There are a million ideas on how to care for yourself shortly after baby arrives. If you go on the Internet you will find healthy diets, exercise routines, doctors who want to serve you, and on and on. The amount of information is literally overwhelming. How on earth do you find the care best for you?
A doula will help you with this! Our training is specifically for the first few months after you deliver. We are specifically prepared to discuss the options regarding baby care, lactation, nursery set up, car seats, and pretty much anything else that might interest you. When you hire a doula you have someone familiar with the many different areas of mommy and baby care. I know I often research different items for my clients. This is great for me in that it expands my knowledge. It also serves my clients in that we learn together.
One of the many subjects I have found interesting is the manner is which other cultures care for new mommies. In America we tend to expect mothers to bounce back and get back to normal immediately. This is not the way of most other cultures. In other cultures mothers are encouraged to take time to heal and to acclimate to motherhood. I enjoy bringing this thinking to the mothers with whom I work.
Immediately after delivering your baby your body is going thorough major changes. You spent nine months making another human being. That has taken it’s toll on your immune system, your energy level, and your mental state. Now your hormones are readjusting. If you are breastfeeding your body is leaning how to produce the right amount of milk for your baby. You are healing and getting back to normal. You are bonding with your precious baby and adjusting to the responsibility of caring for another person. The changes you are going through are huge and they take time. Part of my responsibility as your doula is to streamline the adjustments and help you find peace.
Over the next few weeks we will discuss advantages from other cultures that will help you find your ‘best you’ in the process of mothering. I am excited to share these with you because I know they will serve you well. Look over the different ideas and find what works best for you in your situation.
My first topic is nutrition for mommy immediately after you baby is born. The Chinese take the care of new mothers very seriously. New moms are encouraged to stay at home, become acquainted with their new babies, and heal. There is actually a special diet they are encouraged to consume. This diet is specially formulated to help with milk production, mood stabilization, and healing. It is called the Chinese Postpartum Diet. It can also be called a confinement diet because the Chinese see the first month after birth as a period of confinement. This diet is rich with protein and vegetables. The families of the new mother often prepare the foods for her to enjoy. There are also companies available to deliver the food on a daily basis.
THE CHINESE CONFINEMENT DIET https://whattocooktoday.com/chinese-confinement.html
Confinement food is the food that is prepared during this first month after birth. It is special and tailored to nourish your body, help you to recover/heal and to boost milk supply for your baby.
Here is what to focus on for confinement meals:
1. High protein and low fat food
Protein helps to promote wound healing and rebuilding inside our bodies. Low fat food is to prevent indigestion.
2. Small frequent meals
6-7 small meals throughout the day is suggested. 3 main meals and soups and teas in between. It helpes to sustain your energy throughout the day and to prevent indigestion.
3. Adequate calories
You will need to rest after you baby is born. Even though the postpartum moms don’t move around much, adequate calories are needed to help with recovery, energy needed to care for a newborn, and breastfeeding. Adequate calories doesn’t mean “empty calories” (food that doesn’t serve much nutrition other than racking up your calorie quota). Tea such as red dates tea, dang shen tea, goji berry tea, and Chinese herbal soup are often used to add adequate calories.
4. Food rich in iron
Blood is lost during delivery/C-section and therefore it is important to eat foods rich in iron such as: animal offals, pork, chicken, fish, dark green vegetables.
5. Adequate hydration
It is a myth to say that a postpartum mom should not be drinking water during confinement. It is important to keep yourself hydrated with water, milk, Chinese herbal tea, Chinese herbal soup. Avoid and coffee and caffeine tea in that they act as diuretics, causing the body to stuff off water.
6. Include dietary fiber
It is not uncommon to become constipated during confinement because of less activity. Including fiber in you diet will help your system reboot more quickly.
SUPER EASY ASIAN CHICKEN MACARONI SOUP (INSTANT POT OR STOVE-TOP)
An easy one-pot Asian-style macaroni soup recipe that many seek comfort in, from kids to adults. It can be made with Instant Pot or stove-top. A wonderful recipe for busy weeknight dinner.
One of my favorite soups from childhood is this Asian Chicken Macaroni Soup. My mom never cooked pasta at home when we were kids simply because she had little knowledge about food from other countries at that time. Macaroni though, it’s one kind of pasta, perhaps the only pasta she knew, that she used it often with soup. You can ask other Asian kids who grew up in Asia, and they most likely know macaroni soup 🙂 This is like macaroni and cheese for the kids here in the U.S.
There are really no “fixed” rules when it comes to this macaroni soup. You can add whatever you like.
Chicken: I suggest using dark meat pieces like thighs or drumstick, but feel free to use breast if that’s what you like
Veggies: If cooking with Instant Pot, I suggest cutting the carrots into large chunks so they won’t turn into mush, corn, peas, sliced onions, squash, etc. I love to load up my soup with many vegetables. They are healthy and so colorful!
Aromatics: I used whole garlic that I smashed and bullion, any flavor Chicken broth: you can use store-bought chicken broth or homemade. I happened to have bone broth in my freezer and so I used a combination of store-bought chicken broth and that.
CUSTOMIZE THE RECIPE
Like I mentioned earlier there are really no fixed rules and you can use whatever you like to make it yours. Here are some suggestions:
Meat: You can use pork loin, beef stew pieces, cooked ham cubes
Meatless: You can use beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, etc
Veggies: You can add celery, mixed veggies
Broth: You can use vegetable broth or beef broth depending on your choice of meat or no meat
More later on this diet and recipes!! Check out the website: Whattocooktoday.com. https://whattocooktoday.com/chinese-confinement.html