I’ve never cooked confinement dishes before and as my eldest daughter, January, approached her due date, I agonised over what to cook during her confinement period. I found myself searching for confinement food recipe online, hunting for recipe books at bookstores, consulting some friends and even recalling my own confinement experience. There was so much to consider and I worried over giving January the wrong food.

Once January and her twin babies came home, we found a routine and didn’t have time to worry. As both of us coped with our new roles – January as a new mum and I as a first-time grandparent – we had to learn things quickly. I made her fried rice because that was my favourite dish during my own confinement and it was easy to make. Preparing January’s confinement meals gave me new skills in the kitchen: how to steam fish and double-boiling soup. I also stocked up on a lot of sesame oil and old ginger (tip: the best ginger comes from Bentong, Pahang).

There’s no need to slave over the kitchen stove, really. Complicated confinement food recipe and those that use too many ingredients confuse me. I essentially made dishes that are easy to prepare. In retrospect, preparing my daughter’s confinement meals weren’t as difficult or as daunting as I thought it would be.

Here are three recipes that worked really well for me, and I hope they’ll work well for you too.


Menu - Rice



  1. Heat up sesame oil and sauté ginger until fragrant. Add beaten eggs into oil.
  2. When eggs are almost set, add the rice and stir until well heated through.
  3. Add the light soya sauce and stir until well combined. Add spring onion and coriander leaves to garnish the dish.

Note: You can also add minced meat of your choice. Cook before adding the beaten eggs.


Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 10.06.25 AM


  1. Fill up a pot with enough water before adding sesame oil, old ginger slices and a dash of black pepper.
  2. When water begins to boil, add the prepared vegetables. Scoop out after three to four minutes.
  3. Serve hot.


Menu - Steamed Fish


  1. Heat water in steamer. Once water starts to boil, put fire on medium.
  2. Pat fish dry, inside out. Stuff fish stomach with white end of the spring onion and some of the ginger strips.
  3. Pour the sesame oil and light soya sauce all over the fish.
  4. Place fish in the steamer and steam for 12 to 15 minutes on medium fire.
  5. Remove from steamer and garnish with spring onion and coriander leaves.

Note: You can also use ikan kurau (threadfin) steaks.

What’s your favourite confinement food? Let us know in the comments section below.

Cecilia Low is a mother of three; and more recently, a grandmother of twins. Her heart lies with her family, between Phuket and Kuala Lumpur.

Image credit: Flickr user Martin Cathrae

[This article was originally published October 14th, 2013]

Some of us may take hand washing lightly, at times just rinsing without even applying soap. But did you know that Hand, Food and Mouth Disease (HFMD) can be prevented by practicing good hand hygiene like handwashing with antibacterial soap?

During the recent Lifebuoy’s Global Handwashing Day celebration, YB Dato’ Seri Dr. Hilmi Bin Haji Yahaya, the Deputy Minister of Health shared that from January till April this year 13,497 cases of HFMD were reported nationwide, with an average of 964 cases a week.

Handwashing is one of the most effective ways of staying healthy and preventing the spread of germs. The simple act of handwashing is essential to your well-being as germs are tough and their numbers double every 20 minutes! Handwashing is also able to reduce the risk of diarrhea by up to approximately 45%.

Lifebuoy is advocating hand washing behavior change particularly at five key daily occasions – at bath time, before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner and after visiting the toilet. Parents – especially mothers – play a key role in educating their families and teaching their children good hygiene habits from young. Below are the seven proper hand washing techniques for a healthier family.


But how often should we wash our hands?

  • After coughing or blowing your nose
  • Before making or eating food
  • After playing with animals
  • After using the toilet
  • After playing outdoors
  • Wash your hands whenever they look dirty

If you are in situation where there is no clean, running water and soap available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are able to quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands effectively.

It is also essential to know where the hot spots for germs are and to sanitiae and clean them frequently especially when you have infants or toddlers who tend to put things into their mouths.


