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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Society, Traditions >> Chinese Puerperal Period

Chinese Folk Customs During the Puerperal Period

Generally speaking, Chinese people preserve many deep-rooted folk customs during the first month after childbirth. "No hair-washing." "Consume as much tonic food as you can." These beliefs have been embedded in our heart. It seems a very important period to a woman during and after pregnancy. A mom-to-be or new mom always feels nervous due to those folk traditions.

- Don't wash hair and body

Actually, only if the genitals hurt is healed and a new mom has fully recovered from tiredness, it is ok to take a shower. But the shower time can't be too long, only for about 5-10 minutes each time (20℃ room temperature and 34-36℃ water temperature). After washing, make sure to wipe off water and put on clothes quickly so as to avoid getting cold. However, this just depends on a new mom's health status and the bath conditions. Further to this, keep in mind to wait until hair dries up before sleep. If not, a new mom may suffer headache or neck pain.

- Don't brush teeth and comb hair

Experts have pointed out that a new mom should brush teeth and comb hair as before. This is because most foods eating after pregnancy are soft, which keep the oral cavity from clear function during the mastication process. Soft foods may also cause the formation of dental plague. Therefore, a new mom can't ignore teeth-brushing. As everyone knows, combing hair is a good habit and it can help stimulate blood circulation and maintain the health of hair roots. So it is absolutely not a good idea to change this habit.

- Avoid wind

In the past, parturient women might be easily affected by bacteria and suffer fever due to nutrient deficiency and weak resistance. But it is not still the case now. Today, a nutritious diet will increase a new mom's ability to resist infection. In addition, rooms must be adequately ventilated to keep the air clean and fresh. In hot summer, you can get a fan blow in the opposite direction (not towards a new mom) to create a "air short circuit" because airtight may lead to heat stroke. Try to maintain room temperature at 26-28℃ and humidity 55%~65%.

- Don't have sex

Parturient women are told not to have sex. This is absolutely true, according to the experts. That's because it takes at least 8 weeks to recover the productive organs after delivery. Early sex may easily cause inflammation, uterine hemorrhage and perineum avulsion. Therefore, a new mom couldn't have sex until lochia is completely discharged in more than 2 month. While the examination after delivery is normal, she could have sex with contraceptive measures.

- Can't eat fruits and vegetables or cold foods

Modern medicine holds that a new mom could eat fruits and vegetables or cold food after delivery. There is no doubt that vitamins play an important role in body recovery and milk secretion. Of which, Vitamin C has positive effects on the hematischesis and hurt healing. Fruits and vegetables are accepted rich in vitamins and fibers. These elements are proven beneficial for stomach and bowel movements. However, a new mom should be cautious and choose to eat fresh foods.

In fact, taboos after pregnancy depend on many factors related to time and space environment, including life environment, climate and local customs. In modern life, it is not a good idea to follow all the taboos because of household electrification and different water sources. As a new mom, you will be told what you can and can't do during the puerperal period. But who's right, and who's wrong? What we can do is to develop and promote scientific ideas for body-recuperation after delivery.

About the Author:

Lok Yae is a father and a long time practitioner of the art of Feng Shui. His site teaches you how to use the Chinese Birth Gender Chart to choose the gender of a baby. Visit now at