There are many beliefs in Asia regarding confinement. Here's the lowdown:
Confinement is a period for your body to recuperate and recover from childbirth. The idea of confinement is very familiar to Asians. Many Asian confinement beliefs and practices originate from culture, with little or no scientific backup. The different cultures' confinement periods last for different durations: 30 days for the Chinese, 44 days for the Malays and 40 days for Indians.
However, the common basis for these beliefs is that they help provide adequate replenishment and recuperation for mothers after delivery. Your elders mean well, but do discuss your preferences with them.
These practices are usually to purge "wind" in the body after delivery, promote the circulation of blood, strengthen joints and promote milk supply.
Other common practices
These practices protect the new mum from future poor health, restore her strength and protect the family from ritual pollution.
Note from your doctor: Confinement practices are deeply rooted in our Asian culture; some practices such as no bathing or washing may be old-fashioned, and cause wound or episiotomy infection.
Read more: Pregnancy confinement practices and myths
Speaking of Children II: Dr Mary Chong on Diet Tips for Postpartum & Breastfeeding
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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Janice TUNG Senior O&G Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore
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