1. Don’t switch on the fan and air-conditioner. Keep warm at all times.
Break the rule! There’s no need to consciously stay warm in sunny Singapore. As long as you are not directly exposed to the wind or cold air, there’s no health concern, says Wong Yueh Chin, a traditional Chinese medicine physician at Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic.
That’s because a fan blowing right at you can hamper the body’s circulation of qi (energy) and blood, and lead to a host of problems like joint stiffness and muscle aches. According to TCM theories, new mums have weaker body constitutions and immune systems.
Ensure that your home is well-ventilated. If you prefer to be in an air-conditioned room, keep the temperature at 25 deg C or higher. Besides, keeping cool will help prevent heat rash and flared tempers.
2. Avoid plain water; it worsens water retention. You should be drinking only red date and ginger tea.
Break the rule! Although drinking red date and ginger tea can help new mums expel “wind”, Yueh Chin adds that having too much of it might cause constipation, especially during the hotter months of May and June.
Enjoy red date tea in moderation, about two to three times per week. Load up on water instead, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Nursing mums are likely to feel more thirsty, so be sure to drink eight to 12 glasses per day, advises Dr Law Wei Seng, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, and gynae-laparoscopist at WS Law Women’s Clinic and Laparoscopic Surgery Centre.
Don’t worry about water retention because in the first few weeks after delivery, your kidneys will produce more urine to remove excess fluid.
3. Forget about taking a shower or washing your hair. You’ll be plagued by headaches and rheumatism for the rest of your life.
Break the rule! These days, even TCM experts don’t recommend this practice in hot and humid Singapore. “This practice might have made sense in the past, when new mums didn’t have the luxury of taking a warm bath, or they lived in an environment which is cold or chilly,” explains Yvonne Phua, a chief trainer at Pem Confinement Nanny Agency.
Practising good personal hygiene is important if you’re breastfeeding your child. This also reduces your risk of skin and wound infections. Plus, it certainly ensures that your family and visitors will find you more bearable, quips Dr Law.
Take warm showers and towel dry quickly so you don’t catch a cold, advises Yvonne. Ensure that your wound, especially if you’ve had a C-section, is properly dried after bathing, says Dr Law.
To help expel “wind” in your body, Yueh Chin suggests that you bathe in lukewarm water that has been boiled with old ginger.