Sitting the month - a look at confinement practices
We explore traditional confinement methods, daddies roles during this month long hiatus and even ask, can we please wash our hair?
In many Asian societies, new mothers still observe traditional confinement period and practices which have been handed down through generations.
The purpose of the month-long confinement period, a centuries-old tradition, is to nurture the mother's health back to its pre-natal state. Mothers and “kaypoh” next-door aunties take pains to remind new mothers not to do this, to eat that and avoid those.
New mothers are expected to follow a set of prohibitions and restrictions concerning diet and lifestyle. It is believed that women reach an imbalanced state of being after childbirth. Yin and Yang are not in harmony and cultural taboos and practices are set in place to restore their balance.
Practices include not exposing themselves to cold water and low temperatures, avoid the wind and air conditioning, abstinence from drinking ice water and eating 'cold' food. Strict followers would avoid washing hair totally, take occasional baths and eat 'warming' food or some say yucky foods!
However, it is a critical time for mothers to rest their body and recuperate back to full strength and cope with the rigours of motherhood.
In this issue of theAsianparent, we explore traditional confinement methods, daddies roles during this month long hiatus and even ask, can we please wash our hair?
Have a fun read!