For centuries, these Asian recipes have helped new mothers recover from childbirth.


For centuries, these Asian recipes have helped new mothers recover from childbirth.
Khanh-hoa Nguyen stirred a pot of cucumber and pig’s foot soup. After nguyen’s sister was born, her own mother prepared soup and a pale green, unripe melon with a fish sauce.
After a second year at the university of California, Berkeley, Nguyen spent the summer at his parents’ home in Los Angeles, watching her mother prepare a large pot of Vietnamese food for her sister.
From mother to mother: the collection of traditional Asian postnatal recipes will be published in April by Eastwind Books, Berkeley.
Igawa and nguyen
“If I didn’t go home that summer, I don’t think I will know about it,” he is now common to edit an offer new mothers are traditional food in Asia the most comprehensive English cookbooks.
For generations, new Vietnamese mothers have eaten the stew, just as south Korean mothers have poured seaweed soup, and Chinese women have stewed their feet with ginger and vinegar. Food traditions can last for centuries and are part of Asia’s ubiquitous 30-day rest.
In China, it is called the left moon, or “sitting month”. Vietnamese call it n ằ m ổ, literally means “lying in the nest”. Recipes for these foods are unlikely to be found in any diet. Traditionally, these postnatal supplements are usually prepared by grandmothers and aunts; Ingredients and techniques are delivered verbally.
When Nguyen returned to Berkeley in the fall, she enrolled in asian-american and Pacific islander community health courses. In that class, Dr. Marilyn Wong called the students who were interested in documenting postnatal traditions in Asia. Nguyen voluntary work in the research not only, and led a group of 13 undergraduate students, they had an interview with relatives in the past two years, and collected in Vietnam, China, South Korea, miao, Cambodia and the Philippines and other six Asian ethnic diet. Nguyen and Wong edited a cookbook from mother to mother: a collection of traditional Asian postnatal recipes that will be released this month.
Khanh-hoa Nguyen USES ginger to cook caramel pork, a Cambodian dish for women who have just given birth.
A retired doctor Wong said, she works in public health clinic in San Francisco and Oakland, California for 30 years, she saw a lack of nutrition guidance for low-income immigrants and refugees, they may be far away from their grandmother and aunt and their local food. Wong says doctors will only tell a breast-fed woman to drink a lot of fluids and eat more calories. Even with a degree in medicine and public health, Wong does not deny the value of Asian folk remedies.
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“In western medicine, we don’t have to pay enough attention to traditional, we just give up all of these, from the beginning, because now we know that mineral, vitamin and molecular,” Huang Miao thought.
She points out that China’s technique of stewing pig feet with ginger and vinegar makes them especially nutritious. “Vinegar may absorb calcium from bones, that’s all you need calcium, because women breastfeeding and loss of bone mass, in the past, they can’t use this way to describe it, but they know that the women do better than no. “
These traditional soups may be swallowed by younger or more absorbable women. Although she spent her childhood in Vietnam, nguyen’s sister initially gave up the stew. But worried that she might not be able to produce enough milk, she gave them a try. “It really helps my sister to breastfeed,” nguyen said.
Soup plays an important role in all six cultures “from mother to mother,” although the recipe includes caramel caramel and zucchini clam with tomatoes and ginger. Nguyen and other students interviewed family members to learn how to cook, and then practiced cooking in their homes and apartments in Wong’s Berkeley hills.
In the context of culture and geography, there are some trends. “Papaya is also used in Chinese postpartum cookbooks and postpartum recipes in Cambodia,” Nguyen said. “Pork belly is also used in Vietnam, Cambodia and Chinese culture. Ginger is a very common postpartum component.”
Perhaps there’s another ingredient in these stews that can help the new mom recover: the community. “The whole village will be there, and people will cook and take care of the baby,” said Wong, who was born in pre-industrial China. “Mother is really in the doghouse.”
After three semesters, the students recorded 30 recipes, each printed in English and native language. The students also raised more than $7,300, and nearly 500 books were donated to bay area clinics and nonprofit organizations serving low-income asian-americans.
From mother to mother will be in Berkeley Eastwind Books and online sales. Wong hopes the project will carry out a second phase, perhaps to study post-natal food traditions in South Asia or the Middle East.


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