How Much Formula Should A 2 Day Old Drink Postnatal ‘Confinement’ Food – Part 2

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Postnatal ‘Confinement’ Food – Part 2

Everyone will ask you to eat only ‘healthy’ foods and avoid cold or cooling foods as your body gets cold after giving birth. This applies to the 3 main races in Malaysia but sometimes, what is considered ‘healthy’ may be ‘cooling’ to another which increases our problem. The best option is to try to eat according to your culture and religious recommendations and learn to substitute ingredients wherever possible to suit your taste. I’m afraid my cooking skills are limited to Chinese and Western food so I can only talk about this type of food at this moment in time.

Traditional Chinese food includes aged ginger, rice wine, sesame oil, black vinegar, hot liquor, more meat than kampong chicken and lean pork, white fish such as white pomfret and vegetables.

Apparently, you need to eat 30 chickens, 12 bottles of rice wine and 15 kilos of old ginger root during this time. Whether you can achieve this goal is up to you but I find that most women these days can’t manage it. On average, if you practice what is recommended, the cost can easily be around RM 1000.00 ++ for food only.

Foods to avoid for the first week only

Ginger – Delays wound healing and increases the risk of jaundice in the child. Substitute peppercorn or garlic.

Fish – Causes foul-smelling lochia or discharge.

The alcohol recommended to be consumed during this month of confinement are: Brandy, Yomeishu, rice wine and Guinness Malta because they are ‘yang’. If you don’t drink, this sudden onset can cause alcohol rash, red face and racing heart, so take it easy. Alcohol passes to the baby through breast milk, so if you want a good night’s sleep, drink alcohol after your meal. The alcohol content is reduced during cooking so you may want to consider adding it to your food while cooking instead of neat. Guinness Malta is non-alcoholic and has a high iron content so is suitable if you are anemic. Pulut rice is rich in iron so it is used to make rice wine for nursing mothers after giving birth. Rice is low in fat and has no cholesterol and high dietary fiber to reduce the risk of heart attack and diabetes. It is better known as Shaoxing wine.


It is believed that iced or cold drinks can cause severe shock to the system and further weaken the ‘cold’ body so it is strongly recommended that hot brewed teas be consumed throughout the day as they should help warm the uterus. For those who do not believe in these teas, you can try drinking Chamomile tea, which is also useful for children, because it helps calm the mood.


Soup is a nutritious substitute for water. You can use any meat in the stock. Meat provides the fuel necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. Drinking soup about one hour before breastfeeding can help increase milk flow. Chinese soups are often clear and easy to drink compared to western soups which are creamy and less rich.

Below are some foods you may want to add to your diet during the postpartum ‘fasting’ month.

Boxthorn fruit or Chinese berry is well known for correcting poor eyesight and eye strain. Used in conjunction with other medicines it is effective in improving strength and energy

Chinese angelica root or dong kwai is supposed to nourish the female organs, reduce menstrual pain and prevent bleeding.

Chinese yam (wai san) used with meat and other vegetables helps digest food, regulate blood sugar levels and control uterine inflammation. The dry layer should be applied for at least 15 minutes before use to remove the powder

Solomon’s seal (yok chuk) is used to relieve many ailments especially those affecting the throat and lungs.

Sesame oil, apart from being rich in Vitamin E, Iron and Calcium, helps to heal the uterus and remove “leftover dirty blood”.

Chestnuts stimulate vital energy. Resolves fatigue, depression and irritability. It is high in phosphorus, selenium and calcium

Black vinegar is made from glutinous rice and lowers the pH of the food. It releases calcium from the bones it is cooked with, so it is used to prepare a high calcium diet especially for nursing mothers and also relieves flatulence.

Dill has antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. It is a warming herb that helps digest food, relieves gas, promotes lactation, freshens the breath and relieves colic. It is the main ingredient in Gripe water.

Almonds and walnuts contain leucine and isoleucine which are amino acids that regulate growth, blood sugar and wound healing.

Malay confinement food is the same as normal but with lots of jam which is used with natural medicine inside and outside for health and beauty. Make sure the products are registered with the Department of Health and are produced locally

Kani seeds contain antioxidants to promote youth, strengthen vaginal muscles, prevent excessive discharge, odor and itching. It strengthens the breasts and promotes the healing of the reproductive system after childbirth.

Gallanggal is a member of the ginger family and acts as an antiseptic. It warms the body, purifies the blood, improves appetite, calms the breath and energizes the muscles.

Pegaga leaves increase energy, help relieve sleep problems, and improve blood circulation.

Turmeric acts as an antibiotic and promotes healthy blood circulation.

Drumstick leaves are rich in protein, vitamin C and A, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium and other minerals. Because of their nutrients and ability to stimulate the flow of milk, they are valuable food for human survival in poor countries.

The most important thing to remember is that you should be comfortable with what you eat. Don’t force yourself to eat something you don’t like or that will cause problems later. Although you are ‘imprisoned’ you are not a prisoner personally.

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