Postpartum Congee Recipe

Postpartum Chicken Congee Recipe

Postpartum nutrition is an extremely important part of the mother’s recovery and can be as nourishing and healing as it is delicious.

Qin Zhu, L. Ac. shared another traditional recipe that can be helpful for new mothers.

Why postpartum nutrition is so important:

  • It takes 9 months to grow a baby, after which the body is tired.
  • Labor is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. It is important to take the time to heal.
  • Decreased micronutrient stores can increase the risk of postpartum depression.
  • Breastfeeding can place high energetic and nutritional demands on the body.

How you nourish your body in the postpartum period is important, not just for your own health, but also in order to help your baby grow strong and healthy. A healthy postpartum eating plan should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats.

4 secrets of healing postpartum food, according to East Asian Medicine

  1. Eat warm and digestible foods. Soups, congee and stews make great postpartum meals.
  2. Eat a nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory diet. Think colorful produce, healthy proteins, fats, and certain grains. Try to include different colors in one meal, for example, green leafy vegetables, yellow bell peppers, carrots, red iron-rich protein and brown rice.
  3. Eat collagen-rich foods to support tissue repair. Collagen is a super nutrient for rebuilding tissues, collagen-rich food includes bone broth, skin-on chicken, skin-on sardines or Salmon. Don’t forget about adding some berries and aloe vera juice to your diet too. They help your body build collagens.
  4. Hydrate often. For breastfeeding mothers, 10 to 15 glasses of water a day are required to quench thirst and produce enough breast milk. Plus, the more fluids you consume, the faster your body can rebuild and regenerate.

Below is a traditional recipe for chicken congee.

This rice soup is ideal for new mothers because it includes ingredients that nourish and support the energy of the body. Try to drink this soup at least once a week for the 8 weeks following birth. It is easy to make a large batch and freeze individual portions.


  • 1 cup rice (½ of brown rice and ½ of white rice)
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup carrot or broccoli
  • 1 skin-on chicken breast
  • Sesame oil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Black sesame seeds, to taste


  1. Place rice, bone broth and water into a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer, for 1-2 hours or until rice takes on a consistency of congee. Stir every now and then, adding a bit of extra water if the rice becomes dry.
  2. Cut carrots or broccoli into 1 inch pieces and throw into the congee and boil for another 20 to 30 mins or till the vegetables become soft.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pat chicken breast dry, then season with a bit of salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil. Place in a roasting dish and bake for 30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the juices run clear. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken.
  4. Season the congee lightly with salt, pepper and sesame oil.
  5. Serve each bowl with a generous handful of shredded chicken, a few sprigs of cilantro
  6. Sprinkle the black sesame seeds on top for taste. Black sesame seeds nourish the reproductive system, build blood for postpartum recovery, and boost milk supply.

Chinese nutritional principles herbs can be very effective in the treatment of postpartum recovery.

If you would like to know more about how acupuncture and herbs can be helpful for you, give us a call for a free 15-min consultation!

Anna Rudel
San Jose Acupuncturist
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