Confinement Myth #2

"Close all windows, no fans, no air-conditioning"

This is only practised in a few cultural groups. However, for the new mothers who are caught in this practice, it is highly uncomfortable. Especially if this is happening over the Australian summer!


In the Chinese Medicine's system, 'wind' is a vehicle for illnesses to enter the body. It is important to understand that 'wind' itself does not cause illness, but rather it acts as a carrier that help introduce an illness into a person.


While eliminating wind in an environment can lower the chance of an invading illness, we also know that the lack of fresh air, or an overly hot environment will have direct negative health impacts on the mother. Extreme discomfort will also affect the mother's emotional well-being. For this reason, we think this is an overly extreme application of a precaution.


We recommend new mothers to access to fresh air (eg. open your windows when the weather is great), and while indoors, maintain a stable environment that is not too hot, not too cold, and definitely not one that fluctuates between the two extremes.


We acknowledge that excessive wind can affect a mother's health, but we also know mothers can benefit a lot from natural sunshine during confinement. So we recommend new mothers to find opportunity to spend a bit of time outdoors (in the garden, in parks and other open spaces, not crowded spaces like markets) on days when it is sunny and not windy. If you cannot avoid being in the wind or the breeze, then cover up appropriately and avoid exposing your lower back to the wind, and use a scarf to cover the back of your neck.