CONFINEMENT - Should we practice?
did not confine myself through the traditional 30 days (for Chinese).
In fact, I went out to do some groceries 12 days post natal, wearing
only T-shirt and short. And I showered my hair 3 days post natal.
Actually this is not a proud thing to do because I experienced severe
migraine which I have never experienced before. I have to take ponstan
(pain killer) and MIL claimed that my head "masuk angin"
because of the shower. And now, I can't wear high heel because both
of my calves would feel very "sour".
Of course, I have
heard of so many of my friends who have never practised the traditional
confinement and yet they are so sihat and kuat!! Guess each individual
would react differently, huh?!
What I am thinking
now is I should have strictly followed the confinement "rules
& regulations". Better to "suffer" now than to
be sorry later in life.
showered my hair 10 days post natal My Indian neighbour was asking
me: how lah you tahan Vivi, not smelly ar? And that was after a major
bargain with my mom, then she gave in to me. After my MIL got to know
about this, she asked my confinement nanny to keep a strict eye on
me. And the next time I washed my hair was a day before the full moon
I did not drink
any plain water for 3 weeks, only red dates water and any other hot
drinks. I did not eat any single leafy vegetables for one whole month,
only meat. I confined myself in the room upstairs, as I was not allowed
to walk down the staircase, worried that my uterus will drop. Can
you girls imagine this?
For my next confinement,
I've told myself that I will follow every rules moderately. I will
bath 10 days post natal, drink warm plain water after 3 days maybe,
and will eat certain vegetables that will not cause wind, and I won't
confine myself in the room upstairs anymore. Hehe...
for bringing this up. A big issue for everyone of us Malaysians. First,
Eirian, a Scottish midwife (a MNM member from Penang) told me that
it is good that we have our one month/40 days confinement practice.
She had spent many years helping our local mothers, especially from
the rural areas with their post-natal recovery including breastfeeding.
She said it is good that we have the chance to get a full rest, full
recovery and being pampered. Unlike the Western ladies, they had to
return home and cope alone just like another day. So, must be thankful
we got a whole month to 'enjoy' our confinement.
As for me, I follow
the no drinking plain water, eat special foods and alcohol, lie as
much as I can afford. But I also curi-curi wash my hair alternate
days and started driving less than 2 weeks post c-sec. And for me,
my mother was my spy. Each day when I want to bath (when I had my
first 2 sons), I will ask her to watch out that my mil did not pop
in unannounced. Once mil pop in and my mother actually lied to her
that I am in the toilet doing big business in the loudest voice so
that I can come out with the same lie!
practice can be a real nuisance though. My eldest sil who took care
of me when I had Matthew forbid me to even touch my computer. She
said nanti all my fingers will be painful in old age.
As for joint pains,
I do get them now and wonder if I had been naughty and bath in my
aircond hospital room, including washing hair, at 8 am, 4 days after
c-sec. But then, my two elders sisters who followed every one of the
pantang larang without rebelling also got the pains.
And yeah, Topaz
once pointed out that the Mat Salleh ladies have more arthritis problem
than us do.
My opinion is to
follow as much as a person can endure.
Lilian (co-owner, moderator and mom of 5)
you mentioned that your SIL who followed the rules and regulations
of confinement also have joint pains? Aiyah.... then what for we follow
so strictly? I had knee pain a few months ago, and I was convinced
that its because of me showering (wash hair everyday since Day 1!)
and sleeping in the aircond room every night postpartum. But it went
away after one month. No more pain now (touch wood). Could it be that
all women postpartum will suffer some temporary joint aches? Probably
due to the changes in the body after delivering?
Another rule which
I failed to observe during confinement month is to wear longs and
socks. I mean this is Malaysia for goodness sake! I perspire like
crazy even with a T-shirt and shorts. After having a meal of chicken
cooked with wine and ginger, I will be totally soaked, so wet and
sticky, how to bf? You know, already feel very hot tempered, plus
the heat, feel like exploding!
I guess Lil, you
offer very good advise: "to follow as much as a person can endure".
If I plan to have baby #3, I will do just that!
Moommy to two little ladies (3yrs & 13mths).
I do during confinement... I bathed everyday in Chinese herb water,
the water so hot that I sweat the moment I stepped out from the bathroom.
