After labor, it’s time for rest: A gentle guide to zuo yuezi, the ancient Chinese practice of postpartum self-care, including sixty simple recipes.
The first forty days after the birth of a child offer an essential and fleeting period of rest and recovery for the new mother. Based on Heng Ou’s own postpartum experience with zuo yuezi, a set period of “confinement” in which a woman remains at home focusing on healing and bonding with her baby, The First Forty Days revives the lost art of caring for the mother after birth.
As modern mothers are pushed to prematurely “bounce back” after delivering their babies, and are often left alone to face the physical and emotional challenges of this new stage of their lives, the first forty days provide a lifeline—a source of connection, nourishment, and guidance. This book includes sixty simple recipes for healing soups, replenishing meals and snacks, and calming and lactation-boosting teas, all formulated to support the unique needs of the new mother.
In addition to recipes, this warm and encouraging guide offers advice on arranging a system of help during the postpartum period, navigating relationship challenges, and honoring the significance of pregnancy and birth. Fully illustrated, it is a practical guide and inspirational read for all new mothers and mothers-to-be—the perfect ally during the first weeks with a new baby.
“Bringing our attention back to the importance of the postpartum period for new mothers helps to create space for this essential period of integration and recovery . . . an invaluable companion during the first 40 days and beyond.” —Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein, filmmakers, The Business of Being Born