating right during confinement easier for you:

  • Eat Fully-Cooked Food

Your immune system changes during pregnancy and confinement. This makes you more vulnerable to food poisoning than before you were pregnant. It is best not to eat undercooked or raw food during confinement, as the bacteria in these foods could harm your health and the baby you are breastfeeding. Some examples of food that are commonly eaten undercooked or raw are eggs, beef and salmon. Eating fully-cooked food protects you against the risk of food poisoning caused by salmonella bacteria, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and headache. Before you cook your raw meat, store them in a fully sealed container in the fridge so their juice won’t stain the other food. Furthermore, wash your hands and all utensils thoroughly before and after handling raw meat.

  • Avoid Cold Food

The term “cold” includes not only physically cold foods (e.g., iced beverages, ice creams) but also foods that are believed to be cold. These include seafood like crabs, oysters and cuttlefish; fruits like persimmon, pomelo and starfruit; vegetables like kangkung and bitter gourd. According to traditional Chinese medicine, eating a cold diet during confinement can affect your recovery as they harm your spleen and stomach. Cold foods are also believed to interrupt the proper discharge of lochia after childbirth.

  • Keep Your Diet Varied & Well-Balanced

While maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet during confinement is essential, many new moms overlook the importance of having a well-balanced diet. You could be missing out on some essential nutrients if you stick to eating repetitive food during confinement. 

Some examples of the nutrients that should be in your diet include:

Vitamin D (Eggs, Salmon)

Vitamin D is important for building healthy bones and supporting the immune system to function optimally. Spend some time outdoors and enjoy the free Vitamin D from the sun! Early mornings between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm are ideal. Other sources of Vitamin D include Tuna, eggs, salmon, fish liver oil, sardines, and fortified margarine. Include them in your diet and replenish the system with vitamin D.

Vitamin A (Sweet Potatoes, Carrots)

Retinol and Beta-carotene are necessary for cell division and growth. Maintaining healthy mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts is essential for good eyesight. Some foods rich in vitamin A include offals, pumpkin, boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables such as kale. Ensure you include them in your diet to enjoy the full benefits. You don’t have to have them all in a single serving. Alternate with other foods.

Vitamin K (Broccoli, Liver)

Phylloquinone is essential in forming specific proteins and for blood clotting. Sources of Vitamin K you should include in your diet include green leafy vegetables, especially broccoli, fish, liver and cereals.

Carbohydrates (Whole Bread, Oatmeal)

They are converted into glucose and glycogen to give the body fuel for energy. During your postnatal period, you require all the energy you can gather for milk production and postpartum recovery. So choose complex carbohydrates such as whole bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal and brown rice instead of white rice, white bread or regular pasta. Complex carbohydrates will provide sustained energy throughout the day without the sugar spikes and drops in energy.

Protein (Poultry, Potatoes)

It is necessary for the growth and repair of cells in the body. It helps to make enzymes that enable us to produce antibodies and hormones, which helps digestion. Sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, cereals, and potatoes.

Folic Acid (Brussels Sprouts, Wheat Germ)

It is vital for cell division and the formation of proteins in the body DNA, and RNA. The following are some of the best sources of folic acid; Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, wheat germ, and bread.

Pantothenic Acid (Dried Fruits, Nuts)

It aids in releasing energy from food and is essential for the synthesis of cholesterol, red blood cells and fat. You can get it from meat, liver, dried fruits, and nuts.

Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid (Kiwi, Strawberries)

This is necessary to make collagen and neurotransmitters like noradrenaline and serotonin. It aids the absorption of iron. Sources are mainly citrus fruits, kiwis, pepper, strawberries, vegetables, and potatoes.

Calcium (Sesame Seeds, Sardines)

It is a vital component of bones and teeth. Essential for nerve transmission, muscle functions, and blood clotting. Sources – Sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, sardines, milk, and dairy products.

Iron (Red Meat, Raisins)

It is required for the creation of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen. It is needed for the synthesis of RNA, DNA, and collagen for healthy gums, teeth, bones, and cartilage. Sources – Liver, kidneys, red meat, sardines, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, raisins, dried apricots.

Magnesium (Wholegrain Cereals, Greens)

It assists in nerve impulses, and it is crucial for muscle contraction. It is an essential constituent of teeth and bones. Sources – Wholegrain cereals, nuts, pulse, green vegetables, and sesame seeds.

