Food for new mothers

When it comes to the ‘sitting month’, a good diet is key to a mom’s recovery

A woman invests a lot of energy and effort into producing a new baby. Her body literally feeds on itself to make sure her child grows healthily in the womb. And then there is the tremendous feat of giving birth.

That is why the Chinese take such special care in looking after the new mother, especially in the 30 days after birth. We call this the “sitting month”, a confinement period when the mother quietly rests at home getting to know her new baby better, and to allow her body to recuperate.

This is also the period when she is fed a diet tailored to her special needs. In many cases, a professional confinement nanny would be employed to look after mother and child, and her duties would include cooking for the mother.

In many families, however, this is when the mothers and mothers-in-law come and stay, and help cook and clean for the new couple.

They would bring along age-old recipes specially designed for the confinement month.

My family has southern roots, so when my mother helped me through the confinement month, she used a mixture of both Cantonese and Fujianese recipes.

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