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3 Most Common Confinement Practices All New Mums Would Ask Healthy Mummies.

Do I have to follow these confinement practices during my postnatal confinement period?
It is a very personal choice of lifestyle. I would say it depends on many other factors that may influence that personal choice. However, we should think about relaxing and hassle free period.

1) Cannot leave the house for at least 28 days.

We all know that women who choose to practice the confinement period are generally happy to be confined in their homes. For a lot of mums who choose to practice this, they want to be spoiled with plenty of good nutritious food that are prepared for them but get back in shape. They will grab this opportunity to rest and eat well because just after giving birth even walking and moving about can seem like hard work. They enjoy spending time bonding with their babies and their families. In the western medicine, women after child birth are encouraged to become mobile by getting out of bed and walking as soon as possible. Postnatal exercises are also available to help them to get back in shape. Being mobile is good but do keep yourself feeling cosy and warm if the weather is cold and breezy outside.

2) Not allow to shower or to take a bath after giving birth.

In the Western medicine, keeping a good hygiene is important to reduce the risk of infection. As long as you are having a warm shower/bath and dry yourself properly after it, there is no reason why you are not allowed to have a shower/bath.

3) Not allow to drink water except confinement teas.

Confinement prepared teas are nourishing and replenishing during the confinement period for the mums. These teas are comforting and have a calming effect. Keep yourself hydrated at all times for an optimum healthy body function is important. Therefore, besides enjoying the confinement teas, you are encouraged to drink plenty of other fluids. As long as it is in a warm condition while drinking it according to the Chinese. This is because the Chinese believe that this will keep the body warm which is important in their culture. In the Western medicine, drink as normal but to avoid anything caffeine containing drinks while breast feeding.

The main thing during the confinement period is to rest well and eat plenty of good varieties of food to provide you a different types of nutrients. Also the new family is looking forward to spend the first two weeks especially when the father is on paternity leave together. Therefore, a stress free environment during this period of time is favourable.

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What really is Chinese Yam?

Healthy Mummies - What Really Is Chinese Yam?

Chinese Yam is called Wai Shan or Shan Yao in Chinese. Shan Yao literally means ‘Mountain Medicine’ in Chinese. It is a flowering species from the yam family. The Chinese Yam is a slender rounded rod, thick, hard root and generally up to one meter in length. The inside is white in colour, with a slimy texture once the skin is peeled off the root. The Chinese uses the peeled Chinese Yam in their cooking or as part of alternative Chinese medicine. They use it to nourish the spleen, lungs, kidneys and skin.

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The Benefits of Chinese Black Vinegar

Healthy Mummies - Chinese Black Vinegar

Chinese black vinegar is made from the fermentation of glutinous rice and malt. It has a woody, smoky, malty and sour flavour. It is also another popular Chinese ingredient in Chinese postnatal dishes. There are two main types of Chinese black vinegar, one has a sweet taste and the other which only has a sourish taste. This is consumed by many in China and other East Asian countries as part of their daily diet.

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Chinese Rice Wine in Postnatal Meals

Chinese Rice Wine in Postnatal Meals

Rice wine is an alcoholic drink made from glutinous rice. This wine is made by fermenting rice with yeast and spring water. It can be drunk neat or used in Chinese cooking and other Oriental cuisines. Its taste resembles the taste of dry sherry.

It also contains a high level of proteins (amino acids) due to the fermentation process of the glutinous rice. As Chinese Rice Wine is a fermented product, it can be considered as a probiotic which can help to improve the digestive system.

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Sesame Oil in Postnatal Diets

Sesame Oil in Postnatal Diets

Our bodies do need some fat as it can provide essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce. In a small amount of fat, it is useful to the body. This is because we need fat to provide our bodies with energy. It can also help to absorb fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A,D and E. There are two main types of fat found in food which are saturated and unsaturated.  We should aim to cut down saturated fat and to replace it with unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat can reduce the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats can be either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. These two fats can be found from some types of oil such as olive oil, rapeseed oil and sesame oil.

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Key Challenges in Preparing Postnatal Food in London

Healthy Mummies - Key Challenges in Preparing Postnatal Food in London

Most new mums who want to follow this tradition would either have their own mothers or their mothers-in-law to cook and help out in the household during the postnatal confinement period. What if you are on your own – how about following a recipe and cooking your own postnatal food in London instead? It isn’t a difficult task, the food should taste delicious and you will be eating the right food according to the traditional Chinese nutritional values during this period. How do you achieve these? What are the important factors?

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From the Old ways to Our way: Postnatal for the Modern world

From the Old ways to Our way: Postnatal for a New world. The Chinese traditional postnatal beliefs and practices - warming pork and ginger soup

Many cultures around the world have their own traditional postnatal beliefs and practices.

This tradition has been going on behind the closed doors of family homes that dates back centuries and stretches across continents. It is a tradition that has been passed on woman to woman – from grandmother to granddaughter, and from midwife to new mums. It is all not written down and there is no scientific literature about it. However, this tradition is still practising throughout the world not only in Chinese continents but other countries too. It has been connecting women from one generation to the next from India to South America countries and Russia to China. I guess it holds families together.

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Ginger in Chinese Postnatal Meals

Ginger in Chinese Postnatal Confinement. A common ingredient in postnatal meals

Ginger – a kitchen spice best known for its strong and spicy fragrance. The bulbous looking ginger is actually the underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant. The flesh of the ginger root can be yellowish or whitish in colour. It is covered with a brownish or yellowish skin that maybe thick or thin depending on when the plant is being harvested. The mature ginger will be covered with a golden tinted brown skin where the young one will have light yellowish colour. Other spices in the ginger family are Turmeric and Galangal. All of them are used directly in everyday cooking especially in East Asia and South East Asia cuisine. In Western cuisine, ginger is commonly used to add flavour to sweet drinks and foods such as ginger ale and gingerbread.

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