Post-Delivery Confinement Practices
Published Date : 1st January 2016
It is a general belief and fact that a new born and the new mother is susceptible to contracting various kinds of infections and diseases. A number of communities even perform rituals around the new born and pray for his long and healthy life. Of the many traditions being followed at that point of time, confinement is also practiced to save the new mother and the baby from any evil or unforeseen problems. Therefore, the confinement period may last from some days to weeks after the delivery.
What Happens During The Confinement Period?
The idea of confinement is also to give enough time to the new mother to recover from the exhaustion of the delivery and nine-month ordeal that she might have gone through. During this period, the mother can by choice, spend time with her near and dear ones, or may also go through daily sessions of massage therapy being given by an expert masseur.
Families often put certain restrictions too during this confinement.Some of these are based purely on dogmas and some have some scientific base.
Some of the healthy activities are:
Mothers are advised to have a full body massage from an expert masseur daily to remove the fat or the stretch marks on the belly. In case the baby is born from a c-section, it is good to consult your doctor before start of your massage sessions.
Light massage helps infants to build their bones and tone their limbs properly. However, massage should be with very light hand so that their fragile bones and limbs are not dislocated or broken.
While in the confinement period, it is equally important to pay heed to the food you eat. For instance, the new mother should not eat very spicy or fried food. The new feeding mother’s milk is the only source of nutrition for the baby. In such a scenario eating very spicy or fried food may not help the baby indirectly. In fact it is proven that he might develop problems such constipation after having mother’s milk.
Food items during this phase should provide warmth to the infant. Some examples of these food items are: Gourds, betel leaves to be chewed after every meal; mothers are advised to have ghee, which is considered to provide strength and aid muscle repair. One should avoid fruits, fizz drinks, as these are considered cold.
How Long Should Be This Confinement Period?
The tradition prevalent in north, west and south of India suggest that the confinement period usually lasts for more than a month to 45 days. In the east, north-east the tradition is not followed so rigorously. Sometimes working mothers prefer to stay indoors for more time with their newly born.