Many cultures have various types of beliefs and restrictions for women who are in their confinement period. Some cultures believe newly delivered women should not eat vegetables, drink lots of water, eat cooling foods or heaty foods. If we were to analyse from the scientific perspective, some beliefs are true and some as considered totally false.
When breastfeeding, it is important for new mothers to consume proper and healthy food as it directly affects the quality of their milk. If breastfeeding mothers are to reduce their food intake due to restrictions on the type of food to be eaten during confinement period, the baby will not get sufficient nutrients from the mother’s milk.
If breast feeding mothers do not eat vegetables, vitamin and minerals from the vegetables will not be absorbed into the mother’s milk and they will suffer from constipation.
Some cultures believe in giving new mothers a small quantity of alcohol as it helps keep the mother’s body warm. However if you are breastfeeding, you need to be extra careful when taking alcohol as it will be absorbed into the mother’s milk.
Breastfeeding should be done before consuming alcohol. After consuming alcohol, it is important to drink lots of water. After 30 to 1.5 hours, the alcohol content disappear from the system and breastfeeding can be continued again.
During confinement period, some women are afraid to drink water as they believe that water will keep the body cool. This is a wrong perception and it is very important for breastfeeding mothers to drink lots of water. This is because when breastfeeding, the body will be constantly dehydrated and if the body is not replenished with sufficient water, the secretion of mother’s milk will be affected which in turn affects the development of the new born baby.