According to the tradition of Chinese confinement practices, it is a widely spread notion that a new mother should not take a shower or wash hair during confinement. While you are free to follow whatever practice you would like, some mothers prefer to disobey this particular ‘rule’. So can you, especially in this modern age and the humid climate of Singapore. Adhering to this aspect of traditional confinement practices can lead to skin itching, rashes, and worse, inflammations. Your body will produce a lot of sweat during the delivery and after it, so not showering is basically an invitation for the bacteria to keep spreading and multiplying.
Unquestionably, postnatal mothers are generally more susceptible to ‘wind’ after giving birth. This is perhaps why mothers are not advised to shower back in the days when there was very little access to clean and warm bath water. However, we have gone through a series of technologies advancement. You can, in fact, keep yourself warm throughout the confinement period by stepping into the bathroom. Apart from wrapping yourself in a thick blanket, one other way you could do so is by showering yourself with a warm herbal bath. For generations, this bath is believed to aid blood circulation in mothers and help ease the recovery process during confinement.
Herbs for bathing during confinement
The most common herbs used by new mothers to bathe with include the lemongrass, Chinese chaste tree, and da feng ai (sembong). Some of these ingredients may be familiar to you, while some others you have probably never heard of before. If you have no idea to start, you can talk to someone knowledgeable like a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner or expert around you on what herbs to use for such matters. Otherwise, you can leave it to your confinement nanny to prepare everything for you.
Use of herbal bath package
Preparing the bath using various herbs you gather can be quite a hassle, so it is recommended to go for herbal packages that are meant for daily baths. The packages should be enough to provide you with bathing herbs for your whole confinement month, so you do not have to go out of your way to find others to include in your herbal bath.
Preparation of herbal bath
The steps are extremely simple. Since the herbs are already packed separately according to the different days, all you have to do is take each pack out and boil them in water. Let the ingredients seep into the water until it turns brownish. Some new mothers who regularly wash their hair also prefer to boil two packs at a time. The longer the herbs are immersed in boiling water, the benefits of the herbs are also more enhanced. Your house will be filled with the fragrant aroma in the air from the herbs. Boil for about 15 to 30 minutes until you are satisfied with how the herbal water turns out. You can then turn off the fire and wait for it to cool down for a little bit, either leaving the sachet in the water or removing it. Lastly, add the water into a bigger pail of water and once you make sure the temperature is to your liking, your bath water is ready!
Benefits of herbal bath
One of the most prominent benefits of herbal bath is that it can improve blood circulation, remove wind from the body, and strengthen your muscles and joints, all the while relieving mild swelling and pains from your childbirth. Of course, taking a warm bath can make you feel relaxed and freshen yourself up as well so that is certainly a plus point.
All in all, an herbal bath offers nothing but endless benefits. If you live in a country as humid as Singapore, it is much better to take a warm shower instead of going through the month without showering at all. With all that being said, considering the confinement herbal bath Singapore mothers like you are increasingly taking up certainly puts you on the right track of postnatal recovery.