Amazing how the first weeks have flown by and our baby Audrey Jun Jun is now ten weeks! A baby’s development at this age is the fastest in her lifetime, an it is most exciting to see her growing day by day. We were fortunate to have our mums and Marlene here to visit offering extra help, especially mine who has stayed for two long months, tolerating my grumpy self for many a time.
Following Chinese tradition, as soon as we celebrated the arrival of our baby, I began my ‘confinement’ period, which ends when the baby turns one month old. This is because we Chinese believe that right after birth, the mother is vulnerable of contracting ‘wind’ (coldness), which may upset the balance of yin and yang of the body system and pose long term health problems, such as weakness and migraine. So confinement, or ‘chor yuet’ (the sitting month) in Cantonese, literally means staying put for one whole month, to keep the mother warm and having her well taken of. Fortunately, my mum did not make me follow all the customs; the ones I did were only staying put (of course, though I did nip out to get the baby weighed and for a cheeky pub dinner just two blocks away), having rice at every meal and taking ginger baths/showers. If one is to follow all the traditions religiously, she would find herself not having her hair washed for the whole month which I think is grossly unhygienic. I was also very lucky to have soup and rice water being made for me every day which is key for hydration and nourishment – important for feeding our baby too.
Speaking of which, as a nutritionist, I believe in exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months for the baby’s best start in life and have been managed it well so far. I am grateful for all the support given to us in the hospital, and with all the food and soup my mum and Marlene have prepared, have given us a nice start to nursing, keeping our baby weighing between the 75th and 91st centile, something that I am very proud of.