Right after delivery, mothers usually feel tired as giving birth drains the energy and blood, known as qi and blood deficiency in TCM, which may weaken the body. Therefore postpartum – the moment right after delivery and the subsequent four to six weeks – is the most crucial period for mothers to recover, and it is often known as the confinement period. Many mothers will follow certain practices and diets during confinement. We take on the top three confinement diet myths:
TONIC WINE IS ENCOURAGED DURING CONFINEMENT
True: Consuming tonic wine during confinement can help expel the cold from the body and promote circulation. You’re encouraged to add tonic wine into food or soup preparation. Confinement food with alcohol should be well-cooked or the soup should be boiled before consumption for evaporation of the alcohol.
DO NOT DRINK PLAIN WATER.
False: There is no harm in drinking plain water. Most women in confinement perspire heavily due to hormonal changes, therefore they should be encouraged to drink more water to stay hydrated. Warm water is encouraged instead of cold water.
HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS ARE ENCOURAGED DURING CONFINEMENT.
True: Women lose substantial amounts of blood during childbirth, which sets them up for deficiency of qi. It’s essential to have the body replenished and nourished during the postpartum period. Adequate amounts of herbs and supplements help with postnatal recovery and boost energy and vitality. TCM physicians usually recommend herbs for qi and blood tonification.
|TOP FOODS MOTHERS SHOULD INCLUDE IN THEIR CONFINEMENT DIET|
|Ginger, sesame oil||As a general rule, consume “warm” foods to get rid of the cold in the body. These are commonly used in Asian cooking.|
|Tonic wine||Good for boosting blood circulation, revitalising strength and improving breast milk supply.|
|Proteins such as chicken and pork||Adequate protein intake is essential for postnatal recovery.|
|Fish soup, pig’s trotters soup||These are encouraged for breastfeeding mothers.|