I washed my hair 14 days after delivery. Before that, I tried the
dry shampoo but yucks...it's messy and would not use it again. The
2nd time I washed my hair is a week after the first one. Both time
also I used very hot water that I think my scalp would come off anytime.
On the diet wise,
I finished up all the food cooked by my confinement helper...oh, she's
a fantastic cook, that's why I have hired her service again this time.
But this time, I think I will ask her to cook smaller portion ...
don't want to put on too much weight like the last time. I didn't
drink plain water for the whole 30 days period. I had vege. occasionally
but can't remember what type already.
I live in a double-storey,
so I cannot avoid using the staircase everyday and I cannot stay upstair
the whole day because the TV and hi-fi are downstair. I also 'tak
biasa' having someone to serve me food in bed everyday... like a queen.
When my mom came over, she would insist that I watch less TV...not
good for the eyes and asked me to lie down. I got a recliner chair
at the living room, so I lowered the chair and still watched TV.
My mom said I'm
lucky to have someone to help around during confinement and I should
make good use of it...rest more, otherwise like her, now always got
back pain and knee pain. My ta-yi (mom's elder sister) rested well
during her confinement and until today, never complain of any backache
and knee-ache. Very healthy...
Mama to Jiann Yang (07/07/2002) and Jia Ee (15/04/2004) .
My family very believe in Chinese
medicine healing, so from young I've been educate to practice Chinese
medicine, after all it been practice for 2000 years, but I also
live in modern world, so now I have my own judgement on when to
use Chinese medicine and when I need to see doctor.
I follow most of the confinement practise by after consult a 'shin
se", I bath and wash my hair with herbs, took a lot boiling
plain water, red date water, ginger water, eat a lot ginger, and
Appeton C18, B complex, and strictly no carry heavy stuff and not
walk too much ( for the womb not to drop, yes, I believe that).
I believe all this really help me on my health, at least after my
confinement I have very good complexion, even though I'm tired and
run down by the girls.
the "shin se' said even though if you don't take a lot red
date or ginger those thing, as long you rest well, and take a lot
vitamins supplement, you'll still doing well.
I have to said Malaysian is very lucky, we have all sort of healing,
supplement for us to choose, Chinese, Malay, Indian, Western, sometime
even though we already mix those method but we don't realise it,
like urut during confinement, how many mat saleh know about this?
so, I'll just follow it, and like my mom said because Chinese mom
had confinement, that's why we don't age so fast like westerners,
my mom no scientist, she can't prove that, but being a good girl,
I always listen to what my mom said .
Maria (mother of twin girls--Isabelle & Annabelle, born 25th
find this topic very interesting. Cause I really wants to know should
we or should we not. I read up a lot on this issue but in the end
still cannot find the answer.
For my confinement, I was not allow to wash hair for 30 days. No vege.
for 30 days. Cannot eat anything cold , no plain water and the list
goes on. I was "confined" to my house for 2 months! I drank
a lot kunyit water. So, you can imagine how I look. My hair looked
a mess, I smell like a salt fish and my teeth has a yellowish stains!
As I cope in the house the whole day alone with BB and MIL , I gone
a bit "crazy".
When the elderly make us go thru confinement practise, it is actually
because they love us and wants the what they believed the best for
us. However, this sometimes makes life a bit susah-loh. So, for my
future confinement, I think I'll will follow moderately. Take bath
and wash hair but only with warm water, drink plenty of red dates
water, take plenty of rest, go out if I need to. In short, we just
have to make our own judgement, what to follow and what not.
lot of the confinement practice (I'm talking about Chinese confinement
practice lah) is probably brought from China where it is cold and
during times when there was no running water and water heater. Also,
the 30 days after childbirth was the only time a woman gets to be
pampered and given nutritious food. Dulu dulu, the men get all the
good food and the women get leftovers ma. That practice wasn't so
long ago, especially with the "pendatang baru" (new immigrants
from China) in the 1920's. In modern times, I believe the confinement
practice is to get new moms to rest and not be gallivanting about
town 'coz they're feeling lighter and has a sudden burst of energy!
I like the idea
of getting help in the first month. However, we live in the tropics
and there is running hot water, so why cannot shower? Cannot eat vege.
for a month! Get constipated? I think that's even more unhealthy than
being afraid of getting "wind"! I believe in moderation
and working with the baby's rhythm. Shower and wash hair with warm
water, eat lots of veg and drink lots of water and everything else.
