List of Confinement Food: What Every Mom Needs to Know

List of Confinement Food: What Every Mom Needs to Know

You're probably wondering what kind of diet you should keep during confinement. Should you consume more foods; and should you avoid certain foods? What are the benefits of eating a certain way?

Well, wonder no more! This blog post will outline a few different confinement diets and their benefits. So, whether you want to follow a specific diet or just get some general ideas regarding food for confinement, keep reading!

What Is Chinese Confinement?

 a woman resting in bed during her confinement

There are many different confinement practices found all over Asia. Chinese confinement, also known as zuo yuezi (坐月子), is a postpartum practice that has been around for centuries.

It involves a period of rest and recovery for the mother, usually lasting between 28 and 40 days. During this time, the mother will consume special foods and herbs that are said to help her recover from childbirth, improve her milk supply, and promote healing and energy recovery.

The confinement is vital to the mother because it helps her body to recuperate and recover from childbirth. When done right, it is supposed to prevent postpartum problems that may occur, such as postpartum depression. 

What Is Confinement Food?

Confinement food refers to the food that new mothers can eat during their confinement period. This food is typically nutrient-rich and easy to digest, as the mother's body is still recovering from childbirth.

New mothers need nutrients like iron, calcium, folic acid, and protein to fully recover from childbirth; besides, good breastfeeding nutrition will improve the quality of mothers’ breast milk. . They also need to be able to digest their food easily, as their digestive system is still weak.

Unfortunately, this can be hard to achieve with regular food, which doesn't always contain the complete nutrition profile that women in confinement need. For most women in confinement, some changes in daily diet are necessary. When done right, confinement food is also said to help improve the mother's milk supply, promote healing, and prevent postpartum problems.

From days 1 to 10 after birth, it is vital for new moms to heal their wounds: by encouraging uterine contractions, the body will naturally get rid of lochia and restore functions. 

From days 11 to 20, the body will have gradually recuperated after the last 10 days of recovery. At this stage, moms can consume some good-quality proteins, calcium, and iron to improve lactation.

Based on these preps, when entering days 21 to 30, it is advised that moms start to take dietary supplementation; the focus should be placed on invigorating kidney qi. For example, ‘Shi Quan Da Tonic Soup’ and other kidney-revitalizing medicinal diets would be a perfect choice. Meanwhile, foods that are rich in protein, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin A will also help the body recover.

List of Confinement Diet

 a bowl of chicken soup with rice and vegetables

If you're wondering what food is good for confinement–as well as what you should avoid–don't fret. We’re about to uncover everything you need to know about the ideal confinement diet!

What Food Is Good for Confinement?

There are many different lists of confinement food that can be eaten during this postpartum period. Here are some of the best ones.

  • Chicken essence. We cannot overemphasize the health benefits of chicken essence. Not only does it help new mothers recover from childbirth, but it also provides them with the nutrients they need to support their milk supply. It's an excellent source of protein and can be easily added to soups or porridge, making it an ideal food for new mothers.

chicken essence

  • Fish. Fish is another great source of protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are essential for the postpartum mother as they can help with her recovery, aid in the production of breast milk, and reduce inflammation.


  • Lotus seeds. Lotus seeds are a traditional Chinese medicine that's often used in confinement food recipes. They're said to help with maintaining digestive functions and soothing disruptive emotions. Therefore, lotus seeds can be extra beneficial to moms with weaker digestion and support calm and positive emotions. 

    Similarly, common yam is another traditional Chinese medicine that's often used in confinement food. It's said to help with the production of breast milk, improve the mother's circulation, and boost energy levels. In the same vein, one of our chicken essence products is formulated to promote smoother breastfeeding

 Lotus seeds

  • Ginger. Ginger is a common ingredient in many confinement food recipes. It’s said to alleviate nausea, promote healthy blood circulation, support the immune system, increase breast milk production, and enhance recovery.


  • Red dates. Red dates, also known as jujubes, are a common ingredient in many Chinese soups and porridges. They're rich in vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent confinement food option. One easy way to benefit from red dates is by drinking red dates tea, a staple drink for mothers in confinement.

 Red dates

  • Longan. High in nutrients, this succulent fruit is beneficial in treating infections, skin issues, obesity, stress, and anxiety. Like the other ingredients on this list, longan canimprove circulation and speed up recovery.


  • Green papaya. Green papaya is a fruit that's often used in various Asian dishes, especially in East and Southeast Asia. Aside from containing various minerals and nutrients, it can also help lactating mothers increase their milk supply.

Green papaya

  • Sesame oil. Sesame oil is made from raw or toasted sesame seeds and is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. Nicknamed “Queen of Oilseeds”, it's rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, including vitamin E and phytosterols. It holds strong anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in healing wounds.

    One thing to bear in mind is that cold-pressed sesame oil must be chosen to encourage uterine contractions and clean up lochia. Otherwise, those treated with high heat can put the body out of balance. 

 Sesame oil

What Food to Avoid During Confinement?

Keep in mind that not all food is good for confinement. There are some food items that new mothers should avoid during this postpartum period because these foods can lead to symptoms of inflammation or suppression of lactation. Take note of the following 4 ‘No-s’, and you can rest assured and maintain a healthy diet.   

  • Do not eat cool-natured food, such as ice cream, ducks, watermelons, pears, mung beans, and so on.

  • Do not eat high-fat foods, such as deep-fried foods, cakes, and desserts.  

  • Do not eat lactation-suppressing foods, including ginseng, Chinese chives, and malt. 

  • Do not eat spicy and overly-stimulating foods, such as chili and alcohol. 

Confinement Food for New Mothers

As you can see, there are many different food items that are considered to be part of the ideal confinement diet.

One of the easiest confinement foods that you can incorporate into your diet is chicken essence, such as Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence with Four-ingredient. Not only does it help new mothers recover from childbirth, but it also provides them with the nutrients they need to support their milk supply. There are 4 ingredients in this chicken essence: lotus seeds, yam, Gordon, and Poria. Not only can they assist in boosting spleen and stomach functions for better nutrition absorption, stimulating appetite, and calming irritability. Plus, Tian Yuan Xiang's chicken essence is made using all-natural ingredients, so you can be assured that you're getting the highest quality around.

Our drip chicken essence contains Glutamine, which helps speed up postpartum recovery, and Tryptophan, which helps prevent postnatal depression. Regardless of what food you choose to eat during your confinement period, the most important thing is that you listen to your body and eat what makes you feel good. By including healthy options in your diet, you can help ensure a smooth and successful postpartum period!