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First Step Into Confinement: 4 Chinese Practices To Consider
When you transition from simply being a woman to a full-time mother, recovery from labour can not only take a toll on your body, but it can also take some time. This is called the confinement period and usually includes postnatal practices that differ from culture to culture. But the goal of these practices is the same: they are carried out to speed up your body's postnatal recovery.
Specifically, in Chinese culture, the confinement period is traditionally referred to as Zuo Yue Zi. While it often runs for approximately a month, this protected time can extend up to 45 days – it all depends on various factors, such as whether you gave birth naturally or through caesarean. Expecting and wondering what the recommended practices to kick start your road to recovery are? Here are a couple of Chinese confinement practices to consider!
1. You're not advised to shower
This is typically a challenging practice, especially when we’re used to showering often in Singapore’s humid weather. Among the many recommendations of Chinese confinement practices, this is arguably the most common one – you're not supposed to bathe nor wash your hair during the first month after your baby is born.
But, a more modern take on this practice is that you can shower with warm water. Some new Mums also take sponge baths infused with ginger or lemongrass to cool and cleanse the body without dousing yourself with water.
2. Avoid direct wind from air conditioning
During the confinement period, your recovering body is vulnerable, so it’s best to keep it comfortable. Although reducing your chances of sweating excessively means using air conditioners, you’d also want to avoid being overexposed to chill or wind. With that, if you wish to use air conditioning to keep your body cool and prevent a heat rash, be sure not to let the air conditioner blow directly at you.
3. Get as much rest as you can
This recommendation is not only suggest by Chinese confinement practices but also by health experts. The key to a speedy postnatal recovery is to prioritise rest so that your body can have the opportunity to recuperate.
Many new Mums find it helpful to keep their family members in the loop of their recovery process – some may find trouble sleeping or carry low energy levels. In this way, your family can ease your load by helping with household chores or taking turns to care for the baby while you sleep.
4. Eat the right kinds of food
Apart from getting enough rest, the food you consume also influences how fast you will recover after giving birth. During the confinement period, there are certain meals that Chinese tradition advises you to eat. Foods such as salmon, brown rice and almonds offer the most essential vitamins and minerals for new Mums.
While preparing confinement meals on your own is possible, for you to focus on recovery and bonding with your little one, consider tapping into our Chinese confinement food delivery services at your convenience. Here at Yue Zi Le, recognising the importance of meals packed with nourishment, we curate confinement meals that will ease you into the precious Zuo Ye Zi period and for optimal recovery.