Hmong Post-Partum

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The Hmong post-partum practice often means confinement for 30 days with a strict diet and strict taboos. Hmong woman will not eat hospital food as traditionally they should eat hot rice with boiled chicken in a broth of special herbs. Absolutely no fruits, vegetables or cold drinks allowed. The Hmong (no matter age or location) still observe this practice as it is believed to avoid ill health and misfortune in the future. It is also taboo for the Mother and child to step inside the house of anyone other than her house or her husband’s family’s house. If she does, she may disrupt the home’s spirit guard and bring misfortune to that person or family.

Believe me, this post-partum was hard because of the fact that my recovery took so long and that I had two babies under the age of two to take care of. So to top it off with the confinement was a slap to the face! After a week of being on the diet, I cheated and ate other foods besides the boiled chicken. Of course, I felt bad but I did it anyway.

Whole chicken boiled with special herbs from my Mother and Mother in-law.


The broth from the chicken has to be served separate from the chicken. It is also a taboo to allow rice to drop into the liquid of the broth because it is believed to create red bumps on your baby’s body.


Only fresh hot rice with fresh chicken is allowed. If there are leftovers, the Mother can not eat it because it is believed it will cause her ill health in the future.



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