Old Chinese saying : " Confinement well done, your troubles thereafter are none."

Over the centuries, the Chinese people has brought the business of confinement almost to an art form. Despite some being rather outdated, some practices have actually been endorsed by the medical field.

1. Food

Eat high energy, high protein foods to promote breast milk.

A . Sesame Chicken

Sesame oil, besides, being rich in Vitamin E, Iron & Calcium, helps heal the womb and rid it of "dirty residual". Cook well, raw sesame oil is not advisable.

Chicken on the other hand, provides easily digestible protein.

The 2 main accompanying ingredients are ginger and tonic wine (eg. or Yomeishu) helps get rid of "wind" and promotes blood circulation.

B . Chicken can be replaced with fish or eggs

C. Groundnuts with Lean Pork

The Cantonese dialect Chinese will also boil raw (unroasted) groundnuts with very lean pork (ineat near the kidney area and thigh meat contains least fat) with soya sauce over slow heat for several hours. It's a semi-soup recipe.

D. Soups

Drink nutritious soups about 1 hr before breastfeeding to increase the flow of milk. Eg. Potatoes, carrots and very lean meat soup, Soya beans with lean meat soup, Broad beans soup, Groundnuts with chicken soup, etc.

E . Meat

Do not eat too much meat, especially red meat otherwise you may get constipation or put on too much weight.

Alternative sources of protein include eating

grains with legumes,

grains with pulses,

grains with beans and peas or

pulses with nuts/seeds

grains - rice

legumes - lentils, chick peas, peanuts pulses - beans and peas

F . Vegetables

Try to avoid cabbage, broccoli, "Pak Choy" (a type of green and pale- green leafy vegetable with white stems). The breakdown of these vegetables creates "wind" in the stomach. Also cut down on green beans.

2. Bathing & Washing of Hair

During pregnancy, the body's blood volume increases 30% - 50%. After delivery, the body will rid of this excess blood through perspiration, causing our hair pores/follicles? to open up. It is thus prudent not to sit under a fan or you will likely catch a cold.

With the availability of modern amenities such hot water and big towels, moderate washing of hair and quick bathing under the shower ( no soaking in water allowed) is naturally permitted. Do not be afraid that you smell awful, instead you'll smell of Nature's very own concoction of motherly fragrance!

3. Exercise

During the many hours of labour, much energy is spent so much so the body is left weak and drained. Traditionally, mothers in confinement are not allowed to get out of bed for any strenuous activities, not even for meals. Also not allowed to lift heavy things and climb stairs(otherwise your vulnerable womb may "drop down") or readlsew/do any close up work (so you could rest your eyes fully).

However, modern doctors believe that the sooner you get down from bed, the faster your womb will heallshrink backlrid itself of the "dirty residual" as they believe that too long in bed may cause delayed/poor healing, constipation and possible infections.

Do not try to slim down during this period as you need nutrients for breastfeeding and energy to take care of your baby.

4. Duration of Confinement

The body needs 6-8 weeks to recover from the gradual relaxation of the pelvic muscles, etc required to facilitate delivery.

** Be dilligent in your confinement period to avoid arthritis, headaches and if the vaginal/womb muscles didn't heal well, many other illness will also follow. **