Confinement Tips shared by Dr Peiling
Confinement myths and taboos (Daily routine)
Q: The room must be kept air-flow-tight with no exposure to draft, air-conditioning or fan?
A: During the postnatal period, the body tends to be weaken, muscles stretched and relaxed, and the body pores expands and opens up. And if exposed to direct flow of cold or cool breeze, you may get headache, joint and muscle pain. Despite of this, your room must have proper air circulation and must be well ventilated to prevent you from sweating. Keep yourself comfortable and avoid perspiring, do not consume food when is still hot, let it cool down awhile before consuming. Do not cover up excessively with warm clothing or you may suffer from body heatiness and this will not be beneficial to your health.
Come on, please bear in mind that we are in Singapore. With our hot and humid tropical climate, we sweat easily and this opens up the body pores. Isn’t this allowing ‘wind’ to enter our body? So it is more important to stay in a comfortable environment with air-conditioning set to around 26°Celsius, but no direct air-flow blowing towards you. In fact, I really do not understand why many confinement mothers avoid air-conditioning and preventing themselves from enjoying a comfortable confinement. And all this is because of gossips and hearsay that has been spread around and making your confinement dreadfully miserable.
Q: Must boiled water and wait for it to cool before using it to wash-up and brushing teeth? This is to prevent rheumatism?
A: This belief is baseless. Older generation practices this strictly but still suffers from rheumatism. So don’t stressed yourself too much about this myth, it is OK as long as you use lukewarm water (even if its directly from the water heater/shower). But make sure that you completely wipe dry after.
Q: Do not wash your hair?
A: As I mentioned earlier, during postnatal, your body pores tend to expand. And if you shower yourself or wash your hair too soon, it will cause headache, rheumatism and other health complications. Furthermore, when your body and scalp is cold, it will contract the womb and disrupt the flow and the discharge of the lochia. Therefore, my advice is, on the first 12 days of the confinement period only towel-wipe your body preferable with Parsnip Herbal Bath solution, always remember to wipe dry immediately to avoid catching a cold. As for your hair, use Dry Shampoo instead.
Q: Do not carry heavy items going up and down the stairs?
A: As the body weakens, muscles stretched and relaxed, and the body pores expands during your confinement, it is advisable to reduce walking, using the stairs, lifting heavy items or carrying your baby while standing. We all know that after childbirth, the uterus will be stretched and loosen, and if you are on your feet regularly it will lead to uterine prolapse. Even when you are sitting, you need to put a pillow to support your back. Also please avoid squatting and bending over. However, if you can’t avoid to be on your feet, you can use a Postnatal Belly Support Belt to maintain and support the uterus position. Even this, please walk slowly.