Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Confinement refers to a period for your body to recuperate and recover from childbirth. Practices done during this confinement period may vary from culture to culture although there are some similarities. As most practices are passed down from generation to generation, the reason in doing theses practices may be lost and some practices may seem outdated.
The main intention for a confinement period is for you to recover from delivery and restore your health. As such, understanding why some practices are put in place will help you decide if those practices should be done or not (not just because you’ve been told to do so).
1. Drinking plain water
Mothers have been discouraged from drinking water and instead encouraged to drink herbal drinks or alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic drinks are a definite no especially if mothers are breastfeeding as it may affect the baby. Drinking herbal drinks can be good for the body. However, drinking plain water should be encouraged as mothers require to stay extra hydrated especially if they are breastfeeding.
2. Showering or bathing
It is important to maintain good personal hygiene after delivery to avoid infections and to speed up healing process. It was previously said not to shower or bathe as it was thought that doing so may lead to chronic diseases in the future.
3. Using fans or air conditioning
Hormones in the body changes drastically after delivery. As such, body temperature of mothers changes accordingly to help the body deal with the changing hormones. This may also cause some to have night sweats postpartum symptoms as the body is trying to remove excess fluid. To counter this, it is okay to stay cool and comfortable.
4. Walking or moving about
It has been said for mothers to strictly stay in bed throughout the confinement period to help strengthen muscles after delivery. However, it is recommended for mothers to walk and move about when they feel comfortable to do so. This can help to reduce blood clots.
5. Reading or crying
Mothers were prevented from reading or crying during their confinement period. It was intended to not put strain and stress on the eyes. There is no scientific proof for this although reading fine prints may strain the eye if it is done for a long time. Mothers can also cry to relieve stress and any negative energy/ feeling. Do not suppress your emotions on the inside as it may build up to something bigger and harder to overcome overtime.
We recommend doing your research on the practices done in your culture before going ahead with it as some practices may be a myth and may cause more harm to your body. Consult a professional if unsure. It is your body, and you can make an informed decision on how your body recover during your postpartum.