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Confinement Food: 4 Nutritional Group Meals

Confinement food is a special diet that is traditionally followed by Chinese women after childbirth. The purpose of confinement food is to nourish the body and help it to recover from the physical and emotional stresses of childbirth.

Chinese culture places a great deal of importance on nutrition through food. The dietary components included in confinement food are carefully chosen to provide the mother with the nutrients she needs to heal and rebuild her strength.

What is the significance of the Confinement Period?

Before discussing confinement meals, you need to understand why following the confinement duration and guidelines is critical. The following are some of the benefits of confinement:

1. Keep postpartum problems at bay.

Suppose you do not use your confinement period to eat the correct foods and recuperate properly. In that case, you may get postpartum problems such as infection or sepsis, cardiomyopathy, and other conditions that can last a lifetime and damage the quality of your life. Confinement also helps you live calmly, free from the tension and strain that friends, relatives, and others may put on you. You will have more time to ponder, recuperate from negative emotions, and develop ties with your closest family members. This can help you avoid mental health problems like postpartum depression.

2. Improve your health and promote healing

The confinement period and confinement meals are inseparable – you can’t heal properly unless you eat properly. Whether made by your mother, mother-in-law, or the confinement catering services you engage in, the meal is usually high in nutrients. This will aid in your recovery and return to health.

After labor, you must take a lot of protein, calcium, and iron. This assists you in recovering, regaining strength, protecting your bones, and producing new blood cells to replace the blood lost during labor. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the nutrients required to adequately nourish every area of your body. Your daily meals may be deficient in nutrients, emphasizing the significance of specially prepared confinement food.

3. Increase the bond between mother and child

The confinement phase also allows you to build and deepen ties with your infant, such as learning how to engage with them, knowing their requirements, and the best methods to care for them. Returning to work or spending your time immediately after childbirth on other jobs and activities will hurt your health and jeopardize your bond with your kid.

4 Key Nutrition Groups

Some of the key nutritional components emphasized in confinement food include:

  1. Protein-rich Ingredients: Protein is essential for tissue repair and muscle recovery.
  1. Iron and Hemoglobin Boosters: Hemoglobin (Hb) is the protein contained in red blood cells that is responsible for delivery of oxygen to the tissues. Because iron is needed to make hemoglobin, about 70% of your body’s iron is found in hemoglobin.
  2. Collagen Sources: Collagen is a protein that gives skin its elasticity and strength. Collagen is important for postpartum recovery and healing.
  3. Calcium-rich Foods: Calcium is important for bone recovery after birth, but more importantly, it is crucial for breastfeeding.

This article will discuss in detail these 4 types of nutritional groups you need include as part of your confinement food.

Protein-rich Ingredients

Protein is essential for tissue repair and muscle recovery. After childbirth, the body is depleted of protein, so it is important to eat foods that are high in protein. If you are not vegetarian, then fish, chicken, and pork are all good sources of protein. They are also low in fat and easy to digest, which is important for new mothers.

Here are some specific examples of protein-rich foods that are commonly used in Chinese confinement food:

  • Fish:Fish is a good source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain and heart health, and vitamin D is important for bone health. Some good types of fish for confinement food include salmon, cod, and tuna.
  • Chicken:Chicken is another good source of lean protein. It is also a good source of niacin, which is important for energy production. Some good cuts of chicken for confinement food include breast, thigh, and drumstick.
  • Pork:Pork is a good source of protein, fat, and vitamins. It is also a good source of zinc, which is important for the immune system. Some good cuts of pork for confinement food include lean ground pork, pork belly, and pork chops.

What about Vegans and Vegetarians?

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can still access protein by consuming tofu, lentils and beans.

  • Tofu: Tofu is a good source of plant-based protein. It is also a good source of calcium, which is important for bone health. Some good types of tofu for confinement food include silken tofu, firm tofu, and extra-firm tofu. You can eat tofu during confinement and totally should pile up on tofu sources of food if you are vegan or vegetarian!
  • Lentils: Lentils are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. They are also a good source of iron, which is important for blood production.
  • Beans: Beans are another good source of plant-based protein and fiber. They are also a good source of iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Remember though the difference between animal protein and plant-based proteins. Animal proteins are generally complete proteins, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. While some plants, like pea and soybeans, are complete proteins, most other plant foods are considered incomplete proteins.

When putting together your confinement menu as a vegan or vegetarian, you may want to consider how to supplement for heme iron or vitamin B12.

Iron and Hemoglobin Boosters

Iron is essential for blood production. After childbirth, the body loses a lot of blood, so it is important to replenish iron levels. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are good sources of iron, as are Chinese red dates.

