Saturday, May 10, 2008

Eating the right food after childbirth

Most Eastern cultures believe that your body is cold after delivery therefore you should avoid cooling or cold food but eat a lot of yang or ‘heaty’ food to warm the body up. However, if you are normally a yang person, eating too much ‘heaty’ food may cause rashes and fever. In this case it would be better to reduce the amount of ‘heaty’ food and eat more neutral food. If you are normally a Yin person, you should not have any problems eating ‘heaty’ food

Wherever you are in the world, everyone will try and tell you what to eat and if possible how to eat it. The most important thing to do is follow your own body's needs.

Just remember the following pointers:

1. If you are breast feeding whatever you eat will be transferred to your baby via your breast milk therefore it is important that you eat a balanced diet so that your baby will get the right nutrients for optimum growth and development.

2. Some food does cause the baby to become 'windy' or have loose stools. If you find that your baby is suddenly quite unsettled, try and think of what you ate during the last 12 hours. Avoid that food for a few days and then try again. If the same happens again, then you should avoid that particular food for a while and re-introduce it into your diet by taking a very small amount and see how baby reacts then slowly increase the amount so that baby gets used to the food.

3. You may find that your appetite is slightly low especially during the first week. This is normal as your body is readjusting to its non-pregnant state both physically and mentally therefore it is better to have small frequent meals instead of the normal 3 big meals a day.

4. You need to drink plenty of fluids in order to make sufficient breast milk and if you are forbidden to drink water, you can get the amount of fluid from other sources such as soup or confinement tea.

Food to avoid during the first 10 days

Ginger : Delays healing of wounds and increase risk of jaundice in baby. Substitute with peppercorn or garlic.
Fish : Causes foul smelling lochia or discharge.

Getting ready

The aim of all Traditional Asian confinement diet is to prevent ailments arising during old age, therefore all the recommended foods to be consumed are more of a preventive measure rather than treatment. If you plan to go with the traditional confinement diet, it is best to get some of the dry ingredients about two to three weeks before your due date, just in case baby decides to come early. On average, if you do practice what is recommended, the cost for a traditional Chinese confinement diet could easily be about RM 1000.00 ++ just for the food only.


Jacq Jacq said...

Hi, I will be giving birth soon by 29 Nov and since I am staying in Canada, my mom has been reminding me to drink DOM liquor everyday after I deliver. What is my biggest concern now is what would happen to my baby as I am planning to breast feed?

Cecilia said...

Hi Jacq
If you drink the Dom liquor, it will definitely go onto the breast milk so it is best not to consume it neat. You can reduce the alcohol content by adding to food just before you dish it up. The heat will reduce the content. Try limiting the intake to about 3-4 times a week.

Jacq Jacq said...

TQ Cecilia. Since nobody from Msia will be coming to help me on my confinement, can you recommend which recipes shld I follow for the 1st 10 days as you did mentioned that not to consume ginger as it will promote jaundice.

Can I just eat normal western food and same time drink red dates soup?

Cecilia said...

Hi again Jacq Jacq
You can use any of the recipes just omit adding ginger. Use pepper or peppercorns instead. It is ok to eat western food so long as you avoid cooling or cold food.
ps - do not use the non confinement food recipes. LOL

Jacq Jacq said...

TQ so much for yr information. It is too confusing for me to follow the confinement rules especially its my 1st pregnancy and also staying in overseas :)

P.tus said...

My friend recently lost her baby she also have high blood pressure
She going thru confinement now she still in hospital what can I cook for her she had c- section
To bring her hbp down and help her body recover. Thank you

Cecilia said...

Hi P.tus
Please go to the section on herbs to see what kind of herbs is suitable or not suitable for your friend in relation to her high blood pressure. She should be able to eat most food but take it easy on the alcohol. To help her wound heal she should take extra vitamin C - about 1000 mg per day.