Based on Indian beliefs, confinement period for mothers who just gave birth last for 40 days. Similar to Malay culture, Indian mothers are given massage using specially blended oil. It is meant to ‘drive’ away wind in the body and helps mother to regain ideal body figure effectively. Some may opt to use sesame oil to massage the tummy instead of purchasing specially blended oil.
Mothers are not allowed to get involved in house chores as they must rest during confinement period. They can only care for themselves and the baby. Therefore, in Indian culture, pregnant mothers usually stay with her parents or mother-in-law during the last trimester. Once they give birth to the baby, they must not stress out as it will affect the milk production. It is best for the mothers to rest once the baby falls asleep.
Other similarities among Indian, Malay and Chinese cultures include prevention of ‘cold’ food intake. For Indian mothers, they must consume several traditional recipes to nurture their health. That includes panjiri, harira, ajwain halwa, mandua, ajwain parantha, gondh ke laddoo, almond and methi.
Panjiri is a must-have traditional dish for mothers as it offers vital nutrients and helps in lactation while harira is also another must-have traditional dish passed on for generations that aids lactation. Ajwain halwa is meant to cleanse and purify your uterus while ajwain parantha helps food digestion besides cleansing your uterus. Mandua or finger millet is a traditional dish from Kumaon and Garhwal regions in India.
For Indian mothers under confinement period, they must increase intake of ghee to help digestive system. To bathe the baby, mothers usually mix water with turmeric, yogurt and sandlewood powder. And not to forget ‘Java Punjani’ ceremony for mothers who just gave birth. This is a ceremony in which mothers must have their toenails and fingernails hennaed.