The Confinement Month- Part 2

April 2013

Okay, back to Confinement post- Part 2 . As of now, I am left with 5 more days of confinement. Yay- because I can start going out with Baby Gillian and Lil’ Ryan. Boo- because I will have 3 months left before starting work.

***

My mom always tell me that when she was doing her confinement. She had to follow the confinement practices a lot more strictly. This is why sometimes she gets rather upset when I am quite slip-shod when doing my confinement. The thing is that I am not intentionally negligent about on my confinement. but instead I usually follow confinement rules that feels sensible for me so that I will not get post natal blues during this one month.

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If the rules of Chinese confinement is strictly followed, I am supposed to be lying on my bed, doing really nothing. Sitting is really advised against because the waist need to “rest” after birth. Watching television, reading, facebooking, whatsapping and blogging(any activity that requires eye power) is a big no-no as it will deteriorate the eye. Seriously. Living in this generation of technology- not being able to connect to the Internet is quite a torture. In fact, confining myself to only my home during these three weeks is hard enough. I understand that I should get as much rest as possible during this period to recuperate(and I still do not get enough rest because of breastfeeding and the night feeds!). However, sometimes I just wish I get a 2 hours weekly pass to do my facial and hair to maintain my sanity. At this point in time, I look incredibly unkempt. (-_-)”’ 

Like what I mentioned in my previous post on confinement, it is preferable that women doing confinement do not bathe or wash their hair. In the same light, they are not supposed to be touching water for fear of getting wind into their bodies. In any case, this is not possible for me- because I am quite a “hands-on” mother when it comes to my kids. So, even during this month of confinement, I am still bathing Baby Gillian and Ryan. In fact, I have to bathe Ryan more than the usual because he has been vomiting due to his persistent cough and phlegm. 😦

The use of fan is also not allowed during confinement month- because of the theory of how “wind” getting into the body. In my case, I used air conditioning as much as possible. Actually, I cannot imagine how our electricity bills would be like for the month of April! Gosh! Following the whole tradition of avoiding the penetration of “wind” in the body, I was supposed to be wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts for the entire day. In my case, I just wore really light  granny looking pjs because of the blistering heat in April!

I know of many mothers who subscribe to having a jamu lady for the first 7-10 days. Quite a number claimed that the jamu wrapping helped them in regaining their pre-pregnancy figure. In fact, I had a jamu lady for the first time round after giving birth to Baby Ryan but I did not think the massaging or wrapping helped in reducing my tummy. This time round, Dr Cheng advised me against having one- because I was possibly having a C-section then and he thinks that the whole idea of wrapping my tummy as a form of slimming is ridiculous! He told me that if I intended to hire a jamu lady, I might as well pass him the money! (Like what!!!) In the end, as per his advice, I did not get a jamu lady. I did get a binder- which helped in my flattening my tummy and supporting my back(will update more on that the next time!). If you want to know, my weight is still stagnant after 2 weeks but I did lose inches off my waist and hips. *sigh sigh* I really hope to be able to lose more weight by Gillian’s 满月  the end of May.

Now that I am nearing the end of my confinement, I am really happy that I can start stepping out of the house without my mother’s frowns and nagging. The truth is that my mother loves me dearly and hence during this confinement month, she will not back down safeguarding my post-maternity health(especially so since she knows that I have been plagued with a terrible back problem for years). Looking from this perspective, perhaps this is how the traditions and practices of confinement survived for years, across countries for the Chinese. Chinese mothers are just naturally very protective creatures and sometimes overly anxious about their kids’ health. Perhaps, give me another 25-30 years and I will be the one nagging Gillian on doing her 坐月子 properly lest she gets rheumatism or headaches in the future.

In any way, I want to thank Mummy for being so dedicated during my confinement month-  cycling to the wet market every other morning to ensure that I have the best and freshest ingredients for confinement food, preparing all my confinement necessities and caring my Ryan during this one month. So, thank you Mummy and I love you so much!

*****

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