After nine months of gestation in the womb and the delivery of the baby, the mother’s body is completely exhausted. The body is now weak and requires replenishment of nutrients. It is vital that the mother follows a balanced diet of protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and carbohydrates, and takes in plenty of fluids everyday, especially in the next three months.
The mother should consume foods that will restore her blood circulation and avoid eating “cooling” foods that are likely to cause health problems later in life. Diets should be planned carefully as the newborn continues to resolve nutrients from the mother through breast milk.
Recommended food are aimed at alleviating “wind”, warming the body, improving blood circulation, expelling toxins from the blood, promoting contraction of the uterus, boosting milk production, strengthening joints and ligaments, the lumbar region as well as repairing and revitalizing the mother’s body.
Below is a list of recommended ingredients and elements essential that are used in post-natal diet, categorized by their main properties and benefits. Old ginger, black vinegar, sesame oil and wine are the four main stars of confinement food.
For alleviating “wind”
Old ginger is used to drive out “wind”, and frequently with “cooling” food as it wards off the “cooling” elements.
Black vinegar is used to prepare high calcium food as it leaches calcium from bones, hence is highly recommended for breast feeding mothers. It also relieves a windy abdomen and cleanses the womb of residual blood.
For cleansing blood
Abalone is rich in protein and vitamin E, and used to strengthen lungs and kidney and drain the lymph system of impurities.
Black fungus (hei mu er) is rich in iron, and used for cleansing arteries and expelling stale blood from body.
For warming body and improving blood circulation
Angelica (dang gui) is rich in calcium and helps improves blood circulation. It is used to nourish the female organs, alleviate menstrual pain and prevent hemorrhage.
Black bean is rich in antioxidants and iron.
Chinese rice wine promotes blood circulation and helps invigorate major organs, and to circulate nutrients through out the body. The wine evaporates during cooking.
Dried longan improves blood circulation, heart efficiency and reduces stress and tension.
Liver helps to build blood, but too much of it may cause milk glands to dry up.
Red-rooted sage (dang shen) is used to maintain a healthy level of iron in the body.
Sesame oil promotes blood circulation and is a “heaty” ingredient that is added to many dishes to restore heat.
Turmeric is used as an antibiotic and promotes a healthy circulatory system.
For boosting energy, vigour, nourishment
Chestnut is rich in phosphorous, selenium and calcium, and is used to invigorate vital energy and resolve fatigue depression and irritability.
Chicken contains amino acid tryptophan, which helps to boost the moods, and vitamins to boost energy levels.
Egg nourishes the body, improves the “chi” system and complexion.
Polygomum (he shou wu) improves blood circulation, strengthens the kidney and liver, prevents hairloss and graying hair.
Red dates are rich in iron, and used to improve energy and calm the mind.
For strengthening kidney and lumbar (lower back) region (especially for backaches after delivery)
Eucommia bark (du zhong) is used to strengthen the kidney, sinews and bines, and also to promote blood circulation.
Chinese yam (wai san) is used to aid digestion, regulate sugar level and control the inflammation of the uterus.
For strengthening joints and ligament
Fish maw is good for strengthening limbs and joints.
Kale (chinese broccoli) is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin A, and is good for improving joints and lymph.
For boosting milk production
Fish, like the dory, is an excellent source of protein and Omega-3 fats. It is believed to help increase milk production, and the fats are vital for infant’s brain growth and development. Carp is also highly recommended to help milk production.
Tetrapanax (Tung Choe) is believed to increase milk flow.
The choices and array of confinement food is by no means restricted to those mentioned above. iHost follows strict quality control and preparation standards that ensures that every confinement meal prepared by us contains the right ingredients that will yield the best results for new mothers during their confinement period.