‘Confinement’ might sound restrictive to some, but it refers to the traditional post-natal practices dedicated to help new mums heal after having their child. Now, this usually involves rules and diet requirements, which mums adhere for to up to 44 days after the child’s birth.
Malaysia, as a multinational country, has different practices, based on different races and cultures. Each culture has its own variation on confinement practices and at first, they may seem outdated, but its true purpose is the same and relevant for modern times: to support new mums, and allow them to heal; to recuperate from the emotional and physical tolls of childbirth. This is especially true for first-time mums.
You might be wondering, what do mums actually do in confinement centres? Well, think of it as a Mummy Headquarters where mums can spend time healing, bonding with their child, breastfeeding and learning new mummy skills like basic baby care, bathing, burping, changing nappies and understanding your little one. Confinement centres are also a place for new mums to bond with each other, after having recently shared a unique experience. It’s a great place to gain insights, and playmates for your new-born.
But as a first-time, wide-eyed, new mum, you might ask: how do I go about choosing the right confinement centre? Start by looking at the packages offered. All confinement centres should offer these basic services:
These additional extras should tickle your fancy, should you want something more in confinement centres:
Think of these as ‘add-ons’ from your original package, so make sure you’re up to date with your research, so you can choose the right confinement centre that suits all your needs and budget. Don’t forget, size also matters. In some centres, you’ll find yourself one of only a handful of mums ‘sitting in for the month’ or colloquially known as ‘zhor yuet’. In others, you might find yourself in a large crowd! Most confinement centres also offer a 30-day package which can be extended according to a mum’s specific needs.
If you’re unsure about a confinement centre, look into its qualifications and skills of its staff. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Some questions for you to consider:
Lastly, trust your mummy friends! They’ve been through this before, so they’d probably have some good advice and recommendations for confinement centres. You can always ask around in mummy groups; you can even request to talk to some references who have been to centres before. Start looking into confinement centres early, and you’ll be able to visit, to see if the centre is a perfect fit for you.
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