5 types of food to cut down on during confinement
Article by Cherlynn Ng
A balanced and nutritious diet doesn’t stop when you give birth after nine months of hardship. You should continue to eat well during your postpartum period to ensure optimal health for both mum and child. While a professional confinement nanny can help to plan and prepare confinement meals that are most suited to your needs, here are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to food you should avoid.
1. Spicy and oily food
With a constitution and immune system that has been weakened by childbirth, new mums tend to be plagued by stomach troubles. Unless prolonged toilet breaks and immense discomfort are things you look forward to, it’s best to avoid anything too spicy, oily or heaty foods as they can cause piles, constipation and diarrhea. That Korean BBQ can wait.
2. Salty food
Similarly, women who have just given birth should cut down on foods that are high in salt content to prevent water retention, increased thirst and reduced lactation. Processed food, salted eggs and fermented beans all fall under this category.
Despite the many beneficial properties of garlic, one trait cannot be denied: Its pungent odour. This smell can actually travel from the food you eat and be transmitted into your breast milk. So while it is perfectly safe to consume garlic during your confinement period, be prepared for it to alter the smell and taste of your breast milk.
Some infants do not seem bothered by this and breastfeed as usual, but others are known to become fussy and irritated. If you believe garlic is causing issues such as colic for your baby, try removing it from your diet and see if there is any improvement.
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are famed for being packed with vitamins and antioxidants, thus helping to fight infection, build a robust immune system and improve digestion. However, did you know that they can be counterproductive when consumed in excess? Eating too much of these fruits can result in abdominal cramps, heartburn and diarrhea. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should eliminate them from your life completely. Your oranges are best enjoyed in moderation.
5. Alcohol and caffeine
You have probably gone without alcohol and caffeine ever since learning that you were pregnant — and it’s best to stay that way until you are through with breastfeeding. Remember that whatever you put into your system, both good and bad, will be transferred to your baby. Alcohol and caffeine also causes insomnia, which is not the best scenario when you have a newborn in the picture.
Remember that a little change goes a long way! While you might have to sacrifice having some of your favourite foods during your confinement period, the benefits reaped for both mother and child will definitely be worth it.
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