Indian Confinement Practices after Childbirth
Delivering a healthy child successfully is quite an achievement for the mother as well as the child. The entire process of delivery takes a toll on both the mother and the child since it is extremely taxing on their bodies. At this stage, the mother is quite vulnerable since her immune system is at its weakest, with all the energy focused on delivering the child. The baby, on the other hand, is at even higher risk since he is just experiencing this world and all the new aspects of life for the very first time. Keeping them in a safe environment is absolutely important.
What Is Postpartum Confinement?
Postpartum confinement takes into account all of these necessary aspects following the delivery and keeps the mother and the child in a space that is beneficial for both of them. Postpartum confinement can be only initiated if there is a support system of family and relatives to help them out. The confinement aspect comes into play where the mother is advised to stay within the confines of the home until she recovers her health and is hale and hearty. The family members take care of numerous activities and provide all the support the mother needs to take care of the baby.
How Long Is The Confinement Period after Giving Birth?
The confinement period is generally dependent on how well the mother and baby cope up with the recovery process. At times, a caesarean delivery could extend the days for quite a bit. This can further extend if either of the two has faced complications during birth and need some more time to recover to normal. On a general basis, a period of around 40 days is generally considered normal, to allow enough time for a mother to take care of herself.
In some areas, mothers don’t tend to believe in a specific confinement period as such and will resume their normal lives the moment they feel fine. This is generally the case with a lot of working mothers as well, if the leave isn’t sufficient or they feel the need to get back to work as soon as possible.
What Are Post Delivery Confinement Practices Followed in India?
The traditional practices for mothers vary from region to region across the country. On a general basis, the focus is placed on physical recovery and regaining the lost strength for both the mother and the child, adhering to a special diet that helps with the same and stimulates lactation, while sticking to certain precautions to avoid any undue stress on the body.
The mother’s body has gone through quite an extensive period and it needs all the help it can get to become healthy all over again.
- Most households tend to hire either a traditional massage person well-known among the family members or a professional massage therapist who is used to the techniques needed in postpartum massage.
A proper full-body massage for a woman is recommended, by using some healthy oils and warm water. All of these help stimulate blood circulation within the body, whereas the external force of the massage helps with the belly and any stretch marks of the body.
- The focus is generally on the back, waist and hip regions of the body. These are the main ones that have undergone a huge metamorphosis and a lot of stress during pregnancy and the delivery.
- For women who have undergone caesarean delivery, a full body massage might not be ideal and certain extra precautions might be advised by the doctor in this regard.
Along with the mother, the baby himself requires massage as well. This is essential since this is the first time he is outside the womb and his body needs to start developing the strength required to survive in the world.
- While mothers can start massaging their babies after delivery, some of them usually opt to do so once they feel better by themselves. Until then, there are local midwives or some family person who can take over the massage duties for the baby.
- The massage generally focuses on building the strength in the child’s muscles and keeping his bones healthy. Using the necessary baby oils to infuse that strength can be quite relaxing for your child and put him to sleep as well.
- Baby massage needs to be a daily activity for a long period while giving him his bath. Your baby might end up crying while he is getting a massage and, although that is usually observed, do take care that your baby is handled in a gentle manner.
- Traditional midwives have an age-old technique of massaging babies that can seem quite rigorous at times. Most of them are well experienced, however, there have been cases of babies suffering from physical problems as a result of intense massaging.
Indian Confinement Diet
The diet for a mother recovering from her delivery has to be nutritious without a doubt. There are certain food items that are mandatorily included in the diet to help the mother with her new phase of motherhood as well.
- Fennel seeds, as well as cumin seeds, are known to be very beneficial in the postpartum phase. Eating a few fennel seeds takes care of the digestive process, provides the necessary strength to the immunity system as well as works in improving lactation. Drinking cumin water two times in a day also helps on similar lines and keeps infections at bay.
- One of the simplest foods for a mother in the postpartum stage is generally khichdi. This is easy to eat as well as simple to digest since it is prepared with a partially solid consistency, and includes numerous vegetables that provide the necessary nutrition.
- As with pregnancy, the baby is dependent on the mother for nutrition via the breastmilk. Therefore, the diet needs to contain enough vegetables, especially green and leafy ones, which supply the nutrients to the baby via the milk.
- Staying hydrated is also important at this time. Liquids are required in a larger proportion since a lot of water is used to produce the milk. Along with it, drinking hot milk and soups can be quite soothing to the mother, as well as occasional sips of coconut water.
- Laddoos are another important food item for new mothers. Fenugreek is usually included in these that assist the growth of the baby, as well as gond laddoos which aid recovery. Numerous other types help reduce body aches as well.
- Saunf is included in the diet as well, usually included in paranthas for the mother. Even drinking boiled water with saunf can help the mother’s uterus from cleansing itself and recovering the body’s strength.
- Most households make sure that mothers have a lot of ghee at this stage. Ideally, it should be consumed in moderation, which provides a lot of nutrition to the baby and stimulates bowel movement in the mother.
Maternity Confinement Rules
There are a few rules most households tend to enforce on a mother, which are either traditional or medically required to be adhered to.
- Using incense smoke while washing the hair
- Refraining from sex for a fixed duration
- Dressing warmly and covering the entire body
- Staying away from household chores
- Avoiding pointless television programmes or computer usage
Postnatal confinement is rooted deeply in supporting the mother’s recovery after the baby’s delivery. Some traditional aspects of the process might have been replaced in recent times, but most of the other conditions are extremely essential in ensuring that you return back to normalcy as speedily as possible, and enjoy taking care of your baby.