Confinement is the sacred period that a mother spends with her newborn after delivery. Confinement lasts for about 3 to 4 months where the baby is kept close to the mother to form a close bond and to ensure the new mom experiences an effortless postnatal journey.
It is widely known, that the practice of confinement originated for the need to heal a new mother’s body back to it’s pre-pregnancy state helping her to rebound from the exigencies of labor.
The depletion of blood and energy is said to have induced the body to experience a “cold stage’, causing the body to go weak with very low strength and immune system.
According to ancient beliefs, Indian postnatal traditions are the best way to revitalize and build a women’s body back to it’s prenatal state having experienced labor.
Here are the Do’s and Don’ts in An Indian Confinement Care
1Shower In Warm Water Soaked With Neem Leaves
Neem leaves are believed to have anti-bacterial and healing properties.
Hence, showering with neem leaves infused water tends to protect the mother’s genital part from being infected and helps heal the wound caused from child birth.
The new mother must always shower in warm water before sun set, to avoid catching cold. They should only wash their hair when it’s a hot sunny day and dry it under the sun, to prevent water cloths in the head.
Pour hot water in a tub, put in a hand full of neem leaves, turmeric powder and let it soak for a while. Once, the water is warm, shower and use the leaves as a scrub to scrub off all the impurities away.
2Keep Yourself Warm Always
It is important to make sure mothers going through postnatal to wear warm and comfortable clothes always. Mothers under confinement, are strictly made to stay at home during the entire period to stay protected from germs, due to their low immune system in the body.
Postpartum mothers should never walk on cold floors to avoid swelling on lower legs and ankle.
She should always wear socks pre or post pregnancy to avoid postpartum edema, where excess water get’s trapped in the body’s tissue causing swelling and nerve related problems. Do not let the baby and the mother to sleep under air-conditioning or in a cold temperature.
3Food Incorporated With Garlic, Black Cumin And Fenugreek
These power packed ingredients are the best supplements to boost a mother’s milk supply!
They help eliminate toxins out of the body and ensure a good postpartum period flow for the mummies.
Indian confinement food would be made using gingelly oil incorporated with lots of garlic, herbal powder and a fair amount of black pepper for heat. For protein only chicken and shark fish will be served, as to other types of food are not encouraged.
Postpartum women should completely cut down cold fruits, juices, fast foods and onions from their diet.
Consuming a strict confinement diet consisting of almond, black cumin seeds and ajwa could help mothers to shed of pregnancy weight quickly and aid themselves for a better internal healing.
Researchers have shown, that mothers who ate confinement food since their initial stages of pregnancy have experienced easy labor with less contradiction pain and proved to produce healthier babies.
4Massages With Gingelly Oil
A vital practice needed for both baby and mother. Gingelly oil is one of the purest and power packed natural oil with many amazing benefits.
Massaging with luke warm gingelly oil helps the baby to sleep better and have better growth, whereas for the mother it helps them to get in shape and tightens the muscles of their postpartum tummy.
Besides that, gingelly oil also helps soothes muscles and nerves, reducing stress and depression. It would definitely be fruitful for the mother to help relax her mind.
This oil also has astonishing properties of antioxidants, playing a great role for the skin to help remove stretch marks very efficiently.
Once the massage is done, bind the stomach with a 6 feet cloth tightly to help push the tummy back into shape. If discomfort occurs, do it on alternative days, such as 3 or 4 days in a week for optimum results.
Incense smoke with authentic herbs infused with neem oil is burnt using charcoal is beneficial of both the mother and baby.
Babies are held above the incense smoke after shower to open up their nasal way and to dry up excess water on the body. REMEMBER, this should only be done for few seconds.
Whereas for the mothers, the incense smoke will be placed between their legs to cure episiotomy wound caused during childbirth. An episiotomy wound would take approximately weeks to heel causing intense discomfort and pain to the mother.
Hence, its very important to it treat well, making sure the wound dries up completely to avoid any form of contamination or infection.
6Sexual Intercourse Is Strictly Prohibited
This is due to the flow of postpartum discharge “lochia” which is released from the mother’s body after birthing a child. It’s important to have sex only after the lochia stops completely.
It’s extremely unhygienic and is able to cause infection to both husband and wife, if sex is done during the confinement period.
Plus, the mother has fresh episitiomy wound that needs adequate time to heal to prevent any sort of infection or else due to the pressure it may cause severe consequences to the wound.
However after childbirth, its the most crucial time for both couples because, women going through postpartum will need her husband to be with her closely for comfort and emotional support.
It’s a pivotal moment for the husband to be next to his wife showering her with lots of love and care.
7Have A Happy And Positive Mind-Set
Postpartum mothers are often known to suffer from a mix of emotions as the whole experience is overwhelming.
The mothers are encouraged to do meditation, read motivational books, avoid talking to many people to refrain thyself from unwanted opinions and thoughts effecting their emotions.
Not having a balanced mind could often lead the mothers to enter into postpartum depression.
So, it’s important to keep themselves occupied with healthy activities such as morning talks with their newborn, meditation, yoga, dancing or anything that could uplift their mood!
The traditional practices mentioned are usually implemented in the family by one of the elders well versed in traditional Indian confinement methods making sure the mother abides to the rules and regulations.
Most of the Indian community in Malaysia, Still follow throuGh the confinement method quite religiously to ensure the new mom has a smooth postnatal experience by supplementing the body with traditional care to help nurture her body well.