For the first 30 days of Mona’s life, her mother cooked and ate chicken soup made with a whole chicken. That’s 30 chickens. Her mother recalls always feeling famished and would consume the entire chicken soup, every day, with ease. Her mother believed that this protein rich meal contributed to an abundant milk supply.
Fast forward to Mona delivering twins and her mother arranging for a Taiwanese private chef (and ex nurse) to make and deliver 3 meals a day for the first 30 days postpartum.
The first delivery of 坐月子 (pronounced zuò yuè zi), a Chinese tradition of postpartum care, arrived even while Mona was still at the hospital recovering from childbirth.
The meals focused on healing a body from the effects of the nutritional deficit caused by pregnancy and the upheaval of childbirth, restoring equilibrium in the Mona’s body. These specific recipes, Mona was told, would also reduce future ailments like migraines, arthritis and osteoporosis. The meals may have been traditional and lacking modern flavours, but having someone else cook during this time was an easy yes and if the food was nutritious and protecting her from future health effects? Heck, yes!
Two years later, and after the fog of childbirth lifted, Mona came to fully appreciate the healthy convenience of the meals she received when she heard stories of new moms resorting to whatever leftovers were available including chips and gummy bears because they didn't have the energy to grocery shop, prep and make meals for themselves.
She became determined to start a business that respects zuò yuè zi’s goal of nourishing the nurturer and recognizes that many of us are foodies with a different palate than during Imperial China. Identifying the key zuò yuè zi ingredients that heal and then working with a trained and experienced chef (with oversight by a Traditional Chinese Doctor) took Mona about a year and a half before finally launching Feeding Mama.