In Chinese culture, the month after the baby is born is viewed as a crucial period of growth and recovery for mother and child, according to Asian-American publication Hyphen Magazine.
That is why during this period, known in Singapore as “confinement”, mother and baby are usually not allowed to leave the house. New mummies are pampered by their own mothers or caregivers who prepare food served warm and dishes that are low in sodium.
According to Hyphen Magazine, strict enforcement of these confinement rules would also mean that women who have just given birth are not permitted to watch television programmes, read or use computers as there are beliefs that these activities may strain the eyes.
Besides confinement practices, Chinese families in Singapore also have a high regard for the infant’s first month celebrations.
Before the baby turns a month old, the mother is not permitted to wash her hair or take a bath. Only after the celebrations is she allowed to bathe for the first time since giving birth. According to Singapore Infopedia, this is because the Chinese believe that “wind” will infiltrate the body, bringing about joint or bone pain.
But should these beliefs be practised or are they simply old wives’ tales?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) company Eu Yan Sang debunks six myths about confinement.