Commonly Asked Questions about Confinement Practice

“Wait! What are you doing?? Don’t wash your hands with water!! You are in confinement, don’t you know that water will introduce wind into your system and you will take longer to heal la.”

“Also, don’t shower with cold water because that will also cause wind to enter your body!”

“In fact, don’t shower at all la, just to be safe.”

We’re sure you’ve heard those somewhat confusing, albeit well-meaning, phrases before. Well, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the most commonly asked questions regarding confinement practices and try to set the record straight, hopefully, debunking some myths along the way.

In that vein, for our article today, we’ll be going through the top 10 commonly asked questions that we have encountered regarding confinement practices.

Top 10 Questions We Commonly Get Asked

1. Can mothers wash hands with warm water during confinement?

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This question is prevalent because of the belief that mothers in confinement should avoid cold water as much as possible. 

The story goes that in the olden days, as with many of these myths or beliefs, people relied on wells or rivers as their primary source of water. These sources aren’t really all that healthy or clean.

Couple that with the fact that a mother’s post-delivery body temperature may be a tad higher for a week or two and she will perspire a lot. That, and the fact that she will have a weakened immunity means that colds are easily caught.

So, putting two and two together, it makes sense why people would want to boil water to kill off parasites and not be cold otherwise the mummy will catch a cold! 

2. Can I use fans or the air-conditioner?

You’ll find that as we make our way through this list, there seems to be a fascination with “wind”. Here, the belief is that you need to prevent this “wind” from entering your body.

It will be helpful to remember that some, if not all, of these beliefs came from ancient China where the weather there isn’t as punishing as the tropics of Singapore.

As we’ve mentioned, post-delivery, your body temperature would be somewhat higher and the cool air of ancient China could be a good source from which to catch a cold.

While we would not recommend setting your air-conditioner to 16 degrees celsius all day, every day, it would be alright to stay cool in this hot tropical weather.

3. Can I drink plain water instead of red date and longan tea?

A rather common one that we hear a lot of in Singapore. Mummies are told to drink longan and red date tea, rice wines, ginger, etc.

You really don’t have to adhere to this one all that strictly. It might be nice to drink red date tea all day, everyday, but you still need water in the end. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding. Water helps your body boost milk flow.

4. Must I eat only meat and liver?

It’s understandable why people think this is a good one to follow.

You’ve lost a lot of blood during delivery. You need the protein and iron to replenish. However, just only eating meat and liver? That’s not a very balanced diet.

Adhere to balanced meals and you won’t go wrong. Besides, some veggies are also high in protein and iron, plus they have fibre which is good for promoting a healthy gut.

5. Can I consume caffeine and/or spicy food?

Well, this really isn’t all that unreasonable, but it’s also not really true either.

We have read research that says spices and caffeine can be passed on to your baby through your breast milk. However, it might help give your baby an appreciation for spicy food later in life.

Ultimately, if you do not go wild and drink five shots of espresso a day, then you should be fine and your baby can still get to sleep. Just keep one word in mind – moderation.

6. Do I have to lie in bed all day?

Alright. Now, this is one that we wouldn’t mind doing!

The idea behind this one is to not move about too much and possibly reopen your still-healing scar, especially if you opted for a C-section.

Sadly, while it’s true that you shouldn’t be too vigorous with your movements since you’re still recovering, there’s no basis to support having to lie in bed all day.

7. Do I have to drink rice wine and other alcoholic drinks?

We don’t know who ever thought it would be a good idea to mix alcohol with confinement. This is even more so if you are breastfeeding as alcohol can be transferred to your baby via your breastmilk. If anything, alcohol could impair the growth and development of your baby.

If you’re following a traditional Chinese confinement diet, we understand how mothers are traditionally encouraged to have dishes cooked with alcohol to warm the body. Remember to keep a gap of at least two hours after having these dishes if you are breastfeeding.

8. Must I eat lots of ginger and herbal supplements?

Okay, we have no issue with the ginger part as there are actually a lot of health benefits like reducing muscle pain and soreness. It’s the herbal supplements that we’re more concerned about. We don’t really know the process that goes into making these health supplements and thus may contain things that you might not want to be taking especially when you’ve got a weakened immune system.

9. Must I not wash my hair?

This question, like in question 1, relates to personal hygiene and water temperature. Another variation of this question that we often get asked is whether or not it is alright to shower or wash the body after giving birth.

It is believed that the cold water will introduce “wind” into your body which will lead to diseases later, cause headaches, and even arthritis.

The story behind this belief was that in ancient China, they did not have electric water heaters and so baths were mostly cold. That and the weather being mostly cool meant that people could get away with a shower a day or less. 

Here in Singapore’s humid, warm weather, on the other hand, try going a whole day without showering and that’s just a recipe for disaster. Especially with a weakened immune system, as we’ve mentioned above, you’d probably get an infection.

So, it is perfectly alright to wash your hair and bathe yourself. Just be careful not to use cold water or you’ll catch a cold.

10. Can I still pray or enter a spiritual place?

We’ll admit, this one is not as common, but it was so out of the left field that we just had to include it.

The belief behind it is that there is uncleanliness around you spiritually after giving birth and that visiting temples and such will open you up for spiritual contamination.

We’ve not found any scientific evidence to support it, so, go for it!


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We hope our article today has cleared up some of the commonly asked questions surrounding the practice of confinement. If you are looking for a confinement package or maybe just Googling for “confinement nanny sg”, we have your nanny confinement package ready and good to go! 

All you have to do is just drop by our website and leave an enquiry. Our customer support team operates all year round just for you, and our highly trained and experienced nannies are standing by to make your confinement a breeze.

  • PEM Confinement Nanny Agency

    We are a group of frontliners and support team members who are passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience in confinement care. Representing the largest confinement nanny agency in Singapore which has served over 250,000 mothers in over 30 years, we are all about sharing useful and insightful information based on our experience to help new parents navigate this exciting chapter of their life better.