Confinement, that’s the 1 month period of time after birth whereby mummy has to stay at home and rest. According to belief, traditional confinement methods NEED to be followed by mums in order for them to be in good health. Some of them hold true… for the era where they originated from.
However, times have changed and our levels of hygiene and medical help have advanced so far that traditional postnatal confinement rules aren’t followed so strictly anymore. Mummies should also learn about what sort of food to avoid during their confinement for the sake of their health.
MYTH #1: Avoid Showering/Bathing
This practice is believed to have its origins in a cold country where it was too cold to bathe or even wash hands. In Singapore though, clean hot water is readily available, along with modern-day conveniences like hairdryers, so it’s not necessary for mums to avoid taking a shower completely. In fact, mums should shower regularly in order to lower the risk of infection.
Besides, Singapore is a very humid country where we perspire a lot – which could lead to rashes making it even more uncomfortable for mums. Mums are encouraged to buy and use confinement herbal baths for their health benefits. When you do take a shower or a bath, ensure that you’re dry as quickly as possible after you’re done.
MYTH #2: No air-cons or fans
Like I said before, Singapore is a really hot country, so having the fan or air-con on might be needed for the more scorching days. The perspiration from mums isn’t hygienic for baby when breastfeeding, but both baby and mum shouldn’t be directly exposed to the fan or air-con.
If there’s a need to use the air-con, make sure that it’s around 25 degrees and that the humidity level is kept to around 50-60%. A more cooling environment might even help prevent heat rash.
MYTH #3: You need to stay indoors
The idea that you’re required to stay indoors was to promote rest and to avoid over-exerting yourself while you’re recovering. But if you’re going crazy from staying inside and you feel like you’re strong enough to go out, you should.
Having a change of scenery does wonders for your mind, and it’ll make you feel like you’re not cooped up at home. A quick walk outside will also help to improve your blood circulation and a bit of exercise will make you feel much better too!
Dress appropriately – if you’re going to a place with air-con such as the supermarket, wear a jacker or cardigan to keep yourself warm.
MYTH #4: Breastfeeding mums need to take a special diet during confinement
A special diet isn’t necessary – you just need to drink enough water to quench your thirst, and ensure that you’ve got a nourishing and well-balanced diet that’ll keep your body and breastmilk full of nutrients.
MYTH #4.5: You can only eat liver and meat
Your nutritional needs are a lot higher after giving birth because your body is making up for the recent blood loss during delivery and the demands of breastfeeding. It’s important to take in a well-balanced diet instead of specific food types, especially since you’re breastfeeding.
For vegetarians, iron or vitamin supplements can help you satisfy these nutritional needs.
MYTH #5: You mustn’t drink plain water
This is just plain untrue – hydrating yourself with fluids is important, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Don’t worry if you find yourself frequently visiting the toilet because your kidneys produce more urine a few weeks after baby is born in order to remove any excess fluid accumulated during your pregnancy.
FACT #1: Postnatal Massages
Postnatal massages DO have a lot of benefits in them – it soothes aching muscles, improves blood circulation, and expels wind. As mums’ bodies are still recovering from giving birth, it can also help them slim down and regain some of their pre-pregnancy figure (add that in with light exercises for maximum benefit). Certain massages can also help with issues like engorgement.
FACT #2: Avoiding heavy household chores
For the first 2-3 weeks of confinement, you should rest your body as much as possible and not do any chores. Your body is considered to be at its weakest point after giving birth and your family members should be understanding enough to help out with the daily chores during that period, to make sure that you get enough rest.
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