The custom can vary widely. In the US and Canada, women are willing to pay for Chinese guides to help them through these times.
http://www.thespec.com/living-story/706 ... -recovery/The food and the parental help "provided me with the much-needed rest and energy to be able to better care for my newborn and return to family and work stronger," Lee says. "My parents are Westernized and liberal with the interpretation of zuo yue zi, and fortunately allowed air conditioning — as long as it wasn't blowing directly on the baby — showers and surfing the Internet."
Lee points out that Eastern and Western cultures share common customs in the postpartum period — promoting nutrition, hydration and rest, and avoiding infectious exposures. "Many zuo yue zi traditions are beneficial for the mother and newborn, such as eating protein-rich foods, avoiding strenuous physical activity and restricting visitors to allow recuperation and reduce risk for infections," she says.
"On the other hand, some traditions may have less clear benefit or even potential harm. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and there is little information on their active ingredients, transfer into breast milk or effects on breastfeeding infants. Thus, it may be best to tailor the postpartum experience for the individual, considering a mother's particular needs and circumstances, while balancing the potential benefits and potential risks of the practices."