Confinement or more commonly known as ‘pantang’ or ‘zuo yue zi’ in Malaysia is a process of helping a mother to recover post-delivery. While confinement is widely practiced, there has yet to be much discussion around the topic of post-miscarriage confinement. Usually, women are given time to rest and heal after birth. However, a similar period for recuperation is not equally practiced amongst women who deal with miscarriages. Confinement after miscarriage adheres to certain practices that should be followed closely.
This simply calls for avoiding activities or habits that may encourage infections in the body. It is best to avoid swimming or bathing in bathtubs. The use of tampons too will increase the likelihood of infections. It is a common practice among the Indian community to include neem leaves and turmeric in their water during shower as both these ingredients have anti-bacterial properties that protect against infections.
It’s common for many women to continue their daily routines after a miscarriage. However, denying the body of rest would likely cause more harm than good. As one goes through miscarriage, they also lose a lot of blood in the process, exhausting the body more than usual. It is highly advisable that women take a sufficient amount of rest before resuming their daily routines. This also means one should not exert their bodies unnecessarily.
It is important that junk food is avoided and extra caution is taken with food after a miscarriage. Till your body feels healthy and your period cycle is regulated again, avoid highly fatty, salty, and sweet foods. According to Chinese confinement techniques, it is advised that one’s diet consists mostly of ‘heaty food’ such as ginger, longan, sesame oil, meat (high in protein), and whole-grain products. Avoid food that may irritate the bowel system as your body may be physically too weak to deal with bowel issues post-miscarriage.
Avoid extreme temperature changes
Generally, it is best that you do not shock your body with extreme temperature changes such as;
-Sitting in an extremely cold room after a hot day outside
-Showering in icy cold waters
-Submerging in hot baths
Using a hairdryer after showers and keeping yourself dry and comfortable is highly recommended.
Certain cultures have more exhaustive confinement rules than others and we hope you do not feel pressured to conform. It is important that you listen to your body and do what you feel is necessary to regain physical strength. Some women may also be monetarily advantageous to employ a confinement maid to help them but this isn’t necessary.
While caring for your physical body is important, so do your mental health. Miscarriages tend to impact many expecting parents emotionally and may even lead one to depression or anxiety. It is advisable that you reach out to the people you love for support after a miscarriage and remember that you’re not alone in this journey.