I cook clean yell at kids work clean repeat & I AM ALL ABOUT EFFICIENCY
Confinement is a period where the new mom stays at home and “heal”. Depending on your (or your mom’s) level of superstition, how far you take your confinement is up to you. I didn’t do it with my son because of superstition, I did it to please my mom. Luckily, my mom wasn’t as strict with the confinement rules, she wanted me to eat healthy food that she made (silky chicken, ginger vinegar, papaya fish and other “milk making” soups). However, I was allowed to wash my hair!
So this time around I wanted to take confinement seriously because to me, it’s the only time I can rebuild my body (I can feel the difference when I didn’t really heal properly the first time around) to lessen the chances of any aches and pains when I’m older. However, due to my daughter’s early birth, I can’t stay at home for a month since I have to visit the hospital NICU every day. So I try my best to do everything else properly. A bad habit that I can’t quit is drinking cold stuff – blame it on the Bubbletea deals.
According to my mom, when a mother is in labour and pushing, her pores open up and let all the “wind” enter. Chinese customs don’t like the wind as having too much wind in your body could lead to arthritis and the inability to hold your pee/poo in when you’re older.
Getting the ginger peel is not hard since we will be using the ginger for the vinegar stew. Peeling the ginger is tedious though. My mom peeled about 30 pieces to get the amount of peel above. Apparently, ginger peel adds heat to your body and help rid of any ‘wind’.
I hate ginger, I cannot stand the smell of it. Notice how you won’t find ginger in all my recipes? I know it’s good for you but if there’s a bit of ginger in my dish, I can smell it a mile away. So drinking the ginger vinegar is a real sacrifice (bless my mom for peeling all that ginger for me)!
Boil the peel in hot water (about 8 – 10 litres) and let it simmer and stew for about 30 minutes. Then turn off the heat and scoop the peel out. It’s okay if there are some small bits left. Let the water cool enough so that you can bathe or pour it on your head without burning your scalp off but still maintain good heat. Discard the peel (unless you are super chinese cheap and reuse it, but after boiling for 30 minutes, I’m sure any of the good stuff is gone).
What I did with the water was soak my hair in it, then wrap a towel (soaked with the ginger water) around my head to bake the ginger water in for around 5 – 10 minutes. Then rinse my body with the leftover ginger water. If you have a lot of water, you can soak a bigger towel in the water and wrap it around your body. I didn’t do that since my focus was to wash my hair in ginger water. Then you get a regular shower to rinse it off. You just do it once shortly after you give birth. This whole method of crouching in the bathtub, pouring water on myself from a plastic bucket is pretty ghetto to me but I can’t think of an easier and less wasteful way of bathing in the ginger water.
Another thing to avoid arthritis is to never sleep with your hair wet. I rarely do but I let my hair air dry which is not good either. So now I blow dry my hair during the confinement period.
After the shower, I did feel better but I’m not sure if the ginger water did anything, as there’s usually no rhyme or reason for the things that the older generation believes in (like this).
I call my mom’s homemade spa treatment “GONE WITH THE WIND“! 😀