Thursday, March 19, 2009

Confinement: The story so far

My confinement lady is from Johor. She speaks cantonese and mandarin and hokkien. I understand 50% of what she is saying. She refers herself as "Tilam" because she's pudgy and babies like to sleep on her. She reached BigBoss's family home on the day I was discharged from the hospital. (wah, like writing a primary one karangan liddat)

So far ah..she can be quite repetitive, but she's actually quite cool. I'm warming up to her slowly. She has plenty of taboos and pantangs, collected over the span of 23 years.

Below are some of Tilam's pantang larangs:
  • Okay we have the usual classic, no showering or washing hair until the 12th day. Then after the 12th day, no showering and washing of hair until the end of the month.
  • No wine in my food until the 12th day because i had a c-section.
  • I am not allowed to drink boiled water until full moon because it'll make me puffy / swollen. So everyday i need to drink this weird concotion of red dates with kei chi drink. And i can drink hot milo.
  • I can't eat anything cooked with salt until the 12th day
  • I have no idea what's so special about the 12th day
  • I have to sit down when I drink
  • I cannot eat any fruits except for apples
  • I cannot eat most vegies except for Kailan and broccoli, and yep you guess it, until the 12th day
  • I cannot eat chicken until the 12th day because it's toxic. I have been eating fish and pork every single day *sniff*
  • I cannot wear anything sleevless, must cover my arms if not the "wind" will go in.
As for Peanut, these are a few things she has taught me so far, Pei Chyi and Mei Li take note *ahem* :
  • When babies have hiccups, you take a piece of tissue paper, cut it into postage stamp size, wet it with water and stick it onto the baby's forehead. Well, as weird as it might sound, we tried it and it works.
  • You don't need to burp the baby if she's on breast milk. Only do it when she's on formula. I have no idea whether this is true or not la
  • When you bring your baby out shopping etc, do not refer her by her name. Instead give her a nickname like Ah Girl, Baby or whatever names you can think of la. This is so that nothing will follow her home.
  • When you're in the hospital and ready to be discharged, say "Peanut, it's time to go home" and when you reach home, say "Peanut, you're finally at home, welcome home" or something like that lah.
  • Rub the two big toes on baby's feet constantly to get a smarter baby.
  • To prevent jaundice, Tilam squeezed three pieces of grapes to extract the juice onto a soup spoon(must be 3 only okie), and fed it to Peanut. Oh, and the grapes have to be green. Drink only once a day.
  • She bathed Peanut in guiness stout (mixed with tap water of cos) to prevent red spots.
  • Babies can't wear anything yellow, so that she won't get jaundice. Even the towel that she use after she showered can't be yellow
  • Um..wot else. To check your baby for jaundice, use your forefinger and press lightly on the baby's forhead, her chest and cheeks. Press maybe for 3 to 4 seconds. If the skin rises up quickly after that, and the color goes back to pinkish hue, then the baby's alright. But after you press and the skin does not rise up immediately, and there's a yellowish tint then you gotta see the doctor. Oh, and plus the eyes cannot be yellowish too. She told me the doctor taught her how to do this.
Absurd as some of the above might sound, I just take it with a pinch of salt. I followed all the rules except for the no showering part and the "no drinking of water". I cannot stand not showering lor, but what I did was to splash a bit of water on my body, soap myself, splash more water and quickly towel dry. It's quite a mission to do all these without letting Tilam finding out. And i cannot NOT drink any plain water, because I feel so dehydrated without it. But i have yet to wash my hair. I can do it tomorrow though (it's the 12th day, unless it rains. sigh). I followed this rule just because I do not want to risk getting headaches or migraines in future. Backaches I can deal with, head pain, not so.

Confinement for me has been pretty okay so far, because I get to spend all my time with Peanut without any interruptions and I get to lie down in bed the whole day. What's not to like ya?


Pei Chyi said...

ok this whole tissue on the head business is so weird!!! i must ask my mom and see what she thinks. thanks for the tips momma!

Josie said...

*Faint.Some of the confinement rule sounds 'interesting'

tAuRuS said...

eh, the so that 'nothing will follow her home' part is creepy wey. wtf. what if got ghosts out there also called 'Ah girl'?

kiLikiNa said...

i didn't follow the 12th day rule except to eat the "pork leg vinegar" and i didn't wash my hair at all until day 27.

i also didn't know that babies can take grape juice because it may be acidic to their system.

and i also think that CLs' rules change from one person to another but the general ones usually are the same.

Peanut said...

PC: er..thanks hahaha not much help there.
Josie: yalor, wanna faint when i hear some of them, but close one eye la.
Mei Li: hahahaha wat la you, always make me think of things i never thought of. Maybe i should refer her as Peanut when i'm out, don't think any ghosts will name themselves after vegies or nuts rite?
Christine: CL said she cannot take bananas or most fruits but can take grapes, cos can "clear" the stomach also. I also dunno la hahaha

Leona Lim said...

the burping part is not true, breastfed babies need to be burped every 10-15min during feeds as well, coz wind also comes from baby crying. Just listen to your baby, she'll tell you when she has wind, the way she cries. during breastfeeding, she might unlatch herself when she wants to be burped too...well try to burp after every feed, wind in the stomach is extremely uncomfortable!

Peanut said...

Leona: thanks! yeah, when i read through the book, it does say that babies that are breast fed needs to be burped too. But you know when she needs to be burped ah?

Leona Lim said...

for me, when feeding, if he's feeling he will not pull off constantly, he will just continue latching on. when he keeps pulling off, i will burp him and everytime he will burp. sometimes i already put him to bed forgetting to burp, n he will cry after a while in a certain way, sounds different from hungry cry. later u will recognise the cry lor