Thursday, February 5, 2009

Confinement ending in 3 days

My confinement period is set to end in 3 days!! Yay!!! Technically though, if I am counting 30 days, it should be ending in 2 days, but never mind la, what is another day right?

According to the Chinese (and some cultures') beliefs, after the birth of a child, the mother is expected to go through a confinement period. Typically, this is to help strengthen the mother's health. And I really appreciate this fact more than anything. No matter how strong you are, right after delivery, the mother is bound to go through some sores and resting is really what she needs.

However, there are some practices which I think are really nonsense and it does not make sense if we follow blindly. Some of the things which I thought was downright sillly were:

1) Cannot eat bread and biscuits - yeast will cause infection to wound.
2) Cannot drink plain water - got wind and your veins will swell.
3) Cannot exposed to wind/ fan/ air-cond - fear of wind getting into the body.
4) Cannot wash hair - else headache.
5) Cannot bathe - else wind will get into body.6) Cannot read/ watch TV/ see computer - else will go blind.
7) Cannot cry - else will go blind too.
8) Cannot go wondering in the malls/ streets etc - else you will get leprosy! So, a confinement lady is expected to always have her sanitary pads on so that the virus will not get in. There is also a belief that a confinement lady has "fire" on her heads, so when she goes out, she needs to put on a hat, else she will anger the Sun God.
9) Cannot touch tap water - else wind will go into the hands.10) Cannot eat eggs - else wound will not heal and a tendency to get puss, infection etc.
11) Cannot stand and drink water/ soup etc. - else you will lose bladder control later.

Having said all that, some things I observe are:
1) Cannot lift heavy things - fear of causing back aches. Apart from that, excessive pressure can also cause pain and discomfort on the c-sec wound/ uterus, so I observe this.
2) Cannot eat cooling/ cold food - else wind will go into the stomach/ body. This one I observe because ordinarily I also cannot stand too much cooling food.

And there is a list of things that I should be eating - and it does not contain anything cooling and cold. So, ice blended drinks and ice-cream are off the list.
1) Sesame oil
2) Old ginger
3) Longan
4) Bak Chang soup
5) Red dates soup
6) Chinese herbs - I do not know what they are called, but they are costly!
7) Sweet/ Sour vineger soup
8) Red bean soup
9) Black fungus etc.

All of these things I observe. More because it is not something one would get easily everyday and also because I do not mind the change in diet.

In my previous confinement, I also took things like kunyit water - supposedly to expel wind but this time round, I decided that I did not need to drink something so horrible. I also took a lot of red bean soup and fenugreek - supposedly to help in breast milk production, this time round, I had to forgo it because I had too much of a good thing in me.

With Ryan, I also felt weaker and hence, observed most of the dos and don'ts of the confinement period. With Megan, I feel significantly stronger and hence, am more relaxed with the customs. I am not sure, but I think it has to do with the birth process.

And in the current confinement, I also downed Coke, Sangria and beer - all the big no-no but then, I cannot resist ma. No, no, I just took sips only, not gulps!! So, so looking forward to the next 3 days - I can then leave the house without being lectured!!!


WSL said...

very informative indeed ..some made me laff though.

Kiasu Mom said...

I don't know about the rest but I had sore or cramped hands everyday especially in the morning for 6 months. I was told this is because I touched the tap water (I did, I washed baby's bottles, milk pump etc myself all the time). So don't know whether the myth is true or not?!

Also, I didn't have a proper confinement ie I didn't eat a lot of good stuff cause I wasn't well and had no appetite at all (infection, fever and all during that period) and my health hasn't been good since. I fall sick easily now and if Hayley has flu or cough, I easily get infected too... see! Sigh....

Busy Bee said...

WSL - Good that there are things worth laughing there. It is really silly some of them.

Kiasu Mom - The cramped hands thingy would not be due to the water la. I also had something like that but was properly explained by an orthopedic. And about the falling sick - I also had that. The first year was horrible, but I think it is because we are so depreived of sleep and this would have caused our body to be low on immunity and thus falling sick more often. Don't worry, when the baby is older, you will get more sleep and rest and all this will go away. And eat multi vitamins too.