This year, as part of the Global Handwashing Day initiative, celebrated annually on October 15, Lifebuoy is gathering pledges from mothers and families to increase awareness on the importance of handwashing to safeguard families from potential infections. To support this cause, just take a picture of you and your family pledging to practice good handwashing habits and post it up with the hashtag #‎LifebuoyGHD2015.

“This initiative brings to life our company’s philosophy of ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’. I am extremely proud of Lifebuoy’s involvement as a founding partner of Global Handwashing Day. As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), we aim to help 1 billion people by 2020 to improve their health and well-being. Lifebuoy is playing a key role in helping us achieve this mission by spreading awareness on the importance of handwashing and empowering mothers to lead behavioural change in their family,” said Rakesh Mohan, Unilever Chairman of Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia & Laos.

Besides the Global Handwashing Day, Lifebuoy is partnering with the Ministry of Health for another ongoing behavioural change programme called “Program Doktor Muda Bersama Lifebuoy”. Launched in 2011, this programme involves one hundred selected primary schools nationwide, where students selected as the “Doktor Muda” will undergo special training on the basics of healthcare by completing exercises and learning modules set by the Ministry.

The Doktor Muda programme aims at empowering students to promote and influence good hygiene behaviour amongst their peers and family members. This programme has since reached out to over 250,000 children and Lifebuoy is targeting 100,000 more children in 2015. Lifebuoy will also be reaching out to some rural schools this year.

Geek Mommy tries to makes sense of the tech world for the less techie while managing a household, a part-time job and keeping an active toddler busy.

Image Credit: Lifebuoy.


No mother ever thinks of losing her child, with the exception of the first delicate three months of pregnancy. Once my first trimester was over, I was more than happy to announce – to those who asked – that I was indeed pregnant, and not just sporting some extra weight around my belly. Life was great. I married the love of my life, we had just moved into our own place and we were expecting our first-born son.

“1 in 4”, “October 15th“, “miscarriages”, “stillbirths”, “infant loss” – these are statistics and terms that I had never heard of or thought much about, and truths that I tried to keep out of my head a year ago but am now so acutely aware of. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage or neonatal death; October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day in some countries; and the loss of my baby less than 24 hours after he was born became very real to me.

I had a wonderful time throughout my pregnancy, save for the normal discomforts that growing a little person brings, and gave birth to my son via C-section as he was just about to enter his 38th week, as was advised by my doctor. He came out a little on the small side, but with a healthy set of lungs, perfect toes, fingers and the cutest chubby cheeks. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and leg, which was cause for the doctor’s concern as well as his slightly early arrival.

My husband and I were overjoyed nonetheless, to finally meet the new addition to our family. Little did we know that the very next day he would no longer be in our arms, due to causes that none of us could have foreseen.

It is one of the hardest things in the world, to be so happy one minute, telling your baby that everything was going to be okay, and having your whole life change as the journey of parenthood begins – to holding your child when there’s no life left in his body, and laying him to rest when he should have been brought home from the hospital. I went from researching about baby care and child development to looking for others who have gone through similar experiences, or searching for articles that might help to make sense of it all.

Life after loss is different, to say the least. I am now afraid of being a scary reminder to other moms-to-be, and also one that reminds parents to hold on tighter to their children at times when being a parent gets tough. I understand how pregnancy and infant loss is somewhat of a taboo in our society, but in this day and age when its occurrence is more rare than before (thanks to medical advancements) it still needs to be voiced out.

Many parents face this loss and grief but almost all of them feel alone in their new chapter of life. There is a whole new normal to adjust to, a room full of baby things that needs to be put away, family that needs taking care of, jobs to go back to and life that needs to go on, on top of having to deal with well-meaning people who occasionally say hurtful things without knowing the weight of their words.

Every day is a brave new adjustment, and there is no time frame for a person to grieve for their child. If you know of a family member or friend who has experienced the loss of their child through miscarriage, stillbirth or otherwise, let them know that they are remembered and loved today, on a date that might not have meant much before.

And if you have experienced the loss of your child, know that you are not alone in your struggle. Always tell it like it is and don’t be afraid of what other people might think. Your child is remembered, and so very loved.

Sarah Haniza (not real name) is working and living in KL.

Illustration by Lyn Ong.