In the third trimester—or sooner!—make some time to ask each other four essential questions that can help avoid unnecessary stress. You may not have the exact answers, but simply bringing these topics to the table before baby gets here can set the foundation for a strong relationship later.
This twist on a classic “first food” for mom may sound strange. Dried fruit in chicken soup, you ask? But go with it: Chinese red dates—also known as jujubes, available at Chinese markets or online—plus ruby-colored goji berries is a time-tested combo used to boost circulation and enhance inner warmth. Your eyes will delight at the look of these little gems in your soup bowl. Your taste buds will love the subtle touch of sweetness against the savory chicken. I recommend making every effort to use Chinese red dates, which bestow amazing postpartum health benefits, as they are not difficult to find online or in local Asian markets. Medjool dates are okay in a pinch but they do not have the same medicinal effects.
Orange is a color of celebration, ritual, and happiness—a shade that instantly lifts the spirits. This pureed soup is so easy to make from ingredients stocked in your pantry, and it’s a great one to ask a visitor to whip up for you. The slightly sweet taste and grounding properties of kabocha squash are especially comforting on days when you might feel teary or blue, and a generous amount of lubricating oil helps to remedy inner dryness and wind, soothing the nerves further. Serves 8