My modern DIY confinement practice

Jes 0 Comments

I am a DIY traveller, so it makes sense that my confinement is also the DIY way.

It is very difficult to conform to the traditional confinement practices because most of them do not make any sense any more in our modern society and especially in Singapore's climate. Some of them are only hearsay or old wives' tale that do not have any truth in it. Please take note that I am not a doctor so these are my own understanding only. Just follow your mother and mother-in-law as it will definitely make your life easier. Some old rules include:
Confinement is exactly like staying in a prison

1) Cannot take shower or wash hair
This is only applicable if we have winter in Singapore where taking a shower will be equivalent to catching a cold. You will definitely be really sweaty and sticky in our weather conditions. Even if you turn on the air con 24/7, you will encounter hot flashes in the initial period. Your whole body and scalp will be really dirty after 1 month and it's not hygienic when you are handling the baby!

2) Cannot drink water
Many people informed me about this as drinking water can lead to water retention in your body, face or limbs. In actual fact, drinking insufficient water is the cause of water retention! You will be so dehydrated about delivery and breastfeeding that you should drink more water. However, refrain from drinking cold water as you might catch a cold although there is no proven harm for it.

3) Cannot turn on the fan or air con or open the windows
Not only to prevent you from catching a cold, it is said that 'wind' will enter your body and cause headaches and backaches in the future. Don't worry, it is not proven to be true too.

4) Cannot eat chicken, duck, beef or oily, salty, spicy, raw food
This is an old wives' tale which is hard to prove. I could not even find anyone proving that chicken is 'toxic' and not recommended after surgery. The best explanation is that chicken is injected with hormones and old folks may not be comfortable with it.

5) Cannot walk if possible and should be lying down at all times
This might be true for the first 2 weeks and especially so for c-sect mothers. You have stitches and your body is so weak so it is encouraged that you lie down to rest. You know your body well so you would know how much you can walk. Sitting down is acceptable, you do not have to keep lying down.

6) Cannot read or cry
You would probably cry during the first week due to stress, hormones or breastfeeding pain and problems. It is normal, it is good to cry and de-stress a few times but not all the time. Bottling your feelings up would be much worse. Similarly, reading might stress your eyes and body so you should just keep sleeping as much as you want.
Sorry ladies, you won't look at neat and peaceful as this

Just remember these few rules and you would be fine:
1) Do your best not to catch a cold
You are at your most vulnerable state after surgery and your body's health and immune system is reset after an intensive labour. Avoid being in situations where you might feel chilly.

2) Do not eat anything that may cause a stomach upset
Do stay cautious and don't try any new food during confinement because you do not know how your body would react to it.

3) Do not overwork your body 
Rest more but if you are bored, just watch some shows and go ahead and read! One will definitely sleep when one is tired.

4) Take a balanced diet
Eat in moderation so even though there are toxins in some food, it will not be enough to accumulate! You will definitely eat lots of lean pork, eggs, salmon, thread fin fish and ginger. Do eat less ginger if you want to reduce the jaundice level of your baby.

5) Take it easy! 
Just rest and sleep and recuperate is the main idea for confinement.

Do read these articles from Eu Yan Sang and Health Xchange that debunk all the popular confinement myth. In conclusion, rest, rest and more rest is of the utmost importance.

Jes

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