You don’t know what confinement means until you’re really confined for 43 days! Not being allowed to walk up and down the stairs! Not allowed out of the house! Don’t wear pants! Don’t eat heaty food! Don’t eat windy food!
My favorites are
1. Eating ginger everyday. Chinese tradition.
2. Wearing belly binders/bengkung. Malay tradition.
3. Only drink warm water. Malay/chinese tradition.
4. Post-partum massage. Malay tradition.
5. Sleep when baby sleeps. Universal tradition.
Funny thing is, some of the confinement practices actually clashes with each other. In the beginning I was trying to follow everything, then suddenly nothing makes sense.
For all the preparation that went into giving birth, I could’ve done some preparation for postpartum confinement yes? Wrong. didn’t do any. I simply take it day by day.
What I didn’t agree with
1. Wearing socks all the time (Nanti urat kembang). I’ve really no comment on this. Wearing socks all the time in this humid KL weather actually gave me athlete’s foot! So I stopped pronto.
2. Wearing tight hair bun high on the head (Nanti boleh meroyan.) I was wondering what meroyan was for quite a while. Sounded like food, but in fact it is used to describe post partum depression in its worst form. Wearing hair in a bun does not help with meroyan. Extra rest and sleep does.
3. Bengkung 24 hours (I tried this, felt suffocated)
4. Putting limau+kapur on stomach before binding with bengkung. Well the basis of it is that, it supposedly helps your belly/uterus shrink. When in fact, your uterus will eventually shrink to its normal size within 6 weeks. Belly pouch on the other hand, is the consequence of stretched skin+muscles which can only be fixed with proper exercise, and diet. So no thanks.. I use olive oil + virgin coconut oil to fix my stretch marks instead.
5. Limiting fluid intake. Our body survives on water longer than it does on food. Our body is 60% water. Every function needs water. Making milk for baby needs water. Enough said.
6. Jamu/postnatal herbs/postnatal care sets. This is very subjective. You either like it or not. You can choose to spend RM 300++ on a set that gives you virgin coconut oil, some herbal soap, some herbal supplement that claims to help shrink the uterus, a bengkung, all wrapped up in a nice box. It’ll make you smell like a spa for a couple of days/weeks depending on how diligent you are about using it. I decided in the last minute not to get it.
Anyway, for me, I think the best thing to do is to try to get a LOT of rest post delivery. The first two weeks felt like a zombie daze. I probably looked like a zombie anyways. Felt sore and a little bit miserable from the lack of sleep. Probably had some bouts of postnatal depression.
However, as with everything, that too shall pass.
And pass it did. Of course when you hit the one month mark, you’ll be like, did I really gave birth 30 days ago? Why is my baby so precious? Yeah the mommy love hormones kick in big time. It’s all worth it in the end.