Many women in Asia, particularly in China and Taiwan, look forward to the month after giving birth. Why, you may wonder.
There is a tradition called “sitting moon,” which has been practiced for many years. This is a time when women stay home for the entire month after having a baby. The idea is that you are to do nothing, except allow others to nurse you back to health with nourishing postpartum foods while you rest and feed your baby.
The first month after birth is crucial for a full recovery and essential for a mother’s well-being. This time of resting and being replenished with nutritious foods and herbs is important because it can restore health and energy, help you regain your body’s pre-pregnancy state more quickly, and prepare you for any future pregnancies or for going back to work.
When you live in a fast-paced society, it is not easy to allow yourself to do nothing for a full month and let others care for you, but it is truly essential to your health and well-being. Prior to having my son, Kai Ming, I had been working non-stop for 10 years. The idea of doing nothing for a month and half made me feel guilty, but at the same time I looked forward to it. I thought that there must be a reason why this time-honored tradition was practiced and taken very seriously from generation to generation.
That’s why I stayed home and ate lots of good, nurturing foods for a month. I knew it was important for my health and the health of my son that I give this gift to both of us. I rested and maintained a quiet space to bond with my baby, and I allowed friends and family members to help in any way they wanted to. I ate foods like black chicken (a traditional postpartum food in China), ginger, toasted sesame oil, oats, millets, fish, pig’s feet and seaweed, as well as lots and lots of soups. All of them helped with my recovery and my milk supply. The end result was a happy one. My body recovered quickly and I felt stronger than ever, both physically and mentally. I urge all moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends to partake in this time-honored tradition. Help all new mothers in your life with their postpartum experience to ensure healthy results for them and their babies.