Care after Birth – Different cultures
In this fast paced environment, have you ever wondered how other cultures take care of their mums after they have given birth?
Well we have done a little research, and that and our own experiences from all over the world means that we can enlighten you a little on the care after birth given in different cultures!
One thing that we can all agree on is that mums absolutely need some time to rest and recover after childbirth. Alongside that is the fact that mums need quality time to bond with their new baby, and that can be made harder in some western societies where mums are “encouraged” to get back to their own life as soon as possible, or they must return to work within weeks of having their baby.
In many Asian, Indian and African countries, and also parts of Latin America, mothers practice the tradition of “confinement”, which means that they do not leave the house for a number of days, usually 30 or 40. While the thought of this may have us feeling like we want to climb up the walls, this time is spent recovering from childbirth, resting through the day from the sleepless nights, establishing breastfeeding, and having the family wait on you hand and foot. Usually the “elders” in the family (and most likely your mother in law) will be making you certain foods and drinks designed to help your milk come through, detoxify your body, give you more strength, and generally recover. They will teach the new mother how to look after baby – how to swaddle, bathe, and will generally look after the baby when you need to sleep.
“I credit the support and help I received during my confinement period for a relatively stress-free transition into motherhood,” said Mei Leng Wong, Editor of BabyCenter Malaysia. “The confinement period gave me time to learn about my babies and still know they were getting good care. I was stepping away from my old life and into the new, and the confinement period was a wonderful bridge between the two.”
Did you have any period of confinement? How did it work for you?