A strict confinement is more like a Asian ritual. For Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia, we have to go through a 30-40 days long of confinement after birth, with various confinement restrictions as well as confinement diet comprising ‘heaty’ tonic food that helps to get rid of inner wind and water retention in the body.
According to my mum and many Chinese old folks, consumption of quality confinement food and tonic soup is vital in achieving great post natal recovery. The main ingredients of confinement cooking are old ginger, sesame oil, red dates, rice/ glutinous rice wine, sweet vinegar, and etc. During the confinement period, we are not allowed to drink plain water, too. Sounds crazy? That’s what my mum believes, at least. She claimed that drinking plain water within a month after birth may introduce more wind into the body. Hence, only red dates drink, herbal soup, hot beverages, such as Milo and Horlick, are to be drank. You won’t believe it, even to take a bath, this special herb, Da Feng Ai, has to infused into your hot bathing water! No plain water allowed, even for a bath… (laughing).