Why New Moms Need Proper Confinement Food
Photo credit to Ruth Tan (Instagram: @pinkchampagne13)
After childbirth, the period where mothers rest to recover their bodies is referred to as the “confinement period” in our culture. During this period, mothers are encouraged to consume nourishing confinement food to aid with their recovery. In traditional Chinese confinement diet, confinement dishes usually consist of Chinese herbs, as well as “heaty” ingredients like ginger, red dates, sesame oil that are believed to warm the mother’s body.
As the confinement diet culture evolves to be more diverse, confinement food nowadays have become more well-balanced with various ingredients and unique flavours. For instance, Tian Wei Signature serves a mixture of traditional and fusion confinement food to make your confinement diet experience interesting while keeping it just as nutritious.
But why exactly should new mothers 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 a huge drain on the mother’s energy reserves. Hence, you need a balanced diet with adequate nutritions 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 that pork liver and kidney are actually high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron? All these nutrients help improve your collagen formation to promote 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 it is for you to 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 your 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, as well as folate to maintain your healthy cells.
Increase Your Milk Supply
Eating the right foods to increase milk supply is important for new mothers when you are breastfeeding. Your baby relies on your breast milk to gain nutrients and grow healthily. Not only a nutritious diet can improve your breast milk supply, but also its nutrition quality to support your baby’s development and growth. In particular, confinement dishes with ingredients that are high in vitamin A,B,C, omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 are able to boost the nutrients concentration in your breast milk to benefit your baby.
A lot of ingredients that are commonly used in confinement food contain these nutrients, which include red dates, pork ribs and intestines, pumpkin, leafy greens, green papaya, salmon and many more.
If you notice your milk supply increases to be more than what your baby needs after having these confinement food, you can consider pumping your breast milk out for storing. Keep in mind that never use a disposable bottle or plastic bags that are not intended for breast milk storage as it might affect the milk quality. You may find a breastmilk storage bottle on MumChecked website.
Promote Blood Circulation
Most mothers lose about 500ml of blood during and immediately after their 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, helps to warm mother’s body and improve blood circulation. It has a lower alcohol content than other wines. Therefore, it’s safe for a nursing mum. Just remember to add it during the final stage of cooking, so that the alcohol evaporates, leaving behind the nourishing aromatic dish.
Meanwhile, in terms of nutrition, food that are high in iron and folate are great in 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.
Avoid Postpartum Depression
You may also consider adding food ingredients like whole grain and brown rice into your confinement menu. They are known as the natural mood stabiliser. Mothers might encounter baby-blues after their delivery. By eating the right food, it can help to avoid postpartum depression. Whole grain and brown rice help to maintain blood sugar, boost energy and 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!