Here are some specific examples of iron-rich foods that are commonly used in Chinese confinement food:

  • Dark leafy greens: Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard green are excellent sources of iron. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, which are important for immune function.
  • Red dates: This is why red date tea is an essential part of the Chinese confinement protocol. Red dates are a good source of iron and antioxidants. They are also a good source of potassium, which is important for heart health.
  • Beef: Beef is a good source of heme iron, which is the most easily absorbed form of iron. Other good sources of heme iron include chicken, pork, and lamb.
  • Beans: Beans are a good source of non-heme iron, which is not as easily absorbed as heme iron. However, beans are a good source of iron and fiber, and they are also a good source of protein.

It is important to note that not everyone absorbs iron the same way. Some people may need to eat more iron-rich foods than others in order to maintain healthy iron levels.

Collagen Sources

Collagen is a protein that gives skin its elasticity and strength. After childbirth, the body’s collagen levels can decline, leading to sagging skin and joint pain. Collagen-rich ingredients like fish skin, chicken feet, and pork tendons can help to improve skin elasticity and joint health.

Here are some specific examples of collagen-rich foods that are commonly used in Chinese confinement food:

  • Fish skin:Fish skin is a good source of collagen and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for skin health and brain function.
  • Chicken feet:Chicken feet are a good source of collagen and gelatin. Gelatin is a protein that helps to improve skin elasticity and joint health.
  • Pig trotters:Pig trotters are a good source of collagen type 1. It is the skin and tendons that are consumed as part of confinement food. They are often cooked in Vinegar because this helps with extraction of the collagen for better absorption. They are also a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are important for joint health.
  • Bone broth:Bone broth is a good source of collagen. This is why soups are a crucial component of confinement foods, whether it is black chicken soup, the fish head version of papaya fish soup or other soups made from slow-cooking meat and bones which taste good also.

Calcium-rich Foods

There is generally a little bit of bone loss after childbirth and it is typically restored after the woman resumes her menstrual cycle. Still, you must know that women lose up to 5% of their bone mass when breastfeeding. Your body stores of calcium come primarily from your bones. These stores run out quickly as you nurse your baby.

If insufficient calcium is consumed by the mother, the body has to leach calcium from the bones, which begins a vicious cycle of “less calcium stores causing even less calcium stores.” This is why it is imperative to supplement with calcium-rich foods.

Women also produce much less estrogen when they are breastfeeding, and estrogen is the hormone that protects our bones. It is therefore vital to replenish the body with all the calcium it needs during confinement.

Examples of Calcium-rich Foods

Here are some specific examples of calcium-rich foods that are commonly used in Chinese confinement food:

  • Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium and other minerals, such as magnesium and iron. They can be eaten raw, toasted, or ground into a paste. This is why Sesame Chicken is a dish commonly cooked by confinement nannies.
  • Dried shrimp: Dried shrimp are a good source of calcium and other minerals, such as iodine and phosphorus. They can be added to soups, stir-fries, or salads.
  • Tofu: Tofu is a good source of calcium, especially calcium-set tofu. It can be eaten plain or flavored with different sauces.
  • Fish with bones: Fish with bones, such as sardines and salmon, are a good source of calcium. In Chinese confinement, Fish head is slow-cooked for a long time to facilitate extraction of calcium into the soup.
  • Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, bok choy, and spinach, are a good source of calcium. They are also a good source of other nutrients, such as vitamins A and C.

Three More Things to Note About Calcium

Here’s three more important things you need to know if you are going through confinement and want ample calcium supplementation:

Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are not included as part of confinement food, even though they are an excellent source of calcium. This is because, dairy-products are seen as a source of dietary damp, and are antagonistic to the principles of warming and drying during confinement.

In addition to eating calcium-rich foods, it is also important to get enough vitamin D to aid calcium absorption. Some good sources of vitamin D include sunlight, oily fish, sesame, milk and orange juice. Milk and orange juice are not part of the Chinese confinement routine, but oily fish and sesame oil is a big part of it.

By eating a variety of calcium-rich foods and getting enough vitamin D, you can help to ensure that your body has the calcium it needs to maintain strong bones and teeth.

Lastly, it is important to avoid foods that can interfere with calcium absorption. It is taboo to use black tea or coffee or carbonated beverages during confinement as they deplete calcium stores.


In addition to these 4 nutrient groups, confinement food also includes foods that are believed to have specific benefits for postpartum recovery. For example, ginger is believed to help to promote circulation and digestion, while red dates are believed to help to tonify the blood and qi.

The specific foods that are included in confinement food can vary depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. However, all confinement food is designed to provide the mother with the nutrients she needs to recover from childbirth and start her new life as a mother.

We hope you found this article helpful. You can find out more about confinement herbs on our website.


What are some confinement food providers that you recommend?

If you do not have a confinement nanny to cook for you, one convenient way to ensure all your nutritious needs are met during this time is to get confinement food delivery.

Deliveries are usually made to your home every day, even on weekends and most public holidays.

It may make more sense to get your confinement food from providers like Tian Wei SignatureChilli PadiYue Zi Le Confinement and Ummu Fazwill.

