With Mother's Day just a few days away, we thought we'd honor the process that all mothers go through as they begin their adventures in motherhood: pregnancy and postpartum recovery. The journey is different for everyone, and can include a myriad of emotions and symptoms, including joy, fear, sadness, exhaustion, nausea, the list goes on.
During these crucial times so much focus is put on making the right choices for your baby; what you eat, the products you use, your exercise habits, your sleep, and while all of these things are extremely important for a growing, healthy baby, it's important for moms to prioritize self-care as well to keep themselves in the best health possible for the massive transition their body is going through.
Ideally, mamas-to-be are taking extra-special care of themselves from pre-conception, through the postpartum recovery period, and until they finish breast-feeding. A notable tradition in China, known as "sitting the month" or zuo yue zi, requires that women who have just given birth not leave the house for 30 days after delivery and basically stay in bed without bathing, air conditioning, or general distractions (think a constant stream of visitors and surfing the web), while family and friends bring them food and help care for the baby.
The theory behind zuo yue zi is that the body is extremely depleted after childbirth, making the mother susceptible to illness and ongoing exhaustion. The 30 days of bedrest and curated nutrition are meant to help build back what was lost during pregnancy and childbirth and to help new moms bounce back stronger, allowing them to better care for their new baby and experience fewer longterm side effects to the birthing process.
While many aspects of this practice seem unrealistic for the modern lifestyle, even archaic, there are some worthwhile methods in the tradition, enhanced nutrition for example. Foods traditionally recommended are warm or hot in nature to help bolster what was lost during labor, like blood and fluid. Bone broth, and especially chicken broth, which is considered extra warming in Chinese nutrition is recommended, along with eggs, congee, peanuts, goji berries, and dates, which are said to warm the body, build blood, and replenish fluids. Bone broth is also packed with nutrients and minerals to flood your system with goodness and nourishment.
Additionally, it's recommended to avoid cold foods and drinks (i.e. raw veggies, iced drinks, and most dairy) during the 30 day period because cold can cause bodily processes to slow down, potentially leading to illness or stunting recovery and causing pain. This also ties into the recommendation to avoid air conditioning or going outside. The theory is that pores are more open after pregnancy, so cold [air] can easily enter the body, and cause problems. In other words, the immune system isn't strong enough to block and fight off illness.
The other worthwhile takeaway from this traditional practice is to prioritize taking some down time. It's so easy in modern culture to hit the ground running as soon as possible after childbirth, and while most of us don't have the luxury of having 30 days to stay at home while family caters to you, try to take time to rest, enjoy precious bonding time with your baby, and when you're ready, slowly integrate back to your normal routine... or your new normal, that is!
The good news is, we can help! Nona Lim products make an excellent addition to a pre, during, and postpartum routine, so you don't have to spend much time in the kitchen (leave that to us), and you can dedicate more time to your new baby and your recovery. Our broths are especially nourishing, and will provide the nutrition even a zuo yue zi advocate would approve of.
On that note, we're running a special Mother's Day Giveaway for one new mom or mama-to-be to win a month's supply of bone broth on us! We'll send the winner a week's supply of our Heat & Sip Soup Cups four weeks in a row in preparation for labor, postpartum recovery, or the ongoing physical demands of being a mom in general, because let's be honest, that will take a lot out of you too!
Visit our Instagram page for details on how to enter, and check back on Monday, May 15th when we'll announce the winner. We're also offering 20% off orders placed online through our website until Monday, 5/15/17. Enter the code "MOMSTAKE20" at checkout.
Good luck, mamas, and Happy Mother's Day!