An Overview of Indian Confinement practices

Now that you have given birth to your beautiful baby, here comes the time of confinement as you take time to recover and nurture your child. Each race has its own confinement period and practices and particularly for this article, we will be sharing practices by Indian mothers. Indian confinement practices are based on Ayurvedic methods of medicine. Ayurveda, which means ‘life and knowledge’, focuses on having balance through lifestyle, diet, and yoga. Since childbirth is a stressful experience for the body, the Ayurvedic method seeks to restore this balance during the confinement period. 

Duration of Indian Confinement practices

Commonly, an Indian confinement period can go for as long as 40 days following the Hindu culture, where the mother would recuperate from childbirth by staying indoors with her baby to avoid getting unnecessarily infected with illnesses, as it is still possible for a woman to experience bleeding up to 4 – 6 weeks after labour. They would have to follow strict dietary requirements and daily do’s and don’t, as well as be exempted from doing chores at home and religious duties, which sounds pretty ideal after going through a painful time. 

Dietary Practices for Indian mothers

It is not advised for an Indian mother to consume foods that are “cooling” such as tomatoes, cucumbers, coconut milk, and even mutton. The main objective of having this dietary restriction and requirements is to rid the air in her body, promote blood circulation, boost milk supply and strengthen the joints. 

Other restrictions include: 

i. Chilli 

ii. Seafood

iii. Cold drinks

iv. Fruits with cooling effects

v. Vegetables with cooling effects

What you should be eating is plenty of chicken and shark fish (only seafood) cooked with herbs, fried garlic (without oil) to keep the body warm, and garlic milk to get rid of the air stored in the body. 

Daily Practices for Indian mothers

This starts by staying home and not going out as both you and your baby’s bodies are still weak and able to be easily infected with illnesses and pollution. As you’re recuperating at home, it is also advisable to only shower when the weather is at its hottest, roughly around 11.00 AM – 2.00 PM, and to include using special herbal preparations and turmeric powder. Also, you will want to avoid blood clots in your uterus, so pour warm water on your abdomen while showering. 

Other practices advised:

i. Only wash hair on the third, fifth and seventh day of the week, for the next 2 weeks, and dried immediately after. 

ii. Smoke from incense should be directed in between your legs as it can help to dry the episiotomy wound. 

iii. Avoid sex until all wounds are completely healed. 

iv. Do not enter the prayer altar room

v. Stay away from areas that are cooled with fans and air conditioners. 

You should also massage your baby’s body with coconut oil or sesame oil daily, as these will improve blood circulation and sleeping patterns. Also, it is good for the skin as these do not contain preservatives. 

Want to know more about traditional & modern methods of rejuvenation after birth? Get the knowledge in the Mama Net app! Download the Mama Net app today!

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