Confinement rules


New Member
Hi Mummies. . I am currently on my third trimester. I will not have a confinement lady to help me but will order confinement foods catering. It's my first pregnancy and I heard all kind of confinement rules that shocked me.
1. Cannot touch or drink water
2. No fan or aircond
3. No shower orbhair wash for the whole month
4. Cannot get out from the house?
5. Need to wear long sleeve, long pant and sock all the time
6. Drink red dates juice instead of water

I am still in dilemma if I should follow these rules. My mum said i will regret when i get older if i dont follow these rules.

Any experience mummies here mind to share your confinement? Do you really follow all these rules?

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Active Member
@Enihpled : It's not really rules per say.... It's just whether u r more westernized or "asian"

In my instance:-
1) Drink water - I didnt drink water but drank a lot of longan & red dates water U need more water 2 help produce milk.
2) Aircon / Fan - Fan not blown directly / Aircon is on
3) Shower every day but wash hair alternate days with boiled Chinese herbs
4) No need 4 me 2 go out of the house during confinement.
5) Normal PJ thu d Chinese physician whom my dad brought 2 my place suggested dat I wear socks so instead of sock i wore bedroom slippers


New Member
Thanks tiggerpooh. I have been told that those who didn't follow the rules would suffer side effects such as body aching or sore when they get older. Unsure it is true or not. I wonder which old lady has no aching/ sore ? Except those who exercise regularly..


Active Member
Main thing is 2 b comfortable. I have friends who follows it 2 d letter, n I have others who do as they please.

D thing about these rules, they r just trying 2 help your body recuperate, so there isnt harm in "listening"

Charli Wie

New Member
I believe TCM advocates keeping feet /body warm and no cold water for basic well being.

Not sure about the water/shower rule. But the main principle is to ensure your body is kept warm and well all the time.

If you do shower/wash hair, do it during the day and dry immediately with a hair dryer so you don't catch a cold. I would be showering because I want to keep my hygiene for breastfeeding. Will be considering dry shampoo.

I found that my health is better (less allergies) when my feet are kept warm (e.g. with bedroom slippers) even when I'm not pregnant.


Active Member
all those confinement 'rules' originated from the ancient times in china when there was no hairdryer, no water heater and the weather was cold. that's why they couldn't shower, wash hair and had to wrap themselves with layer and layer of clothes because of the cold weather.

but in modern Singapore now, those aren't even feasible at all. how to not bathe or wash hair in this weather?! i think i will die :/
fan / aircon is okay. just try to avoid the fan blowing at u directly. but sleeping or staying in an air conditioned room is perfectly fine.

the no drinking plain water during confinement period comes from the belief that drinking plain water causes water retention or will cool down the body too much.. which is why the older generation say can only drink red date tea but seriously, that drink is v heaty. u still can drink plain water as its good for mothers to stay hyrdrated - but drink warm/room temperature water.. not cold water.

but ultimately gotta see what u are comfortable with. i personally am NOT comfortable with all these confinement myths. my husband and MIL are supportive so its okay. but of course things like washing hair, one condition is that i have to immediately use the hair dryer to dry my hair cause i rarely do that now. I usually let my wet hair dry by itself after i shower at night.


New Member
I have the same though as you. I explained the same theory to my mum, relatives and friends. But they just don't agree with me. I asked why only asian has so much rules yet ang moh don't hv such practice. My aunt argued that they foods they eat are different. We eat chinese foods that is why we need confinement. Meaning that chinese foods aren't healthy that's why we need a bed rest after birth? LOL


Active Member
precisely! and when i ask further about how those myths come about or why cannot this or that, no one can give me an answer lol. it's because such myths are being handed down generation by generation till the whole origin of it is gone.
This is my 3rd pregnancy. I "broke" all those rules you listed!! My mum was not very happy but she gave up.

I think it's most important to protect yourself from straining your back and try to sleep as much as possible during confinement. Also eat well.


My friend said she had to do housework when she had her first two kids, so she touched water and now her wrists will ache. She had her first two kids in her late 20s and now she is in her early 30s only. So I think, if you can avoid touching water all the time you should.

For showering you can still shower, but make it a hot shower and use the herbs? For washing hair, as long as you use a hair dryer right after, I think should be ok.

I drank the red dates tea prepared by the confinement nanny (3L a day) plus contraband room temperature water my husband sneaked in for me. Lol.

Jane E.

New Member
I had a miscarriage and delivered my stillborn just before Christmas but would still need to do the necessary confinement, unfortunately. my mother had the same notions about not touching water, washing my hair etc. In fact, she said that she's now suffering from all the aches and pains because when she had me, she couldn't do the confinement for one reason or another. To be honest I don't know if some of her pains and aches are related as she has been working tirelessly until she retired.

I agree with @loveholic that Singapore weather is just not ideal to stick to most of the confinement rules, even if you wanted to follow them to the tee. So this is what I have been doing for the past 2 weeks and I hope it can help any of you:

1. I take quick warm to almost hot showers every 2-3 days, rinsing my body with water without soap (personal choice) and quickly drying myself after. On other days when I don't shower, I use wet wipes to clean my body.

2. In the first week I was sensitive to cold so I was in sweat pants, hooded jacket, socks and house slippers (Crazy, i know).

3. By the end of the first week I was feeling better, so I ditched the hooded jacket and house slippers. I still wear socks as my flooring is terrazzo so it's constantly cold to the touch.

4. I wash my hair every 2-3 days (depending on weather) and use a hairdryer on them immediately after stepping out of the shower. I noticed that I get a slight headache when I don't dry them fast enough. I will be switching to dry shampoo soon as I can't stand the headaches. This is what I'm going for - Acure Organics, Organic Dry Shampoo

5. I don't really take the chinese herbal medicinal food though I was given Essence of Chicken to take. Most of the time I stick to a lot of soup base dishes, vegetables, soy food and avoid fried and oily food (like Char Kuay Teow etc). Soon I will start on home-made smoothies.

6. To speed up my recovery and also for the long term health maintenance (husband and i hope to try for another baby soon), I take multivitamins, evening primrose soft gels and Reserve to boost my immunity. I don't have a good appetite, therefore would definitely lack in the necessary vitamins etc so I take supplements to fill in the gaps.

7. Even though I was told I couldn't have cold drinks, I drank cold milk once in a while because I was craving for it. Later on, I warm up milk in the microwave so that gets my mother off my back on cold drinks for a while. It made me feel better actually, having it warm. I sleep better, especially when I have a cup before bedtime.

8. When I have to wash dishes I use gloves, especially when I'm alone at home (my mother only stayed with me for 1.5 weeks). I don't wash any laundry by hand.

9. Lastly I eat a lot of chocolates (Toblerone to be exact) :)

Now I'm feeling much stronger and started to do very light exercises like stretching. However, I wouldn't recommend exercising so soon for all new mothers since my case is different; I don't have a newborn to lose sleep and energy over (though I very much wish I had).

I'd say, listen to your body and do what feels right and stop doing it if you feel slightly different or discomforted.