While most modern women follow the traditional herbs prescriptions in the confinement diet, they get confused when it comes to some of the restrictions on daily life stipulated in traditional confinement practices. However, as long as the rationale for these traditional practices is understood, they can make adjustments in line with today’s modern lifestyle while enjoying a relaxed and happy confinement. Confinement nanny will teach you how and why we must or not to follow these practices.
Keeping good hygiene & keeping warm in confinement
During confinement, some of the traditional taboos on physical health (such as touching water, abstinence from taking a bath or washing hair and avoid exposure to wind, often perplex and confuse modern moms. But if one can understand the logic behind these ‘restrictions’, it will be easier to adapt.
“Avoiding Cold Water”
During the first one or two days after delivery, the body temperature of the postpartum woman may rise and for 2 weeks, she will tend to perspire a lot and her pres will be enlarged. Coupled with a weakened immunity, she can easily catch a cold. In the past, people relied on water from well or river water for their daily activities. The water from these sources contained bacteria or parasites. In order to avoid infection and chill, the water has to be boiled before use. As it was quite troublesome to boil water then, the postpartum woman avoided unboiled water much as possible. Today there is no problem with convenient hot water supply. However, as the immune system of the postpartum women is weaker, any water that comes into contact with a wound must be boiled first and allowed to cool before it is used. Warm water can be used to wash hands or other items. The use of cold water should be avoided in order to prevent the joints and skin from being ‘chilled’, subsequently causing headaches or joint pains.
During confinement, cleanliness is important. Bathing is not totally restricted but as the wound has not healed completely, it would be advisable to not use the tub. Instead, the postpartum woman should shower or wipe herself and after bath or washing hair, she should immediately dry and keep herself warm. If there is too much lochia during the first week, she should not wash her hair. If must, can use the Herbal bath to wash. This is to avoid and expel ‘wind’ from getting into the scalp.
In the olden days, homes were typically not that fully enclosed. Nowadays, homes are equipped with air-cons or electric fans for ventilation and to maintain coolness. It is fine to maintain a room temperature of 26 degree to 28 degrees for air circulations as long as the aircon or fan is not blowing directly. Maternity wear has to be warm, but also breathable. As frequent sweating happens, it is advisable to change clothes regularly to prevent catching a cold.
Here are some of the common herbs used during confinement
Health supplementation during confinement uses the health wisdom from generations to generations to restore health for mothers. Combined with the benefits of Chinese medicine and the trusted prescriptions, this will benefit the postpartum woman in improving physical fitness and recovery.
Here we will recommend some herbs and tonic soups
- Confinement Herbal Tea (Red Date Tea) for daily consumption
Functions: Tones up blood, prevents anemia, promotes breast milk secretion, prevents postpartum constipation.
Explanation: Due to blood loss and Qi being spent after delivery, the lack of blood could result in dizziness, blurred vision and heavy sweating. Dangsheng with red dates will help to increase the manufacture of hemoglobin, thus helping to prevent anemia. With sufficient Qi and blood, secretion of breastmilk would be easier. Red dates and black dates ease bowel movements and can prevent postpartum constipation problems.
- Sheng Hua Soup (2nd day after discharged, 1 hour after meals)
Functions: Improves blood circulation, clears stassis and clots, warms the middle section and disperses cold.
Explanation: Helps metabolism and expelling of lochia. Also helps uterus to shrink back to shape and prevents uterine hermatoma.
- Si Sheng Soup (To be taken 3rd day onwards)
Functions: Strengthen spleen and kidney’s function.
Explanation: Reduce dampness, improve digestive system to enhance nutrient absorption.
- Dang Gui Nourishing Soup (To be taken from 7th day onwards)
Functions: Help to produce and nourish blood, improve circulation.
Explanation: The postpartum period typically sees the body heaving ’emptiness’ and stasis. Angelica can help to increase hemoglobin, promote blood circulation.
- Ba Zhen Soup (To be taken from 1oth day onwards)
Functions: Nourishing Qi and blood as well as liver. Improves physical fitness and prevents anemia.
Explanation: Enhances the efficiency and results of Qi and blood replenishment. Also helps gastrointestinal digestion and absorption and helps to increase breast milk secretion.
- Du Zhong Bu Yao Soup
Functions: To tone up the kidneys, bones, prevent back pain.
Explaination: Improves lower back, strengthens muscles and ligaments function
- Bak Foong Pills
Fortifies the constitution and enhances health. Tonifies postpatrum physical weakness, promotes recovery of health and helps to prevent postpartum disorders
- Ginger wine – Ginger wine can expel wind and remove cold. It can warm the stomach, help postpartum women to tonify spleen, stomach health and also promote digestion.
- Black Bean Vinegar – Pure fermented black beans vinegar can help postpartum women to tonify the liver, kidney and also provide calcium supplement
- Chicken Essence – Chicken Essence can supplement the postpartum woman’s body strength, promote metabolism and improve blood deficiency.