Let’s look at common Chinese confinement practices.
Congratulations on bringing your bundle of joy into the world! It’s now time to take a well-deserved break.
Confinement is a period for your body to recuperate and recover from
childbirth. In the past when infant and maternal mortality rates were high, confinement kept baby and mummy indoors, protecting them from ill health.
Here are some common Chinese confinement practices.
Confinement period: 30 days
Baby's Here: What to Expect Now"
Aim: To purge "wind" from the body after delivery, promote "blood circulation", strengthen the joints, and promote milk supply. New mums are encouraged to avoid "cooling" foods.
Traditionally, the Chinese use a lot of ginger, wines and sesame oils in their diet. Common confinement dishes include:
Some may also:
Top 4 Myths About the Confinement Period
Aim: Protect the new mother from future ill health, restore her strength, and to protect the family from "ritual pollution".
The Chinese believe in staying indoors throughout confinement to avoid outdoor pollution, and avoiding strenuous physical activities to prevent "muscle weakening".
Some also hire a confinement nanny to help with the housework and caring for the baby.
By now you’ve heard many "old wives’ tales" about confinement, and you may or may not agree with them all. In fact, some of them don’t have any scientific basis at all!
Next, let’s check out — and bust — some common confinement myths. Read
Common Confinement Myths to learn more.
Read about confinement practices from other cultures:
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Source: Dr TAN Thiam Chye, Dr TAN Kim Teng, Dr TAN Heng Hao, Dr TEE Chee Seng John, The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth, World Scientific 2008.
This article was last reviewed on
15 Sep 2023
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