The first six weeks following childbirth are an important time for mother and baby alike. This period allows needed healing and bonding, as well as a respite from a hectic schedule. Today, many new mothers are opting for a longer period of bed rest during pregnancy and after, in the form of postpartum confinement.
What Is Postpartum Confinement?
Postpartum confinement, also called confinement month, is a centuries-old Chinese tradition. Lasting from 26 to 45 days, a mother and her baby stay at home and are taken care of by other women, traditionally her mother or mother-in-law.
Other activities by which the postpartum confinement tradition is defined follow the principles of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. Avoiding any kind of cold is a large part of postpartum confinement, as it is believed cold allowed to enter a new mother’s body will prevent full recovery and cause ailments to develop. As a result, mothers need to:
- Stay warm by remaining indoors.
- Avoid cold drinks and food, and avoid touching cold objects.
- Avoid washing the hair so cold does not enter the body.
This period is also characterized by traditional meals made using Chinese herbs that support the body’s chi or life force.
Postpartum Confinement in the Modern World
The traditional maximum of a 45-day bed-rest pregnancy regimen and diet may be too much for some new moms, but the length of time and diet can both be modified and still offer the same benefits.
For example, a healthy diet is just as important post-birth as it is during pregnancy. Eating meals rich in vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats is always a good idea. As well, getting plenty of rest will be vital. Maintaining the connection to friends and family will provide emotional support and nourishment.
Today’s workspace can be anywhere, including from home for women on preeclampsia bed rest. As long as work hours are limited so there’s plenty of time for recovery and bonding with baby, they can be part of your postpartum confinement. However, this, too, must be done in a healthy way.
Healthy Ways to Work and Play on Bed Rest
In addition to limiting the number of hours worked or enjoying leisure activities from bed, it’s important to ensure this is being done in a way that supports recovery. Stretching for a few minutes each hour will help maintain circulation and relax the muscles.
Slouching over a laptop or book for long periods will only lead to muscle strain, soreness, and irritability. When reading or using a computer from bed, it’s important to ensure that your back is adequately supported, and your arms are at a 90-degree angle to avoid repetitive strain.
The atHand® Overbed Table System will provide you with the lighting, storage, and support you need when reading, eating, or using your laptop during postpartum confinement. Visit us online to learn about all of the features and benefits of our adjustable bed table, or call (440) 628-9550.