It’s okay to break these 3 traditional confinement practices
Article by Cherlynn Ng
The traditional custom of postpartum confinement has a rich history that goes as far back as the year 960 in China. But much has changed since then, meaning that confinement beliefs and practices have also evolved accordingly. What worked in the past might not necessarily be as effective now. People also have vastly different ideas on what is considered taboo in today’s day and age.
Not showering or washing your hair
Forgoing bath time for the entire month of your confinement? Yikes. This is probably not the wisest move for anyone living in tropical climates like Singapore’s. It’s especially important for new mummies to practice good hygiene habits such as taking regular showers, because you have to breastfeed your baby as well as let any wounds heal.
Instead, take warm showers and dry off quickly to avoid falling sick. Herbal baths are also a wonderful and therapeutic experience for those looking to spice up your routine.
Staying warm all the time
Mothers in confinement are told to always keep warm, with some even being disallowed from using the fan or air-conditioner. However, you will find this to be rather impractical and unnecessary in Singapore, where it’s sunny and humid all year round. The last thing you want is to be suffering from heat rash, agree?
There is no need for alarm as long as you do not directly expose yourself to cold wind or let a fan blow right at you. This is because new mums have a weaker constitution and a much more vulnerable immune system, making them more prone to catching the chills.
Besides keeping your home well-ventilated at all times, ensure that the temperature of the air-con (if any) does not fall below 25 degrees and you are good to go!
Replacing water with red dates tea
Your elders might have advised you against drinking too much plain water and recommended that you load up on red dates tea instead. While it’s true that the popular confinement drink provides a host of benefits such as improving qi and blood circulation, did you know too much of it can result in constipation?
Therefore, allow yourself a moderate amount of red dates tea (two to three times a week) while still staying hydrated with at least eight glasses of water daily. For those worrying about water retention, you will be relieved to know that your kidneys will actually produce more urine to remove excess fluid in the first few weeks after childbirth.
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