My mum told me not suppose to for a month, I told her if you could find a Dr who agrees with you then I will follow. I told her mum that is in your era as she strongly believes that body should not catch a cold n shower is cooling. No way, just cannot imagine the perspiration and dirt as I was Breastfeeding though I clean my breasts every time before I breastfeed. I did comprise, I bathe and shampoo my hair on alternate days with the herbal packet mixed with warm water but did not wash my hair for the first week. It was really terrible, so warm n itchy but I endured as mother in law insist.
I think everyone is bathing now in the 20 century, imagine Gynea expect you to wash the wound right on the day after childbirth so they can check your stitch the very next day. So we still have to touch water during this period. But herbal bath is good, it helps warm up your body.
Because of this not bathing thing I suffered during the whole period of confinement. I find myself very hygienic and dirty and I still have to continue breast feeding. It was like yucks . My mil keep advising my husband not to let me take shower( with the old folk tales) but they really didn't know how bad I was feeling throughout the whole thing. Eventually I came down with a fever after all these ( not showing and having to eat all the heaty stuff and not allow plain water ). It was the worst period of my life! Personally I think it's important to be very clean when u r breast feeding, even if not for urself, think for the baby.
According to strict confinement practices, you are not supposed to do so. But I insisted on showering and washing my hair as the weather was really too hot then (imagine the weather now), and I thought hygiene is very essential since I'm breastfeeding my child. How to breastfeed him when I'm sweaty and stinks?? And it'll affect your mood as well.
It is common practice for Chinese mothers not to bathe or wash hair during confinement. It is thought that contact with water opens up our pores, causing "wind-cold" to enter the body. In the long run, these pathogens may accumulate in the body causing frequent headaches or even rheumatism. This belief probably originated from China in the past, where water used for bathing is difficult to be kept at constant warm temperature because of cold weather, lack of enclosed rooms and technology. In modern Singapore, weather is warm and water used for bathing is also warmed with heaters. Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly fine to continue with bathing during confinement as it is important to maintain hygiene. Do bathe in warm water and dry the body and hair immediately. Also, avoid entering an air-conditioned room or having the fan blowing directly at you right after coming out of a bath.
Traditional ways is a big no to shower during confinement. For me I don't care, I shower & wash my hair everyday. I'm Breast feeding so I feel that I should be clean. Usually after delivery you still have to go back to the gynae to take out The stitch, imagine when you open yr legs the smell is like??!! OMG! So cleanliness is very impt!
If you ask your gynae, he/she will tell you yes. Depends on how strongly against your mum or MIL is against it, you should bath once discharged from hospital. I tried to bath at the hospital the evening after my delivery but the shower head at my ward is rusty from lack of use by previous patients (all mums after giving birth there), hence, I used a small towel wet with warm water from the bath room tap to clean myself. Once home, my confinement lady boiled herbs for my bath once a day. At night, I used warm water to towel clean myself.
New mothers are advised not to bathe or wash their hair during the first month after childbirth to prevent catching a cold and suffer from rheumatism in later part of their lives. However, there is no scientific reasoning to this and this could be due to the living condition in the ancient China where women had to fetch water from the rivers to bathe. Furthermore, living in a tropical country like Singapore, it is even more necessary to maintain a good personal hygiene to keep oneself clean and fresh especially for new mothers who needs to handle a newborn. It is recommended to take warm bath as cold baths will bring on muscle cramp or even make you more susceptible to cold. You may close all windows in the house or rooms before taking a bath. Also water has to be boiled to remove any organism which may cause infection to the mother. New mother are more vulnerable to germs and infections so maintaining your own cleanliness is very important. As the saying goes, a happy and satisfied mother equals a happy and satisfied baby.
According to tradition, you are not suppose to. But the question is how do you keep clean if you are going to breastfeed and stuff. So, my confinement nanny and mother in law came with a compromise. There is this herbal thing that you can buy from most medical halls. Mine was really easy to use. Fill a tub with hot water, pop the "herbal pack" in, leave it to soak for 10-15mins and allow water to be cool till its not scorching for your body. Lock yourself in the bathroom, have a bath with the herbal water and get changed in the bathroom. Just make sure you get get exposed to wind and you will be fine. Just before breastfeeding, I got a basin of warm water, I clean my breast with the warm water before breastfeeding and do the same after.