When you decide to follow a certain set of practices, it is always in your best interest for you to question things where you can. Not only this will add to your knowledge, but you will also learn and understand why some things are good for you while others are not. For new moms, adhering to certain confinement practices is not uncommon. There is a reason why such beliefs have remained the same for so long across multiple generations. Still, there is no harm in exploring more of them! Chinese confinement practices are generally in line with TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theories so the incorporation of herbs into daily meals and baths is certainly popular. Compared to the confinement period of other cultures like Malay and Indian that go on for 44 and 40 days respectively, Chinese confinement period lasts for merely a month.
Chinese confinement practices
Some examples of the Chinese confinement practises include restricting movements and not going outside the house, not showering or washing hair, not using the fan or air-conditioner, and following strict confinement diet which includes not eating raw or cooling foods. Chinese confinement teaching also emphasises the use of herbs. You may incorporate herbs in your foods, drinks, and even bathwater! Generally, there is no problem in following or holding on to any of these beliefs or principles. If it will bring harm to new mothers, it most likely will not survive to be passed down for so long. Even living in this advanced, modern society, a lot of moms would willingly go for traditional treatments in many aspects of their lives.
To follow or not to follow?
The key lies in knowing which one you can and cannot do and understand why things are the way they were back then, and how have they changed since then – and how this affects our quality of lives. The next most important thing you should know is to distinguish myths with facts.
Several things that you can certainly ignore includes not showering for a whole month, especially due to the humid climate of this country. Alternatively, you can take a warm herbal bath! You can also disobey the rule of not being able to go outside, especially if you are required to go meet your doctor for an appointment within the month after delivery. Other practices like restricting your movement and consuming certain herbs are definitely helpful in contributing to a smooth postnatal recovery journey.
If you are still at a crossroads after finding things out, it is recommended to check with your medical doctor on whether you are fit to follow a certain practice or not. Chinese confinement practices are generally safe, but there is no harm in doing your own extensive research as well. You should always decide on the best things to prioritise your recovery and your newborn’s growth!