In many cultures, women who have just given birth receive appropriate care to help them recover from pregnancy and childbirth.
I'm talking to you today about the golden month, an ancient Chinese tradition.
Try to imagine that after you give birth, you become the center of attention. Have someone caring take care of you and your baby so you can rest and recover from childbirth. Imagine that we cook you small dishes adapted to the postnatal period, that we take care of the household chores and that we spare you stress and worries. The dream, right?
The Golden Month
In China, the tradition of a woman who has just given birth is called "the golden month" or "sit a month". Regardless of their social rank, most Chinese women follow this tradition.
Caring for the new mother, an investment for the future
During pregnancy and childbirth, a woman's body is put under great strain. After childbirth, the organs must resume their place and their dynamism. The woman must regain her vitality. To promote this return to normal, the Chinese havedeveloped, about 2000 years ago, a list of recommendations based on traditional Chinese medicine.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, a lack of rest, an unsuitable diet and worries can cause he alth problems, which can follow the young mother throughout her life. Getting good care during this time helps prevent he alth problems. They also promote the establishment of breastfeeding and bonding. For Chinese families, the golden month is seen as an investment for the future.
According to Chinese tradition, postnatal women should avoid:
- Physical exertion, exhaustion and overwork
- Stress and emotional tension
- Exposure to cold and humidity.
Golden Month Recommendations and Restrictions
In addition to minimizing effort, traditional Chinese culture suggests young mothers avoid exposure to drafts.
Particularly sensitive to the cold, the new mother should therefore avoid:
- To expose oneself to cold and humidity
- Draughts (no air conditioner, fan, open windows)
- Raw and cold foods, as well as cold drinks
- Cold water (even soaking your hands when washing dishes).
After giving birth, the mother or mother-in-law will take care of concocting carefully selected meals for her. We favor thehot, cooked and unprocessed foods rich in iron, vitamins and proteins. Avoid spicy, raw or cold foods, as well as alcohol and tea. On the menu, many soups and broths made with eggs and chicken.
During the postnatal period, the new mother must also avoid stress and emotional tension. The care and benevolence provided during this period also help the mind. Emotionally nourishing the woman limits the number of postnatal depression.
- Wear a hat to keep your head warm
- Do not wash your hair
- Avoid showers and baths: she should clean herself with a towel soaked in a mixture of water, hot alcohol and s alt or ginger.
- If the woman has had a caesarean, she can only get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
End of Golden Month
To mark the end of the golden month, the new mother is prepared a ritual bath with medicinal herbs. This first bath since childbirth symbolizes the beginning of her life as a mother in the outside world.
In our modern Western society, many of these recommendations may seem unrealistic, even inappropriate. But perhaps you will want, after reading this, to prepare differently for this period or even to provide help and support to your loved ones who have just given birth.