Older Generation Beliefs

14 Replies
KLT - July 10

So my mom and all of her friends tell me that while most people would like to come home from the hospital and shower after delivering etc... that its better not to. In fact, they say if I can hold off for at least a week minimum it would be best. Something about your pores being open and soaking in all that water can cause problems later on down the line. They say that all the women from the "older generation" don't have the problems they or the younger generations have, with back pains, etc... which they all believe are caused by doing too much when we get home from the hospital and taking baths/showers prematurely. My mother wants me to move in with her for several weeks after delivery so she can wait on me hand and foot - which of course is nice - but i'd like to go home to MY home at some point. She says if I need a bath, she'll give me a sponge bath. They also say I shouldn't go up and down stairs or basically do a single thing but lie around for a few weeks. Theres a handful of other beliefs they are feeding me from the old school which I won't bother getting into, but just wanted to know, have any of you heard about these things as well? Whats your take on it all?

 

Erynn21 - July 10

I'm so annoyed by all of the old school thoughts floating around myself also, since day one my grandmother has insisted that I should be sleeping downstairs instead of upstairs in my own bedroom. Well I'm not going to do that, she likes to complain to my mother about it often, but at least she realizes that it is not going to change my mind. I personally would not want to go to my mother's house for weeks, I can't even stay at her house for the night, it is too noisy(she has a bunch of dogs and tile floors). I also have heard of the old school way of not bathing, but personally I don't want to not take a bath for a week, gross. I am already planning a quiet time for my husband and our baby to bond as a family, that means no visitors, unless invited, I'm not here to entertain the world. We are planning this transition time. My mom wanted to come help the first week, because she had no help from my father, he had to go to work the next day, my husbnand does not have that. I think you should follow your own instincts, old school mentalities can stay there.

 

Been There - July 10

Unless you have a c-section, there is no reason you cannot take a shower after delivery. The only reason you probably wouldn't take a soaking bath is the blood. But a shower is fine and soothing. What is up with the pores thing though? How silly! I'm having a c-section and I'm aggravated I have to sponge bath for a few days until my st_tches have healed enough. The up and down stairs thing or lying around doesn't apply either. It's good to get a little exercise. Again, because of my c-section, I'll be restricted to once up and once down because of the actual surgery and it's affect on my belly and st_tches. But lying around for a few weeks is not necessary, especially if you deliver v____ally. Yes, you should take it easy, but you'll be able to get around. Erynn, what is sleeping downstairs supposed to do for you?

 

sahmof3 - July 10

Hmmm... I never heard the up and downstairs thing b/f, even after 3 c-sections!! With #1 that would have been possible, but by #2 & 3 how in the world would you avoid making many round trips/ day when taking care of preschoolers plus infant!?! Yeah, my best friend's stepmom was APPALLED that she was up showering and doing things shortly after her c-section (oh yeah, I showered, too, but was very careful to just let the water hit my back and sponge the front). Anyway, my best friend's stepmom insisted that she should be mostly in bed for FORTY days and let someone else take care of the baby unless he needed fed. What!?! Even if that's what she wanted, who could possibly have time to do that for her. I wonder where these things get started!!

 

Erynn21 - July 11

I guess my grandma thinks if I walk up and down stairs I'll have a m/c or go into preterm labor. I really don't know that's what my mom said she thinks. She said it as soon as she found out I was pg that I should be downstairs so that if I had to go to the bathroom in the night I wouldn't have to walk down or back up my stairs. I told her I was going to sleep in my bed with my husband where I will be the most comfortable, she just scoffed at the idea and at the fact that I didn't listen to her. Wow the one about the forty days in bed is crazy I've never heard that, I would go insane if I had to be in bed for forty days. There sure is some weird stuff out there.

 

K8 - July 11

To do with the shower thing the only thing my midwife mentioned is not to use strong smelling shower gel or soaps because the new born baby will like the natural smell of mummy, but she never said dont shower! ha thats gross! not really much help to you but interesting none the less. goodluck

 

starr - July 11

KLT,I think I have probably heard just about everything in the book from my grandmother.Some things do work but others are just too ridiculous to try especially in this day and age when we have all of the resources that we need.I know they say that back then they weren't allowed to bathe or wash their hair for a month b/c their pores were open and they could get sick.A week after I had my baby girl(she's 3 wks now)my mom noticed that I had finally taken the time to do something nice to my hair and she says I know you didn't wash your hair already.I just looked at her like Mom,please.This is 2006 not 1946.Have you heard the one about cleaning the baby's tongue with a diaper with baby's urine on it when the baby has milk thrush on their tongue?It actually does work.My baby has thrush now but I will be calling her ped.tomorrow to get some meds.not wiping her tongue with a p__sy diaper.

