Tuesday, September 21, 2010
In China, Mothers Seek Help of "Confinement Ladies" After Birth
USA Today: More moms in China readopt confinement after childbirth, by Kathy Chu:
HONG KONG — When Noelle Leung learned she was pregnant, the first person she called was her doctor. The second was a confinement lady.
So-called confinement ladies are highly sought after in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia as experts who can guide women through what's believed to be a critical month after birth.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the month after giving birth is when new mothers are especially vulnerable to health problems, so they're not supposed to go outside, take a bath, brush their teeth or do anything else that could allow "bad wind" into their bodies.
Today, the rules of confinement, called cho yuet, are being rewritten to adapt to the realities of life. Relatives used to care for new mothers and their babies, but today's changing needs are spawning alternatives, such as confinement ladies and postpartum hotels. . . .