Recovering from a Postpartum Hotel (Yuezhi 月子)

After my mother-in-law in the US left the hospital giving birth to my husband, she went back home and helped plant trees in the backyard the next day. When we told her we are checking in a postpartum hotel after the hospital, she was surprised. In Taiwan, it is very common to spend about a month either at a postpartum facility or at home with a postpartum care lady. In either case, food and baby care are the main focus to let the mother rest. Since we had a small apartment, we decided to go to a postpartum hotel nearby for 20 days (how we picked the facility and more details about our stay in Mandarin).

Normally I love taking pictures of food and new places, but I was really tired during my stay and only had a few snapshots.


It’s pretty much like a hotel with baby care. By law, there is a minimum nurse-to-baby ratio of 1 to 5. For our hotel, we had a room of 8 ping / 284 sqft / 26 sqm (there are bigger rooms but out of our budget) and each floor has a baby room with a glass window. Fortunately, our floor only had 3 rooms and thus only 3 babies in the baby room (no twins).

Postpartum food

Some facilities have their own kitchen, while our hotel works with 3 postpartum food vendors: Food for Health (玉膳坊), Big Mama (皇太后), and Yago (芽果). At least one of them is a publicly-traded company. The vendors also sell these meals to individuals at home, about 50-100 USD per day. I tried the first two vendors for about 1.5 weeks each. There are three meals every day, dropped off by the door. Each meal usually has 2-3 small dishes, one soup/drink, and one grain (rice/noodle). They came in small containers packaged in a bag, and with light seasoning. I was so touched when I had a less healthy bread one weekend morning. I enjoyed the variety of these meals, but they did get repetitive and bland toward the end.

Parent-baby time

While many people prefer relaxing for the whole time without worries from the baby, we had Ruby in our room a few times a day for breastfeeding and when they were cleaning the baby room. For the first week, I was on call for breastfeeding 24/7, then I felt so exhausted and they suggested taking the night off. I then switched to be on call except for 12-8 am to get some rest, even though I still set an alarm for pumping.

Recovery life

For mothers who don’t breastfeed, life at the facility could be really pampered. Since we chose to breastfeed, these days as a brand new parent were still quite stressful. After I started having the evening off, I did get some higher quality sleep for 3-4 hours maximum with a pumping session. For the first 1.5 weeks, I barely had the energy to leave the room except for multiple hospital visits for jaundice. In the second half of my stay, I felt more rested and excited to be at our own place.


Typically, visitors are allowed at the facility and they can hang out in the lobby and see the baby from the glass window. However, due to COVID-19, we couldn’t have any visitors other than the person who stayed with me (my husband). I felt sad when my family came to Taipei but we had to meet outside of the entrance. My husband stayed with me for the whole time, helping with laundry and our move to a new place after the end of the stay.

Video streaming

It’s pretty common to have a camera in the baby room above each baby’s bassinet so that family can see the baby from anywhere. This happened to be a very nice feature, our parents in the US and farther away in Taiwan can all see if the baby was sleeping or crying.

Ready to go home

Because land is expensive in Taipei (Taiwanese people are crazy about real estate), our 284 sqft room felt like a prison after a week or so. I started missing fresh air, the freedom and space to walk around. I also saw how chaotic it was when all 3 babies were crying, and the nurse wasn’t able to attend to every baby all the time. While newborns could be hungry anytime, they usually keep the babies fed on a 4-hour schedule. I didn’t feel so right about the scheduled feeding and couldn’t wait to give her all of my care and feed her little stomach on demand. On the day we left for home, I was scared to take on the new parenting life but also looking forward to embarking on this journey.