There are many confinement practices — some are useful, some not so much. Let’s check out the myths.
Confinement is a period for your body to recuperate and recover from
childbirth. You have probably heard some confinement practices yourself, and you may or may not agree with them all.
In fact, some of them don't have any scientific basis at all! So, let's bust some common confinement myths.
Baby's Here: What to Expect Now
A similar myth is: "I cannot mingle with the rest of my family members or enter the kitchen."
Some believe the post-partum discharge (lochia) is unclean and that this practice prevents spiritual contamination. Again, there is no scientific basis to it.
There are six components to the traditional practices of postnatal care:
Although these practices have never been proven scientifically, it is possible that they have certain benefits.
However, all these should be done in moderation to prevent burns and injuries from happening during massages and therapies. These practices have to be delayed for a month after a cesarean section to prevent the disruption of a healing wound.
It’s also important to have a well-balanced diet during this period.
This is common in the Malay culture and is contrary to the Chinese practice. Bathing is good for personal hygiene and encouraged. You'll also feel fresh and comfortable.
Having sex right after giving birth is against the religious teachings of certain cultures, e.g. Malay culture. From a medical perspective, abstaining from sex allows for the lochia to be over and the episiotomy wound to be completely healed. This may also reduce the incidence of infections.
For more confinement myths, check out part 1 of this two-part series on confinement myths:
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
22 Nov 2023
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