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Q&A about eating habits during postpartum confinement

Updated: 2020-06-15


The Chinese traditional custom of zuo yue zi -- or postpartum confinement following childbirth -- is considered very important by the older generations. They have many traditional requirements and customs on living habits and diet during the period. Should we abide by these customs?

Today, let us talk about the eating habits of new mothers during their postpartum confinement period.

1. Can mothers eat vegetables and fruits during the postpartum confinement period?

For sure.

Vegetables and fruits can not only provide postpartum mothers with vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and other essential nutrients, but also the rich cellulose in fruits can promote intestinal peristalsis and solve constipation problems.

It should be noted that fruits stored at normal temperatures can be eaten after washing, without boiling or heating, or a large number of vitamins in the fruits will be destroyed when they are heated.

2. Can women eat hot pot or spicy hot pot during their postpartum confinement period?

Mothers can eat these kinds of foods, but they are recommended to eat less of them.

There are a large number of spicy condiments in hot pot flavoring and eating hot pot could lead to eating too much fat and salt. You could use sesame sauce instead of spicy sauce, or choose clear broth or mushroom soup for flavoring the hot pot. The ingredients in the hot pot can be rinsed in warm boiled water to remove oil and salt.

If you really want to eat spicy food, you can add a small amount of chili sauce as seasoning. As long as it meets health standards, whether it's a hot pot or a spicy hot pot, you can eat some.

3. Is it better to eat more eggs during the postpartum confinement period?


Postpartum women have weakened gastrointestinal functions and slowed intestinal peristalsis. If they eat too much at one time, it will increase pressure on the intestine and stomach, causing abdominal distension, abdominal pain, vomiting and other symptoms of discomfort. Overeating may also induce pancreatitis.

It is suggested that postpartum women have more meals a day but less food during each meal, eating five to six meals a day -- which can not only reduce the burden on the stomach and intestines, but also ensure adequate nutritional intake.

4. Can women eat salt during their postpartum confinement period?

For sure.

Women during their postpartum confinement period should not eat meals with too much salt, but also not eat meals without salt. It is recommended that the daily salt intake be about 6 grams.

5. Can women drink alcohol during their postpartum confinement period?


Alcohol has a very small molecular weight and can enter milk through the blood-milk barrier without any obstacle, which may affect the child's nervous system, lead to excitation, sleep disorders and other conditions and even endanger the child's liver, kidney, brain and other organs in serious cases.

Therefore, women are advised not to drink alcohol during lactation, especially during their postpartum confinement period.

6. Can women smoke during their postpartum confinement period?

Never smoke, regardless of any consideration.

It is strongly recommended not to smoke because it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory allergies.