I liked drinking the date drink 'coz I thought it helped with my milk
I had a confinement
lady after I delivered Laura. Very quickly I made her understand that
I was the boss and laid out what I expected and the way I wanted things
done. I was to breastfeed my daughter (as it turned out it was EBM
in the first month) and that she would be with me 24-7. However, when
Laura pooped, I handed to her lor I wore T-shirt and sarong around
the house and wore slippers. I was living in a double-storey house
then, so showered every day and washed my hair too. My confinement
lady boiled some herbal stuff for me to bathe every few days. As if
she didn't know I showered lah. She didn't dare say anything. DH was
in a theatre production soon after I delivered, so when Laura was
jaundiced and had to see a doc when 4 days old, I drove my confinement
lady to the hospital. I stayed with Laura in the hospital so I can
express for her. The CL couldn't bring food to me, so I had to eat
hospital food isn't it? Survive ok lah....
When with Adam,
I decided not to hire a CL 'coz I got fed up with CLs when the first
one got drunk at Laura's full moon party. I got the chinese sinseh
to put together some stuff to balance out the Yin and Yang in my body
and taught me maid what to do. Instructed my maid to cook with rice
wine, ginger and sesame oil. Taught her to boil the dates drink every
day for a month. Cooked veg as per normal and to double boil herbs
for me once a week 2 weeks after delivery. Made a conscience effort
to rest when the baby rest but was out of the house before 30th day.
Coincidentally, DH was again involved in a theatre production soon
after Adam was born, so I did the marketing with my maid.
heard from someone before, the reasons why women in confinement were
asked not to shower, and to wear few layers of clothes, etc. and it
was exactly the same as what Min has explaining, i.e. they were practiced
in China in the old times, and probably passed down to our grandmas,
and mas, and now, us.
Anyway, Min, I did
the same exact thing with my second child. I didn't hire a CL because
the first one stressed me out! Was not a supporter of BF either, curi
curi give my elder daughter formula! This time, I just taught my maid
how to cook the chicken with the wine. Black Chicken with herbs. And
to boil red date water everyday. Veges, I still consume as per normal,
and papayas everyday to avoid constipation and to boost milk supply.
And two weeks postnatal, after feeding the baby, I went to 1 Utama
with my elder child and have a nice 2 hours there, sipping hot chocolate
and window shopping.
Moommy to two little ladies (3yrs & 13mths).
think confinement is a good time for mums to rest, but without all
the pantang larang. Would have love to have someone do all the work
for me and just breastfeed the baby and sleep with them, but all the
CLs that I talked to wasn't supportive of breastfeeding, so I decided
to go solo.
I didn't follow
any of the pantang larang, bcos my mum didn't, and her mum didn't
either Seriously, I can’t find a good reason to, and not bathing
is definitely something I can't do. After having Leonard, it was heat
wave season, and after bathing with warm water, it was still so warm
that I bathed with cold water after that. Took too much chocolate
after having #3 and had bad constipation
My mum helped me
with Leonard for 1 week, and after that I went home bcos her house
is sooooo hot, and I couldn't take it anymore.
So with all 3, I basically stayed home with the baby myself, and sometimes
DH will bring food back, sometimes I cook myself. Do other things
also like laundry, watch tv, surf the net, bathe the baby, ironing
clothes and go shopping. Have to climb staircase also cos I live on
the 4th floor with no lift, and carry the baby myself.
So far so good,
no aches in my body that did not come from something I overdid or
I think taking the
heaty stuff that makes us sweat is for the body to produce more milk,
since the breast glands are modified sweat glands. I did take some
Chinese tea during a dinner during the confinement month, and I could
see it reduce my breast milk. Took nasi briyani and boomed the supply
shot up again. Must be all the herbs in the rice.
My MIL followed
all the pantang larang diligently for all her 13 kids, but still got
arthritis and all sorts of aches in her legs and hands. So IMHO, we
can rest all we want, but if we still have to wash clothes, mop the
floor, cook and iron and do everything else for the next 40-50 years
of our lives after and while having the kids, we're bound to ache.
Mom to Leonard (17/05/00), Lucas (28/11/01) and Laurenz (21/06/03).