Tips for new moms during confinement period

Many perceive confinement period as some form of "ritual" that if you did not follow, your life will fall apart. While it may not be something so critical as such, we would still recommended you to take note of some pointers from this centuries-old tradition. The purpose of the month-long confinement period, is to nurture the mother's health back to its pre-natal state, since it's only for good reasons, we suppose you might want to get your pen and paper ready and start jotting down what we have to share with you (or you can just press the print button ;))

* During your confinement, make sure that you practicing sitting while drinking as olden days peoples believes, you won't be able to control your urine when you are old. (How true it is but seems like many new mothers still follows this advise from their moms or nannies )

* Compress your breast every time before latching or expressing your milk. This will help to release the block ducts and there will be better let down for your supply.

* It is normal for a baby to want to breastfeed long and often in the early days. Another common pattern in the first day or two is frequent breastfeeding for 10 minutes only and the baby tends to falls asleep. A newborn baby tends to be wakeful during the night and sleepiest during the day.

* The colostrum, the yellow or golden first milk that the baby received in his few days of lives as high concentration of nutrition and immunities. Frequent nursing helps to establish a good milk supply early on, as well providing a variety of health benefits.

* If the mothers positions their babies well during latching, and the baby suck effectively, breastfeeding does not cause sore nipples.

* Giving a baby lots of time at the breast in a few days, allowed him to learned to breastfeed effectively.

* Try to relax when baby is sleeping or you may also try to sleep at least 2hrs to have a better supply.

* Eat more intake of fish, spinach, apples, papaya soup and there is also a vegetable called 'pengaga' that is recommended by many Malaysian gynaecologist that will increase your milk supply. (From many years of my experience, out of 20 mothers who took this vegetable that stir-fried, 18 of them really increased their breast milk.)

* Mothers with inverted or flat nipples should learn the basic of making latching-on easier in the early days of breastfeeding.

* Engorgement when it occurs, usually begins on the third to fifth day and if promptly treated, it will last between 12 to 48 hours. To treat engorgement, massage and apply heat briefly before breastfeeding, breastfeed frequently and be sure that both breast are soften at each feeding.

* Symptoms of engagements are breast swelling, warm, redness, throbbing pain and low-grade fever.

* If a mother nipples do not heal, even after the latch on and sucking problems are corrected, she may have an infections and need additional treatment such applying nipple creams. Avoid bras or breast pad with plastic liners or synthetic fabrics for mothers with sore nipples.

* Jaundice babies tends to sleep more and should be wake-up for feeding.

* A babies cries do not necessarily means he is hungry. Weather breastfed or formula fed during their first months, many babies have a regular fussy period which usually occurs in the late afternoon or evening. This is also sometimes due to colic. Baby massage really helps them to feel more comfortable and make them sleep better.

* Mothers during confinement should not take foods that are cold, vege eg: cabbage, kangkong, cucumbers and even fruits like honeydew, watermelon and oranges. Some fish also should not be taken like catfish, stingray and seafood. Try also to avoid coffee during your confinement.

* Often questions that I received from new mothers, eg: can I bath during my pregnancy? as Chinese believe they're not allowed to take a bath until the 12 days after their delivery. but some even did not bath till to a month. Usually my advice for hygiene purpose, you could just have a quick rinse of your body as you need to handle your newborn babies and as our Singapore weather is very hot. You must enjoy your confinement days too.

* Try not to do exercise at least 2 months for normal delivery and as for c-sec, at least 4 months onwards.

We invite expectant mothers to read our blog as Madam Rokiah regularly posts helpful tips, advice and general information she has gained from over ten years of providing post-natal massage.

If you have comment or question, feel free to drop us a line.