Zuo Yue Zi: the ancient Chinese ritual of postpartum recovery

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With the aroma of garlic and ginger wafting through her kitchen, Charlene Wang prepared postpartum meals for her sister in the Chinese tradition of the zuo yue zi. Photo by Charlene Wang.

When food writer Charlene Wang received a text in the middle of the night saying her niece was born, she went to the kitchen and started peeling ginger. Wang was practicing zuo yue zi, the Chinese ritual of cooking traditional meals for a new mother. Wang says she took a crash course in zuo yue zi, which involved watching YouTube videos and reading “The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother.” She wrote about her experience for Bon Appétit.



Evan Kleiman