Confinement refers to recovery period after a woman gave birth to a child. In order to return to the pre-pregnancy state, a woman must be extra careful and take note on several areas including food, living environment, clothing as well as physical exercise.
In these 30 to 45 days, women must pamper themselves as it will affect their health in the future if they neglect this confinement period. Confinement is known as ‘pantang’ in Malay culture.
While the length of confinement varies between individual, there are different traditions between cultures. But nevertheless, it is all meant to nurture your health and regain your pre-pregnancy state in the shortest time possible. Here are some top practical tips for a happy confinement period.
Previous generations always advise you to practice to sit up straight and in a correct posture while you are drinking. This is because they strongly believed that if you failed to do so, you won’t be able to control your urine later in life. Although there is no scientific explanation to justify this action, new mothers tend to follow the advice from their mothers for safety precaution.
Next up, an important tip for mothers who breastfeed their child. Before you latch or express your milk, try to compress the breasts as it helps you to discharge any block ducts trapped. In addition to that, this action is also good to let down your supply.
A reminder for first time parents, infants are usually wakeful and active during night time but tend to be sleepy and passive during the day. Therefore, during the night, do not be surprised if your baby wants to be breastfed as long as possible. But that happens only for the first few months. In some cases, the baby will fall asleep after you breastfeed them for approximately 10 minutes.
Take note here as this is one of the most important tips for mommies. First time parents are surprised to find colostrum (which is yellow in colour and it is known as golden first milk) and they will throw it away. But stop right there! Because these are precious as it is rich in nutrition and immunities. Feed your baby with the milk as it offers variety of health benefits. If your baby craves for more milk, give them a little bit more because frequent nursing helps you to establish nutritious milk supply later in life.
Some mothers complained about sore nipples during latching. This is because you may have position the baby incorrectly. If you position the baby correctly, then they can suck effectively without giving you any problem.
When you first start to breastfeed the baby, try to guide him and allow the baby to learn to suck effectively on the first few days. To have a better and more nutritious supply, you should take a nap when the baby is sleeping. It helps you to relax and release tension.
To increase your breast milk supply, try to consume ‘pegaga’ vegetable as recommended by most of the Malaysian gynaecologist. Besides that, also increase your intake of fish, spinach, papaya and apples during confinement period.
Mothers with flat or inverted nipples may face problems in the early days when breastfeeding the baby. Hence, it is recommended that you should learn the basic of making latching-on to convenient you the next time you breastfeed the infants.
Engorgement (glut) may happen between the first five days when you start to breastfeed the baby. Don’t panic when it occurs as it will only last up to 48 hours. You may help to treat the engorgement by massaging your breasts before you breastfeed. This is to ensure that the breasts are soft before you begin each feeding session. Here are some symptoms of engorgement – pain, fever, redness, swollen and warm.
After learning how to position the baby correctly and basics of making latching-on, if you notice that your nipples are still swollen, immediately seek treatment as there are chances of infections and you will now need to apply nipple cream to heal it. When you are in such situation, try to avoid wearing bras with breast pad or bras that are made from synthetic fabrics.
During the first few months, babies may have a regular fussy period that happens when they are active (during the day). It may cause your baby to cry constantly. But it does not mean that the baby is starving. Instead of breastfeeding the infant, massage them to ease the baby and make them fall asleep easier.
While mothers are encouraged to increase the intake of fish, spinach, papaya and apples, try to decrease the intake of food that are considered cold such as cucumbers, watermelon, oranges, honeydew and kangkung. Besides, also avoid eating seafood and consuming caffeine beverages during the confinement period.
For Chinese beliefs, a mother should not bathe for 12 days and it may differ as some said mothers are not allow to shower for a month. But due to hygiene purposes, you may have a quick rinse or wet a towel and wipe your body so that you can take care of the baby better.
Lastly on the list, if you gave birth to a baby via normal delivery, do not perform any physical exercises for 2 months while those who gave birth via cesarean, do not engage in any exercise for 4 months.