For the chinese, it’s usually a period of 1 month where the mother has to rest and follow a set of rules (sometimes bordering along ridiculous and crazy). They believe that giving birth causes the body to go into “cold” mode so the mother is being fed food that is known as “hot” or “heaty” to “replenish the loss nutrients”.
But I personally feel that everything should be done in moderation and since confinement rules were passed down from generations from CHINA. Most of it won’t apply to modern day Singaporean mommies. Like the most hated rule – not bathing or washing your hair for 1 month. Can you imagine not doing so in the hot, tropical Singapore?
If this was in China during winter then fine, I could totally understand. However, it is never gonna be 8-10 deg Celsius in Singapore. So mothers should maintain their hygiene and shower regularly especially if they are breastfeeding.
Another dumb rule is to be wrapped up like a dumpling from head to toe, and yes that means wearing socks too. I compensated by wearing my Paul Frank fluffy bedroom slippers.
Confinement food can be pretty boring too especially if you are someone (like me) who isn’t much of a fan of chinese cooking. It’s mainly dishes cooked with loads of ginger and sesame oil. Some serve liver and kidney which are believed to help replenish loss of blood during postpartum.
You are also not allowed to drink plain water at all. Now, this is another ridiculous rule. Many are told of horror stories about water retention due to drinking plain water. But did you know that water retention is usually caused by not drinking sufficient water? However, the chinese make up for this with a boiled longan and red date tea.
Anyway, I’ve been bending most of the rules and just going along with some that I feel comfortable with. Like I showered on the 2nd day after delivery because of hygiene purposes. I’ve been showering regularly ever since and obviously with warm water. I was never a cold shower person anyway. I drink milo, a fav drink as well as breastfeeding supplement milk on top of the complimentary longan red date tea I get from my confinement catering.
I’m only ordering confinement catering so that people around me won’t nag at me. I wear shorts and tank tops at home because I get hot easily. I noticed one of the postpartum symptoms are hot flashes and sweating excessively. I do not switch on the aircon only because my baby is sleeping in the same room with me and having the temp tuned to 27 deg is a joke. So we have the fan on and that’s a taboo too. Since it’s “bad wind”, oh whatever!
It’s another 18 days till the end of my confinement and I simply can’t wait. I have so many ‘forbidden’ food & drink items on my wish list. I can’t wait to have cold drinks once again, feast on frozen yogurt and Gelato ice cream as well as Lao Ban tao huey. I wanna have pasta and pizza too.