It's no secret that the more you rest, nourish your body, and protect yourself from wind and other environmental toxins, the better it will be for you. Chinese medicine practitioners often suggest that 60 days is the ideal amount of time. During this period, you can consume “hot” foods such as longan, red dates, black dates, Medjool dates, apples, papaya, grapes, kiwi, peach, strawberry, blackberries, cherry, peach, guava, and mangoes. This is a great opportunity to replenish your energy and allow healing.
Traditionally, confinement lasts for one month. However, it can sometimes be longer than 30 days. Although some new mothers may find the loneliness and restrictions tedious, this is a great time to bond with your newborn. It also ensures that your energy doesn't run out if you engage in exhausting activities. Eating five or six meals a day and rinsing the rice bowl with boiling water is recommended.
So how long should you consume confinement foods before transitioning back to regular meals? The confinement food menu was designed to help speed up the mother's recovery from her “weakened body”. Many mothers had confinement nannies to help them during this period; however, some independent modern mothers have successfully navigated the confinement period on their own without breaking any rules. A traditional Chinese food practice of confinement includes fish soups which are believed to increase low milk production and improve the quality of breast milk. Therefore, it's important to ensure that your body receives all the necessary nutrients by eating the best confinement foods.
It's not uncommon for new mothers to become constipated during confinement due to less activity and a myth that vegetables should not be eaten during confinement. To prevent this from happening, make sure to include dietary fibre in your diet. This special diet is made up of confinement foods aimed at specific functions such as dispelling the “wind” from the body, calming the heat, increasing blood circulation, increasing the mother's milk supply, revitalizing strength, etc. Eating these foods will help you recover energy levels and reduce the size of your uterus while allowing your perineum to heal.
Nowadays, many families hire a confinement nanny or choose a confinement meal delivery service. A special diet consisting of warming up food is recommended while cooling foods should be avoided to restore balance within the body.