6 things to remember when preparing confinement meals
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Eating well is integral for a healthy body and healthy mind after childbirth. Your exhausted body requires replenishment now that it is in a weakened state so that you can bounce back quickly and fully enjoy motherhood. Confinement food plays a significant role in your healing, so here are some tips for preparing postpartum meals during this crucial period!
1. Consume more protein and calcium
Protein boosts recuperation and the healing of wounds. It also contains a hunger-fighting hormone that will fill you up more than carbs, aiding you in your postpartum weight loss goals. Some power foods to load up on are
Salmon: Besides being full of protein to accelerate recovery, salmon also contains plenty of zinc for fighting postpartum depression. It is also full of vitamins, minerals and the brain-boosting docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development during pregnancy and early childhood. All these goodness can be transferred from your body to your baby through breast milk.
Tofu: A staple in Chinese cuisine, tofu can keep you full despite its low calories. This budget-friendly ingredient (especially compared to meat protein) can also help to ‘release’ heatiness from the body.
Eggs: On top of being a wonderful source of proteins, eggs have vitamin D which helps to enhance calcium absorption for strong bones and teeth. Nutrition aside, they are also delicious and easy to prepare regardless of what method you choose.
2. Choose food rich in iron
It’s important to replenish the blood that is lost during the gruelling process of childbirth. Food rich in iron will be effective in fixing that. Think dark, leafy greens like spinach and lean red meat such as beef, pork liver and animal offals. These can boost your red blood cell count and help you bounce back faster. Fun fact: Your body absorbs iron better when it comes from animal sources as compared to plants.
3. Take small but frequent meals
Suffering from nausea or indigestion? The key is to have small meals frequently throughout the day. This will allow your body to get the energy and nutrients that it needs without overloading your stomach. You should also:
- Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
- Take your time when eating and chew slowly
- Carry snacks wherever you go or keep some by your bedside
- Split your lunch in half and eat it in two separate sittings
- Choose snacks that are high in energy and protein
- Eat solid foods first before drinking fluids
- Drink fluids separate from your meals
4. Ensure adequate calorie intake
A low-fat diet doesn’t mean cutting back on calories that will aid in your recovery. You will also need good calories so that you have enough energy for day-to-day responsibilities, taking care of your newborn and breastfeeding. Instead of consuming ’empty’ calories that serve no nutritional purpose, opt for healthier choices that will keep you full throughout the day.
5. Stay hydrated
Some believe that postpartum mums should not drink water during confinement as it might increase water retention and lead to ‘wind’ entering the body. However, this is simply a myth that you shouldn’t pay heed to. If anything, you should do the opposite and stay well-hydrated at all times. While plain water is perfectly fine to drink, those seeking more flavour can also try herbal tea and confinement soups.
6. Don’t leave out dietary fibre
Constipation is a common issue among postpartum mums due to reduced levels of activity during confinement. Then there is also the myth that one should completely avoid eating vegetables during this period, which is not only untrue but detrimental to health too.
Truth is, dietary fibre helps to maintain bowel health. It also lowers cholesterol and controls blood sugar levels amongst other benefits. For a healthy fibre intake, go for whole grains such as brown rice and oats. Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables too as they contain plenty of antioxidants!
Contrary to popular belief, confinement food can be both nourishing and delicious as long as you make the right choices. A confinement nanny will be able to advise you on your nutritional needs and help to whip up tasty confinement dishes to aid in your postpartum recovery.
P.S – Known as the celebrities’ choice, Confinement Angels provides parents with complete peace of mind and maximum comfort by attending to every single aspect of the confinement experience. All of our confinement nannies undergo rigorous training based on an 88-hour syllabus, before being subject to another round of stringent evaluation to determine if they are ready to be deployed for assignments. Because at Confinement Angels, we go above and beyond to bring you only the best.
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