What NOT To Do When Planning Your Confinement Diet
As a mother who has just given birth, your confinement period is a time of rest and healing. That’s why a proper diet is important during this particular period. Traditional confinement food encourages the consumption of ‘heaty’ foods, particularly ginger. This is believed to rid the body of ‘cold’ elements, which causes aches and pains.
Meanwhile in terms and nutrition, you would also need to ensure your confinement diet is well-balanced with a variety of ingredients that can boost your recovery and breast milk production. When planning your confinement recipes, here are some of the things to avoid:
Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
A common myth in traditional Chinese confinement diet is that mothers shouldn’t consume fruits and vegetables after giving birth. This is based on the belief that vegetables and fruits are “cold” in nature and would cause discomfort to the mother’s weakened body. However, this saying is actually untrue!
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals to boost your postpartum recovery, as well as boosting the nutrients concentration in your breast milk to help with your baby’s growth. According to the Singapore Health Promotion Board, you should fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables in every meal.
Hence, even if you’re following traditional Chinese confinement practices, you should still incorporate fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. Some of the best vegetables for your Chinese confinement diet include tomatoes, Shanghai green, snow peas, kai lan, pumpkin and spinach. As for the fruits to eat during confinement, apples and papayas are great choices. These foods are rich in Vitamin C to promote your wound healing after natural or caesarean birth, as well as to boost the vitamin C concentration in your breast milk to protect your newborn from allergies.
Taking caffeinated, carbonated, and cold drinks
As a new mom, it’s often a challenge to get enough sleep, especially during the first few months. At times like this, a caffeine boost might sound like a really good pick-me-up. However, the caffeine in drinks like coffees and colas can make its way to your breast milk. Sodas aren’t really a good choice either, as drinking them can introduce gas into your stomach, irritating it or making you feel bloated and gassy. Rather than coffee or sodas, go for plain water, herbal soups or plain fruit juices if you are thirsty.
Aside from caffeinated drinks, having cold drinks during confinement is also not encouraged. While there is no substantial scientific evidence to prove that having cold drinks is indeed harmful to a postpartum mother’s health, you are encouraged to drink warm drinks only after delivery for the following reasons. First of all, having cold drinks after delivery is likely to cause discomforts like cough and cold, especially when your body’s immune system is weaker after delivery. Furthermore, having cold water can slow down your digestion and cause your body to produce more gas. Gas formation can be painful especially when you have a caesarean wound. Last but not least, having warm food and water has always been perceived as comforting and healing. For example, when we are feeling unwell, having warm meals and drinks tend to make us feel warm and better.
You May Also Read this : What Food Should You Avoid In Your Confinement Period
Going for unhealthy snacks and processed foods
It’s alright to snack during your confinement period. However, you should always choose healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits and plain cereal. Try to avoid sugar-laden or salty snacks. Snacks like potato chips and candy can fill you up, but aren’t really nutritious. It helps to read labels and find out whether a certain snack you want has any added sugars or salt before you buy them too, so as to ensure your snacks are as natural as possible.
While avoiding unhealthy snacks during confinement might come across as a no brainer for you, remember to cut down on processed food too. These include frozen food like dumplings, sausages, pickles, and canned foods like luncheon meat and sardines. Processed foods tend to contain high amounts of preservatives, salt, oil, sugar and other additives. Overconsumption may slow down your healing process and affect your newborn’s health.
Consuming too much hot and spicy foods
Any spicy foods you take, especially in large amounts, can affect the taste of your breast milk for your baby. Although a small amount, like some sliced chillies on your steamed fish or a bit or turmeric in your sauce might not do much harm, eating very spicy foods for every meal will definitely leave an effect.
Additionally, hot and spicy foods may irritate your digestive system, especially since you’re in your recovery phase. When spicy foods are concerned, moderation is the key.
Traditional confinement food recipes that are well planned out and varied can be beneficial for both you and your baby. You can consider having them prepared and delivered to you by a professional confinement caterer in Singapore so that you can kick back and focus on regaining your strength.
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