In the Chinese culture there is no more critical time to build up health of mother and baby than the first 40 days after birth, otherwise known as the postpartum period.
Looking forward to being GRANDMA, I start to collect recipes when my daughter reached her 7th month of pregnancy. I had lots of help when I had my two children many years ago, but what would I cook for my daughter when she had her baby? I knew what she should eat, mostly special Chinese stews and soups, but how would I cook these?
Looking back, I loved ginger vinegar pork hock, a staple post pregnancy stew. This stew is consumed in the early post-partum period and ginger is used in most Chinese postpartum recipes to dispel “wind” and shrink the uterus. Anything to get the mum back in shape is good! A team of Hong Kong researchers found that this stew or soup is particularly rich in iron compared to other soups, and is high in calcium too (Chan et al, 2000). But some methods require weeks of preparation. Help!!
The stew does sounds a bit “out there”, but it’s delicious, and great for replenishing iron and calcium for mum and if breast fed passing that to baby. I give a traditional recipe and a simpler method that I’ve tested.