Recently, my client asked about her daughter, who's 4 (?) and has constipation issues. In her babyhood, she needs to go to the hospital weekly to get her poo out.
I asked, if she takes much fried or BBQ food, or potato chips, or spicy food etc. Or too much animal protein? All no.
Then I smiled, "What did you eat in your pregnancy?"
Her, "I eat normal food ah, nothing special."
Me, "No no. I mean, what craving did you have in that time?"
Her, "Ah, I had durians, and Chinese ginseng (人参)."
These are highly heaty food = affect the baby's body constitution greatly.
In pregnancy times, everything we do as mothers affect the baby = the food we eat, the thoughts we have, our activities etc. They affect the baby greatly, setting them the stage to their future.
Mainly in health and their temperament.
We are what we eat, what baby eats come from mama in pregnancy times. If we eat anything extreme in food properties, it'd affect their future state of health.
Meaning, excessively heaty or cooling food affect their health after they're born.
In true ancient China, pregnant ladies are advised to eat a variety of neutral properties food, so the babies are not born excessively heaty or frail due to coldness.
What are extreme-properties food?
Chocolates, Chinese ginseng, American ginseng, durian, chili, mangoes, lychee, all seafood (except fish), mutton, deer velvet, cordyceps, birdsnest, cabbage, bean sprouts, kangkong, melons, soy beans, cookies, potato chips, tea, coffee, alcohol etc.
Not that expecting mamas are banned from the above food, the keyword is low quantity.
Some mama have cravings for crabs, this is likely to cause the baby to have poor skin conditions + excessively cold body constitution shortly after they are borne.
But it's a craving, what should mama do?
Stop everything in your tracks, regulate breathing to a long and slow one, and feel your baby in your tummy. Talk to him or her.
"Baby, I'm craving for crabs now, I've already eaten some, it's better not to eat more. Because it'd be bad for you, mama wants you to be a happy healthy baby. Let's work together and don't crave for it, ok?"
Then divert the attention by eating other food similar to the taste but not the same main ingredients (crab). It's difficult to achieve initially, but we can do it with the future goal of health and happiness for the baby. :)
Now, what are the food that pregnant mothers should eat?
In ancient China, the best pregnancy food are the most common food, there is no tonic needed because they're of extreme characteristics = heatiness. Not everyone would need such food.
And of course, pregnant mothers never need supplements capsules or pills or fish oils etc from the doctors. Why? Because our ancestors have never had these for thousands of years, and great sages came too. These are just logic, we shouldn't be scared into taking alot of artificial pills that aren't real food for our baby and health.
"But the supplements are made from real stuff!"
Never, if it were, then they'd be super duper expensive with very thin margins to be profited. No businessman will allow this in their business if they created an empire from supplements. A very famous supplement founder died from cancer and he took 20 of his company pills a day.
Famous supplement company founder. Died of cancer. Took his own supplements. Cancer.
You can google for the name online. :)
Right, but I digress. :P
Pregnant mothers should eat the following additional food along with the usual ones for good baby health, but in variations and only moderate quantities:
- 淮山 (star food)
- Pork, beef, chicken
Birdnest should be taken once a month with small quantities e.g half a bowl thereabouts.
The above suggested food aren't exhaustive nor conclusive, the list can be expanded if you know of a good traditional dietitian who has a thorough understanding of your health constitution.
Till then, have a happy pregnancy, watch only happy benign shows (don't watch horror, thrillers, emotional drama series, the news etc), sleep well, eat well, and be a happy mother!
Fathers, take note of these too, your younglings depend on this. :)