Why I didn’t practice Chinese confinement

One Pregnant.Sg reader tells us about her experience after giving birth and not choosing to participate in traditional Chinese confinement practice.

Chinese Confinement rules

From the first day my pregnancy news was made public, I was constantly reminded of the Chinese confinement rules to adhere to upon giving birth.

The logic behind this century-old tradition ranged from the acceptable to the outright bewildering. It just made no sense to me why I should not wash my hair for one whole month after the birth of my child!

Fortunately for me, my husband and I attended antenatal classes at Thomson Medical Centre. We were corrected on most of these confinement practices by my class instructor — the reputable Mrs. Wong Boh Boi.

RELATED: Chinese confinement recipe: Mutton soup with dang gui

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It’s a common Chinese confinement practice for new mums to not was their hair for a whole month.

Mrs. Wong Boh Boi rules

Although it has been almost two years since I sat in that antenatal class, I still can recall her incredulous expression when she declared “it is nonsense that you cannot shower or wash your hair after birth”.

Mrs Wong emphasised that we should pay more attention to basic personal hygiene — especially if mothers were to breastfeed — and also to prevent infection of any stitches we would have had due to delivery.

RELATED: Do I need a Chinese confinement nanny?

Find out more on our reader’s decision to not practice Chinese confinement on the next page…