If you’re wondering whether confinement has rules about what to wear, the answer is yes, it does. But what do you do if these rules seem outdated or impractical for modern-day Singapore? If you find these rules impossible to follow, we’ve come up with some suggestions and advice for modern-day life, so you know what to wear for your confinement clothes.
The biggest concern after childbirth, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, and one that drives many of the rules in confinement, is the fear of getting “wind” in the system. The Chinese believe that your body is weak after the exertion of labour, with the kidneys being particularly susceptible. If you expose yourself to cold, you are likely to allow “wind” into your body, causing havoc later on.
To avoid “wind,” confinement mums are not allowed to be cold at all. That means, you have to wear long-sleeved tops, long pants, and long socks all the time, or at least to sleep. And no, you are not allowed to turn on the air-conditioner or the fan, or stand on your balcony to catch the breeze.
Are these rules fair?
Many of you will undoubtedly find these rules unreasonable. In hot and humid Singapore, where temperatures can soar up to 35 degrees, how is it possible to wear long sleeves, pants and socks all the time?
You have a point there. The ancient rules of confinement were formed in China, which has a temperate climate. If you consider how harsh the winters can be, especially up north, the confinement rules about staying warm make complete sense.
What can I do about it?
Find out how you can adapt these rules on the next page…