Confinement “Rules” You Should Really Ignore, For Your Own Good

HEALTH  |  August 12, 2017
  • Go ahead, break these confinement rules
    1 / 4 Go ahead, break these confinement rules

    New mums, it’s hard enough battling postnatal blues, broken sleep and the constant need to attend to your baby. Add to that the Asian practice of confinement, which lasts 30 to 100 days depending on individual beliefs.

    There are so many do’s and don’ts during this confinement period, so it’s completely natural to feel annoyed by some of the traditionally held beliefs. Which ones hold water, and which ones don’t? Here, we dispel three of them – for good reason.

    Photos: 123rf.com

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  • Don’t switch on the fan or air-conditioner. Keep warm at all times.
    2 / 4 Don’t switch on the fan or air-conditioner. Keep warm at all times.

    Break the rule! There’s no need to consciously stay warm in sunny Singapore. As long as you are not directly exposed to the wind or cold air, there’s no health concern, says Wong Yueh Chin, a traditional Chinese medicine physician at Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic.

    That’s because a fan blowing right at you can hamper the body’s circulation of qi (energy) and blood, and lead to a host of problems like joint stiffness and muscle aches. According to TCM theories, new mums have weaker body constitutions and immune systems.

    Ensure that your home is well-ventilated. If you prefer to be in an air-conditioned room, keep the temperature at 25 deg C or higher. Besides, keeping cool will help prevent heat rash and flared tempers.

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  • Avoid plain water; it worsens water retention. You should be drinking only red date and ginger tea.
    3 / 4 Avoid plain water; it worsens water retention. You should be drinking only red date and ginger tea.
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  • Avoid taking a shower or washing your hair. Otherwise, you'll risk getting headaches and rheumatism for the rest of your life.
    4 / 4 Avoid taking a shower or washing your hair. Otherwise, you'll risk getting headaches and rheumatism for the rest of your life.

    Break the rule! These days, even TCM experts don’t recommend this practice in hot and humid Singapore. “This practice might have made sense in the past, when new mums didn’t have the luxury of taking a warm bath, or they lived in an environment which is cold or chilly,” explains Yvonne Phua, a chief trainer at Pem Confinement Nanny Agency.

    Practising good personal hygiene is important if you’re breastfeeding your child. This also reduces your risk of skin and wound infections. Plus, it certainly ensures that your family and visitors will find you more bearable, quips Dr Law.

    Take warm showers and towel dry quickly so you don’t catch a cold, advises Yvonne. Ensure that your wound, especially if you’ve had a C-section, is properly dried after bathing, says Dr Law.

    To help expel “wind” in your body, Yueh Chin suggests that you bathe in lukewarm water that has been boiled with old ginger.

    (Also read: How Kareen Lai Turned Her Flabby Tummy to Toned Abs After Pregnancy)

    A version of this article first appeared on www.youngparents.com.sg.

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