Is Confinement Necessary?

We would say yes, it goes without saying that all new mums need now for recovery and recharge after giving birth. A new mother experiences significant changes both mentally and physically during pregnancy as well as after giving birth.

After delivery, the mother will lose a lot of blood and ‘Qi’ and hence become very weak, her uterine function, energy, joints would take time to recover to the prenatal state. The period following right after the delivery is very crucial as health issues may arise. Confinement is necessary to allow the mother to recuperate after child delivery fully. 

The benefit of postpartum confinement is you can get sufficient rest.


You have been going through sleepless and tiring nights for the past nine months, stress and pressure during delivery.  Confinement will be the right time for you to rest and relax to replace the sleepless nights you went through the past nine months.

Hiring a confinement nanny is the right choice to help you with your daily chores, meals and taking care of your baby. Having enough rest and sleep will also help to recover the blood you had lost in your delivery.


In Chinese traditional practices and belief, there are a few things new mums have to take note and avoid:

  • Cold Diet –  as it can harm your spleen and stomach and complicate your recovery.  Cold refers not only to the food, which is physically cold and also spicy food.  Some reference on cold foods is duck egg, shellfish which includes crabs, clams and oysters, cuttlefish and octopus, including fruits which are pomelo, bananas, mulberry, star fruit, fig, kiwi fruit, sugar cane, watermelon, water chestnut, musk melon and persimmon.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you should avoid alcohol, nicotine as caffeine will make you feel impatient and nervous and possibly make your little one restless or unable to sleep. 
  • To stay indoor all times to avoid outdoor pollution.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities to prevent muscle weakening.
  • Avoid cold shower, dry your body immediately after a shower to prevent exposure to cold air.
  • Avoid reading or crying to stress your eyes that will lead to some eyes problems later.
  • Avoid fans or air conditioner to blow directly at you as it’s said to cause the wind to enter the body and lead to health problems later.

During the confinement period, the new mum’s food menu is tailored to help accelerate the mother’s recovery from her weakened body.

Confinement food recipes are composed of ingredients that are regarded by Chinese tradition as beneficial to refurbishing the body of a new mum with energy and nutrients. Like dispelling “wind” from the body, quelling heatiness, boosting blood circulation, increase mom’s milk supply and revitalising strength.

Here are the following of confinement food ingredients with their health benefits:


Black Vinegar – Known for its therapeutic ability as it purifies the blood and cleanses the arteries.  They are usually used for recipes with the main ingredient like pork.


Old Ginger – Believed to dispel wind or gas in the body.  The mother acquired this wind after birth, and if not eradicated from the body, it may lead to ailments like aches and pain or rheumatism. 


Sesame Oil – This ingredient is used for its “heaty” or warm nature.  As new mothers are believed to have “wind’ in their bodies and need to avoid cool stuff, sesame seeds’ heat is useful for suppressing the “wind.”


Black Fungus – Aids in nourishing the lungs, liver and stomach.  It alleviates dryness and promotes circulation in the body.


Chinese Wolfberry (Gou Qi) – This is consumed to promote good eyesight.  It is high in antioxidants that delay ageing while improving strength and boosting energy.


Dang Gui (Angelica) – Known as a blood tonic, this is consumed by women to maintain a regular menstrual cycle.


Red Dates – Usually brewed with dried longan and Chinese wolfberry to nourish the blood and to act as a water substitute because water is believed to contain “wind”.


Black Bean – Rich in fibre and folate and boosts blood circulation.


Dried Longan – This ingredient promotes restful sleep as it reinforces the heart and the spleen for better blood-building function.


Encommiae Bark or Du Zhong – This is a calming ingredient that reduces stress and tension.


Pepper – Naturally endowed with anti-bacterial benefits that cleanse the digestive tract, pepper is an excellent antioxidant that promotes regular bowel movement.


He Shou Wu – A popular tonic for proper nourishment.  Also known as polygonum, He Shou Wu reduces post-natal hair loss.

Among the Chinese, Black Vinegar Pork Trotter is one of the main dishes that should be eaten several times from the 12th day till the end of confinement. This dish is rich in collagen, and its protein helps to promote elasticity and firms the skin.  It is also believed that it has the effect of purging the wind from new mum’s bodies and replenishing the body with much-needed iron and calcium.

Black Vinegar Pork Trotter Recipe:



  • (Pig) 1 front foot  
  • 500g Old ginger (Bentong)
  • 1 bottle Zhe Jiang Vinegar
  • 1 bottle Doggie Brand Sweet Vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 800ml – 1000 ml of water
  • 2 tbsp Shao Xing Wine
  • 4 – 6 Hard-boiled Eggs

Day 1 Preparation

  1. Wash and pat dry ginger.  It must be thoroughly air-dried approximate 2 hours.
  2. Tenderise and bruise the ginger.  Also, slice a few pieces of ginger.
  3. Over medium heat, stir fry the ginger with sesame oil for 6 mins until ginger is thoroughly dry.  
  4. In a large pot (preferably clay pot), pour in the vinegars and the dark brown sugar.
  5. Boil at high heat.  When bubbling, add in previously stir-fried ginger.
  6. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
  7. Turn off the heat and leave overnight.

Day 2 Preparation

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry pig trotters.  Cube
  2. Boil a hot pot of water, add a few slices of ginger, Shaoxing wine and pig trotters.
  3. Cover the lid and bring to boil.
  4. When it is boiling, turn to medium heat and cook for 30 mins.
  5. Once cooked, remove from water and pat dry.
  6. Add to Day 1 cooked ginger and black vinegar pot.
  7. Boil at high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
  8. Turn off the heat and leave overnight.

Day 3 Ready to Serve

  1. Boil hard boil eggs for 15 mins
  2. Shock in cold water and remove the shell.
  3. Add the hard boil eggs to the Day 2pig trotter with black vinegar and ginger pot.
  4. Boil at high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour.
Note: To preserve this pot, bring to boil at high heat at least 3 times a week.  Until consumed. 

Share this article and recipe with your BFF new mums today!

Source: 28DayMum 

Author: Urban Ladies

Urban Ladies is the leading female fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital magazine. It's a platform to empower ladies to be bold and different.

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