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What You Need to Know About Chinese Postpartum Confinement

Zuo Yue Zi is a Chinese postpartum confinement that dates back centuries. It is believed that a woman’s physical health weakens after childbirth, and thus, will need proper and specialized care. Throughout the 30-day period, mothers are advised to rest, eat healthy meals, and follow to specific rules that will help boost their physical and emotional well-being.

In this article by Pacific Prime China, we will go through the details of Chinese Postpartum Confinement, Zuo Yue Zi.

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Physical Care and Rest

Rest is a fundamental part of Zuo Yue Zi. Mothers are advised to avoid or reduce any daily physical activities to give their bodies a chance to recover. It is common for women practising Zuo Yue Zi to stay indoors and limit their contact with the outside world during this time. This practice aims to protect the mother from potential infections and create a peaceful and controlled environment that supports healing.

Diet and Nutrition

A crucial part of Zuo Yue Zi is for the new mother to go on a specialized diet plan based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This will help mothers who just gave birth to recover. Meals cooked with certain ingredients like ginger, sesame oil, Chinese herbs, and bone broths are very common.

These foods are believed to help women regain energy post-childbirth, increase milk production, and speed up the body’s healing process. It is also customary for new mothers to avoid certain “cooling” foods that are believed to hinder healing, such as raw or chilled foods.

Family Support

In Chinese culture, providing support during Zuo Yue Zi is extremely important. Depending on her family, sometimes it will be the new mother’s own mother or her mother-in-law who will offer care and assistance during this time. Other family members take on tasks like cooking, house chores, and taking care of the newborn, which allows the new mother to focus on her recovery.

This is a great way to not only lessen the mother’s responsibilities but to also strengthen family bonds and provide an opportunity for the older generation to share traditional wisdom and knowledge.


Zuo Yue Zi has been adapted and changed to fit the modern-day lifestyle. While the core principles of rest, nutrition, and care play a major role, some families will modify some of the rules to fit their lifestyle.

For example, instead of staying indoors all the time, mothers may choose to have limited outings while taking necessary precautions to protect their health and well-being. Also, some families may combine Western medicine with traditional practices to address specific medical issues or personal choices.

Criticism and Challenges

Despite its long-standing tradition, Zuo Yue Zi has faced criticism and challenges in recent times. Some argue that isolation could cause depression and anxiety due to limited social interaction. Also, the dietary restrictions is excessive, and could potentially harm the mother’s overall nutrition.

In our fast-paced society, women struggle to dedicate a whole month to postpartum confinement due to work demands. Balancing traditional practices, professional obligations, and financial stability becomes challenging for many.

In 2015, a new mother in Shanghai died of heatstroke after covering herself in a blanket and without turning on the air conditioner.

Contact Pacific Prime Today

It’s important to remember that Zuo Yue Zi is rooted in Chinese culture and is very important for many families. The tradition strengthens relationships and provides care and support to mothers during vulnerable times. However, it’s essential to approach this with adaptability and flexibility, customizing it to fit individual circumstances and needs.

Pacific Prime China has over 20 years of experience working in the health insurance industry. We partner with reputable insurers to find you attractive plans, such as maternity and family insurance for your budget. For a free plan comparison and impartial advice, contact our team of insurance advisors today.

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Disclaimer: Pacific Prime China solely represents, operates and manages locally regulated insurance products and services in the territory of PR China. Any references to Pacific Prime Global Company or Group, the international services, insurance products or otherwise stated written or verbally, is for introduction purposes about our overseas network only as each entity is fully independent.