Top 5 confinement myths to beware of
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Mothers in confinement have to take extra care because not only are they weakened by childbirth and still on the road to recovery, they are also responsible for breastfeeding their newborn. However, it can be hard knowing what’s safe to do and what’s best avoided, especially with so much often-conflicting information out there.
Here are the top 5 most common myths… debunked.
Myth #1: Do not drink plain water
It is thought that drinking plain water during confinement can cause water retention and result in your body bloating.
Truth: Mothers in postpartum recovery have more reason than ever to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Due to a loss of fluids during breastfeeding as well as hormonal changes that cause heavy sweating, nursing mums require lots of liquids in order to replenish their body’s water supply. Make sure to opt for warm water over cold drinks, however. Red dates tea is a great alternative for those looking to spice up their routine.
Myth #2: Consume alcohol
This stems from the (wrong) belief that drinking alcoholic beverages or eating food cooked with alcohol can boost blood circulation and warm up the body.
Truth: While it’s true that alcohol is used in traditional Chinese medicine to expel cold and improve blood circulation, mothers in confinement should not depend on it to help them recuperate. If anything, alcohol should be avoided by mummies as it can be passed on to their child through breast milk and lead to developmental issues.
Myth #3: Take lots of herbal supplements
Many tend to recommend that women load up on herbal dishes and supplements after the qi-draining process of childbirth, to aid in their healing and give them an energy boost. But sometimes, less is more.
Truth: Every woman’s body is different, and an effective remedy for one person might not be the same for another. It’s always wise to consult your doctor for advice that is catered accordingly to your needs. Some mothers also hire a professional confinement nanny for their expertise in confinement diets and postpartum care.
Myth #4: Do not shower or wash your hair
Some believe that coming into contact with water causes wind to enter the body, thus causing headaches and rheumatism later in life. Bathing is also said to make new mothers more prone to catching chills.
Truth: There’s no basis to these beliefs, so feel free to take that shower you have been longing for. Regular baths help to maintain personal hygiene and comfort in addition to preventing skin and wound infections. However, refrain from bathing with cold water and make sure to reduce your exposure to cold air by drying your body immediately after a shower.
Myth #5: Do not expose yourself to air-conditioning
Similarly, this taboo is all about not letting wind enter the body.
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, there’s actually no harm in turning on the fan or air-conditioner for extra comfort. In fact, doing so can help to prevent heat rash in this hot and humid climate. Of course, moderation is key and it should not be overwhelmingly cold. A temperature between 25°C – 27°C is recommended.
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