 

mcatherine - July 11

I believe the tradition of not showering for a month after birth is actually from a Chinese tradition called Zuo Yuezi, used to prevent water-borne illness and was commonly practiced in this country prior to the installation of running water in most homes. Before my mother died she told me a lot of things, among them was this: If the woman giving you advice about childbirth or raising your children has not given birth in the past 7 years, just smile, be polite and don't listen to anything she has to say. Can you imagine if we actually did all of these things that we were told to to do - some of the advice I have gotten goes WAY beyond old wive's tales to downright crazy!!! What do you think our kids will say in 25-30 years when we are saying to them "You should be in the hospital 3-4 days after a c-section".....?

 

Been There - July 11

Sahmof3, thanks for sharing that they allowed you to shower after your c-section. My last delivery was 8 years ago, so maybe they've changed things where I'll be delivering. I hated sponge bathing.

 

Cabbie - July 11

I also showered after my section (had my third in June). They encouraged me to let the water run over my incison area as to get off dried blood and to tell if new blood is leaking. I cannot imagine not showering or bathing following a delivery! It totally revived me to wash my hair. I saved leg shaving for the next day though! Also if you allow yourself to lay around after any kind of delivery, your pains will be so much more than if you had been up doing light activity.

 

Tanya2 - July 11

I had a shower the next day after delivery in the hospital itself. It made me feel so much better, I also had the epi and had no side effects, with my first I was very active throughout the whole pregnancy and now with my second pregnancy, I have a very active 9 month old who is a little over 25lbs and crawling around, I have to pick her up every minute since she is into everything. I have to bend down over 100 times a day and I'm 32 weeks pregnant. Older people mean well, we just have to remember that and as for the rest, you do need loads after you give birth and its always nice to have someone to help you out, but as long as they remember that it is your baby and you are the mom.

 

sahmof3 - July 11

Been There, My oldest was born 6 years ago and they didn't really want me to shower, so they said the nurse would have to be in there with me. Right at first I didn't argue, but when they sent in this 20yo, skinny, perky-b___sted little thing I was like, "No, you are not coming in with me." lol. She kept arguing that it was their policy against law suits, so I grabbed a paper and wrote, I swear I won't sue if I fall in the shower... and signed it. Obviously, it wasn't a legal and binding doc_ment, so I don't think that's what did it, it was probably that I was such a big mean postpartum mess, but she let me go in alone!! By #'s 2 and 3, though, they just asked if I needed help, I said no and that was that. It is a little difficult to navigate the shower if your IV's still, but manageable. Mcatherine- funny you mentioned about the not showering thing being a Chinese tradition, because my friend that I was talking about IS Chinese! Oh and starr- OMG a p__sy diaper- that's hilarious!! My dad's a dentist and my son had thrush and he said the quickest way to clear it is to put some of mom's saliva on a washcloth and wipe baby's tongue with it. Of course, there's meds I think, but at the time we were on vacation and it was too late to go out, so I just did it (don't do it if you're sick of course) and it was gone the next morning!! Gross, but cheap and convenient!!! lol.

 

KLT - July 11

I have to wonder what the upstairs/downstairs thing is too.....but you know what? My mom is all about it! I should ask her what she means...on second thought that is just inviting more "advice" from her. Nevermind!! I know she is not thrilled that I live in a 3rd floor condo with no elevators though. She gets huffy each time she thinks about me going up and down the stairs now! "how will you get down if you into labor? how will you get up when you are done?" She then reminds me of how when she had me, her st_tches busted from going up 3 steps. mcatherine - That whole Chinese thing and the showering....must be a total Asian thing, not just Chinese b/c my mom is Vietnamese (dad is American) and so I get not only the old school beliefs but the Asian beliefs of how things should be.. some are good things, but some are just toooo much!! I also have an Indian friend at work who tells me that I shouldn't do anything for months after I deliver..she's actually a lot younger than me, but says that her sister in law, who has just given birth is being waited on hand and foot and all she does all day is sit in bed, and rings her bell when she needs something. I would get bored!!!! And not to mention, I NEED to shower...how can I go for a week minimum without it? Gross. I will consider going to my moms for a week or so though..not sure how I'll make it up 3 flights of stairs, as this is my first time - what do you ladies think? Is it tough?? One thing that irks me is how people seem to get mad at you if you don't want to follow their "ways". And I will certainly NOT rub baby pee on my childs tongue or anything like that! There are som weird remedies out there.... my Filipino friend told me about how they'd rub their period on their face to get rid of pimples...What the heck??

 

nms - July 12

Compared to the western people, Asians have lots and lots of beliefs after a woman gives birth. I think the principle is 'to suffer now to take care of your body is better than being sick later'. And also to avoid the new mum from suffering post natal blues. That's why in many Asian cultures, 40 days after giving birth is called the confinement time. You don't have to be in bed all the times though because that will be unhealthy! And being in confinement also includes post natal ma__sage and other things to help the new mum get back to her old shape. So it's not bad really. My Chinese friend actually hired a confinement lady to take care of all her needs during that time so she can spend more time with the baby and rest.

 

KLT - July 12

Well I certainly can't afford to hire anyone to do anything for me... too flat broke for that! But hey, if my mom wants to ma__sage me and feed me...I am down for that. : )

 

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