Water (Drinks, Fruits)

It is vital for life. It is necessary for the digestion and elimination of waste products. It acts as a lubricant for eyes and joints and regulates body temperature. Sources – Drinks, fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, bread and cereals, milk and dairy products.

But why exactly should new mothers eat right and have confinement food? Is it purely based on tradition? Certainly not! Discover the benefits of having confinement food below!

Recover From Your “Weakened” Body

Confinement is a period for postpartum mothers to recover from childbirth. Labour and birth are huge drains on the mother’s energy reserves. Hence, you need a balanced diet with adequate nutrition to restore good health.

Confinement foods are usually prepared with ingredients that contain essential nutrients to promote your recovery. For example, Chinese confinement dishes tend to include pork intestines like liver and kidney. Did you know pork liver and kidney are high in vitamin C, A, and iron? All these nutrients help improve collagen formation, promoting wound healing around the genital and caesarean area after labour.

Furthermore, iron also helps to supply oxygen throughout your body by developing red blood cells. The more oxygen your body has, the easier you can recover.

That said, if you are not used to having intestines, there are plenty of other meat options in confinement dishes that you can enjoy. For instance, chicken is also rich in iron to promote postpartum recovery.

Many classic Chinese confinement dishes include chicken, for example, sesame oil chicken, confinement food chicken essence, and herbal chicken soup. Furthermore, salmon is another popular ingredient used in confinement dishes. It is rich in vitamin C to boost your recovery and folate to maintain your healthy cells.

Increase Your Milk Supply

Increase Your Milk Supply

Eating the right foods to increase milk supply is important for new mothers when they are breastfeeding. Your baby relies on your breast milk to gain nutrients and grow healthily. A nutritious diet can improve your breast milk supply and its nutrition quality to support your baby’s development and growth. In particular, confinement dishes with ingredients high in vitamins A, B, C, omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 can boost the nutrient concentration in your breast milk to benefit your baby. 

Many ingredients commonly used in confinement food contain these nutrients, including red dates, pork ribs and intestines, pumpkin, leafy greens, green papaya, salmon and many more.

If your milk supply increases to be more than your baby’s needs after having this confinement food, you can consider pumping your breast milk out for storage. Remember never to use disposable bottles or plastic bags not intended for breast milk storage as it might affect the milk quality. You may find a breast milk storage bottle on the MumChecked website. 

Promote Blood Circulation

Most mothers lose about 500ml of blood during and immediately after childbirth. For cesarean delivery, it’s approximately 1000ml of blood loss. Losing lots of blood can cause low blood pressure. 

From a TCM perspective, certain food ingredients can increase blood flow and warm your body. Rice wine is made of fermented glutinous rice, which helps to warm the mother’s body and improve blood circulation.

Meanwhile, in terms of nutrition, food that is high in iron and folate is great for replenishing your blood loss. Iron-rich food like spinach, snow peas, pork liver, pork kidney, chicken, and marmite helps your body to produce more red blood cells.

On the other hand, foods that are high in folate include red beans, black beans, okra, broccoli, chayote, and salmon. These foods help you to build healthy red blood cells and prevent anaemia.

Reduce the Risk of Postpartum Depression

You may also consider adding food ingredients like fish to your confinement menu. They are known to be rich sources of Omega 3-DHA. When in adequate amounts, it is associated with a lower risk of postpartum depression. Mothers might encounter baby blues after their delivery. Eating a balanced meal with adequate fish intake can help to reduce the risk of postpartum depression.

Other diet strategies (but not limited to only this) that may be beneficial are to include whole grain and brown rice, which is beneficial to maintain blood sugar and boost energy and, in turn, contribute to mood stability. 

To summarize, a proper confinement diet helps with your postpartum recovery as well as breast milk production. If you are looking for a hassle-free way to enjoy nutritious, well-balanced and delicious confinement food, engaging a postpartum food delivery service is a great option!

Tian Wei Signature offers daily lunch and dinner confinement food delivery service. Serving you fusion and traditional confinement food in sustainable and warming thermal flasks, biodegradable containers, and thermal bags, all meals at Tian Wei Signature are also healthy with no added MSG. Ready to kickstart a nourishing and relaxing confinement diet experience? Check out the menu on our website!