Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chinese Postpartum Traditions

My mom has previously told me, on more than one occasion, about Chinese after-birth traditions/wisdom for the mother, such as not drinking cold fluids or washing your hands in cold water. I don't think she ever had a very good explanation for why not to do those things, and I sometimes think my mom is a little superstitious, so I essentially chalked up that piece of information to Chinese cultural craziness. Read: no intention of following.

Last night, my dad and his sister came over for dinner (she's in the US visiting for a few months, between my brother graduating from high school and us having a baby), and she offered up the same advice about cold fluids, plus some other ones, such as:

- Avoiding washing my hair if I can, or if I need to, making sure that I blow dry it right away.
- Drinking hot soups as much as possible, such as chicken soup.

The hot soup thing sounds pretty reasonable, but the cold fluids and not washing hair - really?!

Apparently, if the traditions aren't followed, it could result in bad health for the mother later in life. I realize the intent of the traditions are good, but I still think it is crazy.

In any case, I did a quick search online for what kind of information is out there and found the following article, which is at least an interesting read on cultural differences:

Postpartum Beliefs and Practices Among Non-Western Cultures

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