Sep 25 2013

Confinement Myths

Published by at 1:20 pm under All,Miscellaneous

This article from Eu Yan Sang lists down 6 confinement myths, which I think all Malaysian mothers should read: Beware of These 6 Confinement Myths

I am one of those ‘victims’ of these myths, during my first confinement. My MIL and CL literally forced advised me to do all these 6 things. It was my first baby, and breastfeeding was still new and challenging to me. Juggling with the needs to follow these ‘rules’ didn’t help at all. My first confinement was truly a nightmare.

What I struggled the most were item 3 and 6 in that article:

3. Myth: Do not shower or wash one’s hair
Contact with water is thought to cause “wind” to enter the body and lead to headaches and rheumatism later in life. This taboo may have originated from northern China of the past. Since water quickly became freezing because of the cold weather, it was easy to catch a chill from bathing.
The truth: It is perfectly fine to continue one’s bathing habits. Besides maintaining personal comfort, regular bathing helps prevent skin and wound infections. However, the mother should not bathe with cold water. She should also dry her body immediately after bathing to prevent exposure to cold air.


6. Myth: Wear warm clothing and do not use fans and air-conditioning
As with bathing, any exposure to cool air is said to cause “wind” to enter the body and lead to health problems later in life.
The truth: The key here is moderation. The new mother should do what makes her comfortable. In a hot and humid climate, fans and air conditioners may even be essential for preventing heat rash. However, the new mother should not let the fan or air-conditioner blow directly on her.

Seriously, these 2 items are no brainers lah. Imagine, in this hot weather in Malaysia, 40 days no shower, no wash hair, no fan, no aircon. And then, no drinking plain water… I think these rules are to cook us alive. If unfortunately it happens during haze period, windows all closed, lagi jialat!!

This is a good article from Eu Yan Sang, and I think most of the old folks would believe, at least believing more than the guailou articles? Maybe?


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2 responses on Confinement Myths

2 Responses to “Confinement Myths”

  1. EMYYLon 27 Sep 2013 at 9:32 pm

    With regards to the no bathing/wash hair, I asked a gynae (who also happens to be a big fan of all things related to Chinese) about it. He said: PLEASE BATHE :) He thinks the ‘pantang’ came from the old, old days when the main water source available for cooking,cleaning, etc was often unclean, eg. village well. Hence, to bath using those water which is likely to be contaminated and dirty while the birth wound is still unhealed would be inviting trouble for the mother. Think the main thing is for the mother to have enough rest after going through childbirth. All these things probably “enforces” them to rest. Some even perceive the post-delivery mother to be ‘unclean’ until she’s done with the confinement and hence shouldn’t come in contact with. Frankly, I think it’s to make sure that the visitors themselves don’t bring their cold, coughs, etc to the newborn as well as the mother ;p

  2. suzetteon 29 Sep 2013 at 12:05 am

    EMYYL, I agree with you completely. And in addition to that, I also believe that it could be originated from the northern part of China, where weather is cold, so sweating is minimal. Bathing/washing-hair in freezing condition does more harm than good to the new mother, but it is not applicable to here in Malaysia! LOL!

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