According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when a woman gives birth, she loses large amount of blood as well as Qi, the vital energy that flows through the body. Childbirth leaves the mom’s body in ‘cold’, hence confinement is an important period where the mom nurse her body back to full health. If not done right, it is believed that the mom’s body will suffer in the later years. 

Have you heard of how mothers should not be drinking plain water during her confinement period? Or how she should not wash her 头发 at all? It may sound bizarre but these are some of the do’s and don’ts that have been passed down from generation to generation! 

Though all these are meant to help nurture the mom’s body during confinement, it is important to know which are the ones we should follow and which ones are simply myth according to TCM. Here are 6 myths busted. 

1. Cannot drink plain water

Water is considered to be ‘cooling’, which will only cool down the body even further instead of nursing the body back to health. Besides, it can cause water retention in the body too. This is a myth as women who have just given birth should in face be drinking more water to stay hydrated since they tend to sweat more easily due to the hormonal changes in their body. However, new moms should drink warm plain water over cold ones!

2. No washing of hair

Moms are always nagging at their children to quickly dry off their hair once they are out of the shower as it is believed that coming in contact with water allows ‘wind’ to enter the body, developing headaches and rheumatism later on. This is not without any truth as people in the past tend to catch colds frequently after showering during the cold season when the water heater was not invented yet. This is a myth. In fact, showering helps to prevent infection and maintain personal hygiene. Just make sure to bath in warm water and dry off with a towel immediately after showering. 

3. Do not use a fan or air-conditioning

As with the washing of hair, it is believed that blowing the fan or air-conditioning will cause ‘wind’ to enter the body. In Singapore’s humid climate, using the fan or air conditioner might be essential to prevent any rash on the 皮肤.

4. Drink more alcoholic drinks

Wine and other alcohols are believed to promote blood circulation, helping to warm the body. During confinement, new moms should try to drink more alcohol or eat dishes that are cooked with alcohol. It is true that alcohol is used in TCM to expel cold from the body as well as to promote blood circulation. However, as the new moms are breastfeeding during their confinement period, they should try to avoid alcohol as it can be passed to their baby through milk. 

5. The more herbs, the merrier

New moms are recommended to stock on herbal soups and other Chinese herbs that can help to nourish the body. As every individual’s constitution is different, it is best to consult a TCM physician on what type of herbal soup works best for them.