Today marks thirty days of confinement. Time for a weigh-in. But my confinement is not quite over, yet.
Today marks exactly thirty days since I gave birth to Taiwanxifu Baby. Traditionally, women in Chinese cultures are supposed to practice postpartum confinement (坐月子 zuo yuezi) for at least thirty days. But in many cases, they continue confinement for up to forty-five days.
We contracted an at-home confinement nanny (yuepo) to look after me for thirty days. The thirty days commenced from the day she started, rather than the day we gave birth, and excludes her Sundays off. We started a little later than most parents because baby had to stay in hospital for a few extra days to sunbake off his jaundice. So after today, I still have another nine days of confinement. That said, the strictest phase of zuo yuezi (e.g. no washing and only eating certain foods) has now passed. But aspects of the zuo yuezi philosophy will continue beyond the confinement period as long as I am still breastfeeding (e.g. no cold drinks or ice-cream).
I couldn’t resist weighing myself today to see how weigh-loss was going at the thirty-day mark. I was pleasantly surprised: I have ‘reduced’ thirteen kilograms. Of course, much of this was the weight of the baby, placenta etc. And a fair amount was fluid retention. But still, I am pretty chuffed. Now all I have to do is work on the rest of the weight I put own during pregnancy. Hopefully breastfeeding will help.
Now that baby is ‘man yue’ (滿月, one month) and my thirty days are over, we are starting to receive more visitors. I even plan to go out next week, albeit briefly. Although there were times when I did feel a little lonely (even despite email, Facebook and Skype contact with friends and family), having the time out has helped me to get enough rest and focus on establishing feeding with baby. I feel responsible, having focused on the health of me and my baby rather than trying to stage dinner parties, even if part of me deep down really to be a socialite.
So more confinement for me, which I am finding is actually not too bad.