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

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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. Fresh brine and light green chunks of melon and fish sauce taste the same, as her own mother prepared after her sister gave birth to soup.

After studying for a second year at the university of California, Berkeley, nguyen was spending the summer at his parents’ home in Los Angeles, watching her mother prepare a large pot of Vietnamese food for her sister.

Nguyen (Nguyen) is now common to edit an with traditional Asian food as the theme of the most comprehensive English cookbooks, he said: “I don’t think if I don’t go home on the day of the summer, I wouldn’t know.

A growing number of new Vietnamese mothers eat the stew, just as south Korean mothers pour seaweed soup from their bowls on the ground, and Chinese women boil them with ginger juice and vinegar. The tradition of food can last for centuries, and this is part of a 30-day break that is common in Asia.

In Chinese, it is called the left moon, or “the moon”. 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 postpartum supplements were prepared by grandmothers and aunts; Composition and technical oral transmission.

When Nguyen returned to Berkeley in the fall, she enrolled in an asian-american and Pacific islander community health course. In that class, Dr. Huang called the students who were interested in recording postpartum tradition in Asia. Mr Nguyen not only voluntary work in the study, but also led a group of 13 undergraduate students interviewed relatives in the past two years, and collected in Vietnam, China, South Korea, miao, Cambodia and the Philippines six Asian countries diet. Nguyen and Wong co-edited “recipes from mother to mother: traditional Asian postnatal recipes,” which will be released this month.

A retired doctor Wong said, she was in the public health clinic in San Francisco and Oakland, California to work for 30 years, she saw a lack of nutrition guidance of low-income immigrants and refugees may be far away from their grandmother and aunt and their local food. Wong said doctors simply told a breast-fed woman to drink a lot of fluids and eat more calories. Even with a degree in medicine and public health, Mr Wang does not reject the value of Asian folk remedies.

“In western medicine, we don’t pay much attention to tradition, we just start from scratch, because now we know what minerals, vitamins and molecules are.

She points out that Chinese techniques to marinate pig feet with ginger and vinegar make them particularly nutritious. “Vinegar may leak out from the bone calcium, that’s all you need calcium, women will lose bone mass because of breastfeeding, but in the past, they can’t use this way to describe, but they know that the women do better than no. ”

For Chinese mothers, birth means 30 days in pajamas.

For Chinese mothers, birth means 30 days in pajamas.

These traditional soups may make it difficult for younger or more absorbed women to swallow. Despite her childhood in Vietnam, nguyen’s sister initially dismissed the stew. But worried that she might not produce enough milk, she tried. “It really helped my sister to breastfeed,” Nguyen said.

Soup plays an important role in the six cultures “from mother to mother,” although the recipe includes caramel pork, zucchini clam with tomatoes and ginger. Nguyen and other students interviewed family members to learn how to cook, and then practiced in Mr. Wang’s home in Berkeley hills and his own apartment.

“Sometimes we have to call mom,” nguyen said.

“When you say” pinch “, what is that? Wong, cut in.

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. “Vietnamese, Cambodian and Chinese cultures also use pork belly, and ginger is a very common postpartum component.

Maybe there’s another ingredient in these stews to help the new mother recover: the community. “The whole village will be there and people will cook and care for the baby,” Wong said. “Mom 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 in donations, nearly 500 books 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. Mr Huang hopes the project will carry out a second phase, perhaps studying postnatal food traditions in South Asia or the Middle East.

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