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There are tons of practical as well as illogical confinement practices passed on from generations to generations. Some modern mums just simply dismissed it for the ‘rule’ seems to be illogical (for example, not bathing a month and to remain indoor between 30 and 45 days).
Hence, you may notice that there are several confinement practices which have been abandoned by modern mums. Take this for example: older generations often advise mothers who just gave birth to stay in warm place and avoid sitting in air-conditioned room. If you think the advice given is wise, think again.
What about those who live in extremely cold country such as Beijing or Canada, does that mean they have to move to tropical country such as Malaysia? Besides, what about those who live in Cameron Highlands? These are some of the myths brushed off by medical experts since there is no scientific explanation to support it.
Some medical experts concluded that the most important aspect to rejuvenate mothers’ health is the lifestyle. Usually, the first seven to ten days are the most important period. Since confinement period covers not only your rest period and nutrition but also lifestyle, first time mothers without the help from mother-in-law or their mothers usually employ a live-in confinement lady (also known as pui yuet in Chinese context).
Some practices which have been abandoned used to be crucial for women back in the olden days. This is because the women used to spend their days working on farms or in the orchard. Therefore, certain confinement practices are extremely important for them to regain their pre-pregnancy state and pamper themselves for improved health. Confinement ladies are needed to care for the baby and look after mothers’ lifestyle.
Bear in mind that confinement period is meant to pamper the mothers to have the most relaxing and wonderful 45 days experience remaining indoor without doing anything. Perhaps, the biggest conflict between traditional confinement practices and advice from western doctors is alcohol consumption. In Chinese culture, rice wine is constantly used to prepare dishes for mothers.
Mothers are encouraged to drink rice wine (also known as confinement water) to decrease water retention symptoms in women. But then again, it only applies to women back in the olden days as the markets now sell Reverse Osmosis (R/O) water for such purpose. In addition to that, one can also get good filtration systems.
Another major difference between doctors’ advice and traditional practices is the consumption of raw herbs. Decades ago, mothers used to boil and consume raw herbs. In fact, doctors advised not to purchase raw herbs but to buy processed herbs instead because herbs are toxic. Therefore, it is best to buy the processed ones that come in capsule to rejuvenate your health.
While some modern mums think it is absurd to follow the rules passed on from previous generations, there are still some practices which are important particularly those related to food preparation. It is crucial for mothers to eat food prepared in ginger, vinegar, red dates and plenty more.
Moving on to another practice, doctors commented that prohibition on bathing and washing your hair within a month is unhygienic and illogical. This is because doctors said cleaning the body constantly after giving birth helps to heal the wound effectively in shortest time.
Besides that, older generations warned first time mothers not to eat ‘cool’ fruits and vegetables. In fact, doctors said this is one of the most illogical practices as fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and fibre to help in recovery.