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Q&A about living habits during postpartum confinement

Updated: 2020-05-07


The Chinese traditional custom of zuo yue zi -- or postpartum confinement following childbirth -- is considered very important by the older generations. They have many traditional requirements and customs on the habits of life and diet during the period. Should we abide by these customs?

Today, let us talk about the living habits of new mothers during their postpartum confinement period.

1. Can mothers wash their hair during the postpartum confinement period?

For sure.

Mothers sweat more during the postpartum confinement period. Shampooing can help mothers clean their hair, maintain a refreshing state of mind and a happy mood. It should be noted that after shampooing, hair must be blown dry in time to prevent a cold.

2. Can mothers take baths during the postpartum confinement period?

For sure.

During pregnancy, mothers accumulate more water in their bodies, which is excreted through sweat after delivery. Therefore, during this period, the excretion function of the skin will be highly active to eliminate a large amount of sweat. Bathing is essential to maintain good personal hygiene.

If there is no wound on your body, you can take a bath at any time. If there is a wound, you should wait for the wound to heal before taking a bath. In addition, it is recommended to take a shower, not a tub bath and do not  bathe too long to prevent a cold.

3. Can I open windows and ventilate my room while I am in the postpartum confinement period?

For sure.

It is necessary to open the window twice a day for ventilation. At the same time, attention should be paid to keeping the room clean and sunny. It is important to ensure that the room temperature is 22 degrees to 24 degrees, with humidity of about 50 percent to 55 percent. It is worth noting that if electric fans and air conditioners are needed to be on, direct blowing should be avoided for postpartum mothers.

4. Can I get out of bed to exercise during my postpartum confinement period?

For sure.

Mothers should start physical activities as soon as possible after delivery. Generally, mothers can get out of bed to exercise 6 to 12 hours after normal delivery or 24 hours after cesarean section and falls should be prevented when getting out of bed for the first time. It should be noted that postpartum women should avoid standing for long periods, squatting for a long time and exerting themselves too much to prevent uterine prolapse.

Postpartum rehabilitation exercises and appropriate exercise can help the recovery of body shape and mothers can insist on doing postpartum rehabilitation exercises every day.

5. Can I resume my sexual life while I am in the postpartum confinement period?

Of course not.

It is forbidden for a postpartum mother to have a sexual life while she is in the postpartum confinement period. The postpartum uterus involution usually takes about six weeks. After 42 days, if all the results are found to be normal at the postpartum reexamination in the hospital, sexual life can be restored.

6. Can mothers use their mobile phones during their postpartum confinement period to watch videos, WeChat moments, short videos and etc.?

For sure.

Approximately 50 percent to 75 percent of women will experience a period of postpartum depression and unstable moods with the birth of their children and most women's symptoms are not obvious or transient.

Of those affected, 15 to 30 percent of mothers will have symptoms of emotional instability and suffer from a postpartum depression. If you don't get the care from family and friends during this period, the symptoms will become more and more serious.

Therefore, during this period, these days it is one of the commonly used relaxation methods to view WeChat moments, watch short videos and chat with friends.

As long as you can get eight to nine hours of sleep a day, it's okay to watch your cell phone, TV, etc.