Confinement Practices and How It Will Affect Your Health in the Future
The period after child birth is known as a confinement period for women, because it is meant for them to rest, recuperate and replenish all the lost energy and blood during childbirth. In East Asian traditions, it is believed that a woman must be confined indoors to follow a set of strict practices in order to nurse her weak body back to health, and prepare her for motherhood.
In our modern day world, many new mothers struggle to decide if they should still follow these set of practices handed down by our early ancestors. Some may be useful in aiding recovery, whereas others may prove to only be myths of the olden days. However, here are some guides and reasons why you should follow certain practices, and how they could potentially affect your future health. It is said that a confinement done right will relieve you from any future health problems.
What is confinement really about?
The essence of any confinement practice is mainly to prevent “wind” from entering the body, and also to get as much rest as you can. It is said that during childbirth, your body is exposed to chill leaving it in a vulnerable state. Therefore, during confinement, food is always prepared warmth with “heaty” ingredients that provide warmth to the body, as well as help to expel wind. Ginger and red dates are frequently used as these two ingredients are known to have “heaty” elements and can help in replenishing blood.
- Taking A Bath.
New mothers are also advised to bundle up their bodies so as not to allow wind exposure. Any direct wind blowing towards your body is not allowed. In the olden days, many women are disallowed from taking baths because exposure to water will allow wind to get into the body. Too much exposure to wind will cause backaches and joint pains in the future when a mother is much older. However, this may also be a hygiene issue so over the years there have been alternatives for mothers to still maintain their hygiene while in confinement. Mothers can still take baths, provided that the water is infused with warming herbs like ginger, which is believed to eliminate its cooling effect. Other alternatives also include sponging the body and quickly drying up.
- Having Ample Rest
One other “must-follow” practice during confinement is to get as much rest as you can. This may be slightly tough with a crying baby, needing attention and feeding every few hours, but it is important for mothers to squeeze in any amount of rest they can get whenever they can. If you have a confinement nanny living in, try to leave your newborn to her while you catch up on sleep and rest. Some believe that inadequate rest and over-exerting your body during confinement will slow down your recovery causing your uterus to not contract properly. This will result in a condition called “dropping womb”.
- Don’t Carry Heavy Objects
It is also highly important for mothers to not carry heavy objects or do any heavy chores during the confinement period. Heavy chores may cause your wounds to reopen or heal slower than it should.
As much as these practices may be dreadful and not easy to adhere to, some of them have proven to benefit mothers. It is important to weigh which practices are necessary for your future health, and to strictly follow them if you wish to replenish and recover the right way. If you are unsure about these practices, you can always consult a trusted medical practitioner, or someone with experience in this area example, a confinement planner. Fellow mothers who have undergone the same confinement practices will be able to enlighten you on the benefits and advantages of following certain confinement practices, and which ones in particular will benefit you in the future.
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