TheSmartLocal – Singapore’s Leading Travel and Lifestyle Portal

Skip to content
confinement myths

We Debunk 8 Common Confinement Myths For New Mums, Like No Bathing & Staying Home For A Month

Common confinement myths debunked

You probably already know that having a baby comes with many challenges. 

First, there’s the indescribable pain of going into labour. Then, the perpetual sleeplessness, hairloss, and body changes follow. But, unless you’ve had a child, you might not be aware of the confinement myths that new mums experience in the first month post-birth. Or, the repercussions of breaking confinement rules.

Below, we debunk some of those myths so you know what to expect when you welcome your own bundle of joy.

1. Don’t wash hair after birth for a month

The myth: You can’t bathe or wash hair after birth for a whole month. According to old wives’ tales, this is to avoid “wind” getting into your body. If you dare to clean your body off the sweat, stench, and breast milk residue, you might risk getting sick.

confinement myths

The truth: As it turns out, you can take a shower. And you should. A warm shower can relieve your body of aches and pains, and hopefully set you up for a sweet and short snooze in between baby’s feeds. 

2. Shave baby’s hair in the first month to promote new hair growth

The myth: Shaving your baby’s hair during the first month of their lives is crucial to boost new hair growth. If you don’t, your baby won’t have luscious locks later on. Plus, your mom might have tried convincing you how “dirty” your newborn’s hair is since it’s from the womb.

confinement mythsImage credit: Samantha Nguyen

The truth: Babies are born with velus hair AKA. thin and sparse strands they’ve had since they were in the womb. Regardless of whether you shave them or not, they’ll eventually fall out around month 4 to make room for thicker and matured hair. That said, there’s no harm in giving your bub a fresh shave.

3. Cover your limbs and feet to prevent wind entering your bones

The myth: It’s vital that you wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks 24/7 to prevent getting “wind” in your body which can lead to illnesses and other heath problems later in life. 

long sleeves

The truth: This myth was the sole reason why some of us mums at TSL sat in our own puddles of sweat for a month after giving birth. However, there’s no scientific evidence supporting the claim that covering your limbs and feet can prevent you from falling sick. In fact, putting on comfy tees and shorts won’t hurt you. 

But if you’d like to appease your mum who insists on you dressing like it’s minus 2 degrees outside, go ahead.

4. Only consume red date tea & no water to replenish lost blood

The myth: You must consume strictly only red date tea to replenish lost blood – no water needed.

confinement mythsImage credit: @jadie_cooking_diary via Instagram

The truth: You should up your hydration game to boost breast milk production and stay healthy. That said, you’re free to chug water, red date tea, and even cold-pressed juices. However, red date tea does contain an abundance of nutrients and minerals like potassium and iron which your body will thank you for.

5. Add ginger to all meals to keep your body “warm”

The myth: Ginger is believed to boost lactation and keep your body “warm”. That’s why your mum’s been feeding you ginger porridge, ginger steamed fish, and stir-fried veggies with ginger slices. 

gingerImage credit: @happygut.dietician via Instagram

The fact: Ginger has plenty of health benefits. When consumed in moderation, it helps to relieve bloatedness, nausea, and an upset stomach. However, too much ginger intake can backfire and trigger heartburn, diarrhoea, and other digestive issues.

6. Staying home for the whole month to prevent falling sick

The myth: You’ll be told to stay put in bed to get as much rest as possible. A single movement from you will raise your mum’s eyebrows. She might even suggest not setting foot outside for weeks to avoid catching germs or getting your c-section wound infected. Fresh air? You don’t know her.

confinement myths

The fact: A walk a day keeps the doctor away. Just make sure you’re not power walking or embarking on a 2-hour hike. Generally speaking, a gentle walk in the morning to catch some rays can improve your mood, reduce stress levels, and give you a much-needed break from the demands of new motherhood.

You can even bring bub along. Find a more precious bonding activity than an early morning stroller walk. We’ll wait.

7. No coffee or tea after birth to avoid spoiling breast milk

The myth: You can’t drink coffee, tea, and bubble tea to avoid passing caffeine to breast milk which may interfere with your baby’s sleep.

confinement myths

The fact: Great news for new mums who are running on no sleep – you can drink coffee, tea, and even bubble tea during your confinement period. However, try to limit your caffeine intake to 1 cup a day. While caffeine can manifest itself in breast milk, a moderate amount won’t spoil the milk or harm your bub.

8. Dress baby in long sleeves 24/7 to keep them warm

The myth: Your lil dude or dudette needs to be wrapped up in long sleeves with their head and ears fully covered by a beanie or knitted hat. This is to keep them warm and mimic the living condition in your womb where they spent the last 9 months.

babyImage credit: Samantha Nguyen

The fact: They might be sweating profusely in the thick bundle you’ve wrapped them in. Unlike adults, newborns can’t regulate their body temperatures very well. Given the high temperatures in Singapore, dressing your baby in long sleeves 24/7 might be too hot for them.

While it’s important to keep your bub warm and comfy, you should check in on them regularly to make sure they aren’t overheating.

Common confinement myths new mums encounter

New motherhood is no easy feat. While we can’t help you with your sleep deprivation and breast feeding struggles, we’ve gotten to the bottom of the common confinement myths you may encounter in the first 30 days postpartum. 

You know, so you have a peace of mind the next time you find yourself doing things like taking a long shower or sipping on a matcha latte.

Cover image adapted from: @happygut.dietician via Instagram