There are confinement food providers linked to the hospitals. For example, Thomson Medical and Thomson Medical’s Resepi Ibunda Confinement Home Delivery are valid options.

But from the feedback we hear, it makes better sense to get it from people who only do confinement food.

Finally, vegetarian or vegan mums can order their confinement meals from NouRiche, which also has non-vegetarian options. NouRiche offers many confinement package options.

2. What Foods Should You Eat During Confinement To Boost Breast Milk Supply?

The milk production issue can be a continual worry for nursing mothers. If your baby appears to be hungry quickly after feeding time, he or she may not be getting enough to eat. Breastfeeding mothers must eat a balanced and healthy diet to satisfy the varied demands placed on their bodies. Fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein should all be represented in your meal. Soma Clinic takes pleasure in delivering nutritional meals for new moms in Singapore, including confinement cuisine, and we’ll highlight the sorts of food you may integrate into your confinement meals to boost breastfeeding and naturally increase your milk production.

  1. Barley
  2. Oats
  3. Papaya
  4. Fenugreek
  5. Lean meat
  6. Almonds
  7. Rice

3. Why Should You Be Wary of What You Eat After Pregnancy?

You should be cautious about what you eat after giving birth since it will influence both you and your baby. Following delivery, a poor-quality diet might have the following consequences:

  1. Subpar Breast Milk: Babies will begin to nurse shortly after birth, requiring your body to use the last energy to produce the breast milk your baby needs. If you have a well-balanced diet, the milk’s quality will improve even more and it will improve overall women health. Research has repeatedly shown that an imbalanced diet that needs to be properly prepared is inappropriate for your body’s current state. To combat this, consult your doctor about the best vegetables and fruits to eat after labor and how to consume them.
  2. Your Baby’s Poor Growth: If your darling little one is nursing on low-quality milk, it can directly impact their health and growth. Low-quality milk has low levels of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9. As a result, your kid may have a weakened immune system and be more susceptible to sickness.
  3. Poor Skin Health and Dull Skin: The state of your skin reflects your nutritional level. If you eat poorly, you will most likely have a dull complexion and, in certain cases, irritation. Furthermore, an inadequate diet might hasten skin aging. When it comes to what not to eat after labor to avoid these skin problems, you should avoid processed or canned foods because they are heavy in salt, MSG, oil, and other additives.
  4. Slow Recovery: If you eat poorly, it will take longer to recuperate from the consequences of delivery. You may seem weak, pale, and sickly if you do not replace the drainage with properly selected nutritional components as your infant continues to nurse. However, if you continue consuming high-quality confinement food, you can recuperate quickly and resume your normal tasks. Few will be able to realize you recently had a baby because of how healthy you will appear sooner rather than later!
  5. Infections: A poor diet can weaken your immune system, making you susceptible to various ailments. The month following childbirth is the most essential since your body has lost its ability to fight infections to a considerable extent. When you do not eat a well-balanced full diet, you aggravate your body’s condition. This is why confinement food is intended to enhance your immunity and prepare you for the opportunistic infections that may strike you during this time.

4. What Foods should you avoid during confinement?

During the nine months of pregnancy, a pregnant woman must refrain from eating and drinking certain foods and beverages that may harm her fetus. While you’re doing your best not to eat particular items, you’re also looking forward to delivery since it will allow you to eat and drink to your heart’s delight. However, now that you’ve given birth, you’ll realize that you still need to be cautious about what you eat. This is because practically everything you consume can be passed on to your kid via breast milk and may potentially impede your recovery. Aside from noting the vital confinement meals you should consume, here are some things you should avoid.

  1. Caffeine
  2. Alcohol
  3. Spicy Food dishes
  4. Food with Oil and high salt content
  5. Cold and raw food dishes
  6. Seafood with high mercury content dishes
  7. Citrus food dishes

Soma Clinic Confinement Soups

At Soma Clinic, we design confinement herbal potions for you. We also brew and pressure-cooked these soups for you.

Soma Clinic focuses on treating postpartum conditions. Because we regularly treat women with postpartum conditions for the last decade, we are familiar with how recovery progresses during confinement. We do not just blindly as you to follow Chinese tradition after giving birth!

Soma Clinic Confinement Herbs provide TREMENDOUS value because we create a postpartum confinement soup plan for you which changes as your conditions change.

Your postpartum journey is unique and individual. You may not need the same support as another person undergoing postpartum. In fact, for those who are pregnant for more than once will know that each pregnancy and postpartum experience is different.

You don’t want the first 4 weeks of soups to have different names that cover everything from appetite to breast milk to the Spleen and Kidneys. In reality, you need to repeated use certain soups depending on your body type and what postpartum condition you present with.

Click here to find out more about Soma Clinic Confinement Herbs!

Confinement Herbal Package: Find Out More!

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