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DISCLAIMER: The content of Dr Kristal Lau’s Postpartum Wellness Show does not replace medical advice from your health providers. Listening to this show does not establish a patient-doctor or client-provider relationship between you and Dr. Kristal Lau. Please see your health provider for any medical concerns or contact your local emergency line for any urgent matters.

Click Here For Podcast Episode Transcript

Selamat Datang and Welcome to the Postpartum Wellness Show!

and I’m Dr Kristal Lau, your host and postpartum wellness consultant

In this show, I share insights and knowledge around approaching your postpartum journey through culture, traditions, and modern postpartum care using my combined experiences as a physician with scientific and public health background, an author, a foreign-born US military spouse, and a mom of 2.

Join me in this exploration of motherhood, wellness, and heritage where you will learn how to thrive in your postpartum journey and beyond.

Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Postpartum Wellness Show for the last episode of 2023 today. Um, I'm gonna do a very casual episode where I don't have an outline in front of me or anything like that. I just wanna cover, um, how you can continue to enjoy the year-end holidays, festivities while you're going through your confinement.

So, um, I think this is really important because when we think about doing the confinement practice, it can be quite strict depending on your family as well and who's kind of running it for you, so to speak. Whether it's your mom, your mother-in-Law, and depending on your family traditions and practices, um, it can feel quite confining, pun intended for some or a bit more relaxed for others.

So I just wanted to cover a few things where, um, even for those of you who may be following a more strict confinement practice, you can still allow yourself to enjoy some of the year-end festivities. So we just had Christmas pass, and for those of you living in the west, um, in a northern hemisphere where it is cold right now, there still may be some Christmas markets open.

in that case, if you really wanna go out and enjoy and you're still in your confinement month, please do. I know it goes against the rule of leaving home because you know it's gonna be cold and everything, but we are in 2023. This is the modern times you're gonna have pocket hand warmers.

You're gonna have a lot of gear that you can wear to keep your head, neck, hands, and feet. Warm. Most importantly, these are the areas when you head out, um, get beanies that cover your ears. Wear a thick scarf. I don't know what you call them, but you can get those kinda neck warmers that you can pull up and like cover your face as well up to here to keep your nose warm.

Do that and when, when you're out with baby, of course baby's gonna be bundled up, but for yourself. All of the foods at the Christmas markets that may still be open in your area or if you're heading out to a restaurant; it's wintertime, they're gonna have so much warm food.

Dig into your soups. Uh, if there's still some mulled wine available, have some, I mean, we cook with XO and brandy and all of that stuff in our Chinese confinement food anyway. But if you're breastfeeding and you don't want to drink alcohol, you can have the kiddy version, uh, which to me tastes equally amazing just without the alcohol, because I cannot, my, my body doesn't process alcohol really well.

I just have like half a can and I could be absolutely just drunk. So not a great feeling. It makes me feel really sick. That's why I always like to look for non-alcoholic versions and, um, depending on where you are, and I think the culture nowadays in a lot of places, even at bars, is to have non-alcoholic options.

So, because it's all about enjoying the company that you're out with. So, most importantly, during this time when you wanna head out during your confinement month, is dress really, really warm. Even for those of you living in the southern hemisphere, and it's warm right now, like in Australia, the confinement rules of keeping warm does not go away just cause the temperature is warm around you because the concept or the traditional Chinese medicine principle behind confinement is,

during this recovery period, all of your channels and everything in your body is still very open. It's recovering. So you want to bundle yourself up, of course, not too much to a point where you're like sweating and get uncomfortable, but enough to just keep your body protected from the elements.

So that you reduce the risk of, you know, wind and downness and all of that getting in your body following TCM principles. So what you can do if you're in the Southern Hemisphere is still wear some long sleeves, protect your neck, but . Don't don, you know, heavy, thick scarfs that's gonna make you sweat so much.

Sweating is not encouraged in the confinement period. And this is something that I have run through A TCM doctor a few times, so I know I'm saying the right things. Dress with long sleeves, long pants, but not too thick. Just to protect your body. And definitely hydrate. So no matter. Whether you're in wintertime now or summertime now,

Depending on where in the world you're living. Hydration is absolutely important. This is also very important in modern postpartum care because we know water is life. We are pretty much made up of water majority, and when it comes to recovery time, you need a lot of water to help your body recover.

Make sure when you go out, in addition to enjoying the warm drinks, I'm gonna be emphasizing on a lot of warm stuff in this episode. In addition to enjoying your warm drinks, your warm soups is drink water. Avoid iced water. Room temperature or warm please to continue again with the confinement practice. Okay?

Now, when you need to breastfeed on the outside, I think that's absolutely fine. I mean, you do what you gotta do. There are a lot of available clothing out there now that help with, just exposing the breast without everything else so you can find

Even jumpers. I was so amazed to find jumpers here in Europe and in the USA that really gave a lot of space for breastfeeding. So I love those and they're also really comfortable. So if you can get some of those, go ahead. Otherwise, just make sure that you're nursing your baby not out in the cold.

So if you can find a spot or if you can sit in the car as well, then that'll protect you against the elements.

Now, the other thing is, what about the emotional hype? You know one of the principles of confinement is to rest and not expose yourself to too intense feelings. Well, your hormones are already taking you for a ride in the first 30 days and a bit longer after that.

So chances are, uh, you're not really going to be able to control what you're feeling while you're out. But that being said, if you're in an environment that's too rowdy, too loud and too crowded, and you're starting to feel uncomfortable, please by all means go somewhere else. I think that's common sense, honestly.

Like we don't need any confinement rules or practices or TCM principles to tell us to avoid that. You don't need any doctor to tell you to avoid that, you know, instinctively that you know, I'm not comfortable in this environment. Let me go somewhere else. So what you can do is if your loved ones and not you, mom, 'cause you're supposed to be recovering, you shouldn't be planning anything during this time.

Um, when people invite you out, ask them. Hey, um, you know, what's the situation gonna be like? How many people are gonna be there? Because if you wanna go and have a good time and you're also bringing your very fresh newborn out, You also wanna make sure that they're as safe as possible in terms of exposure to germs. So attend smaller parties, quieter parties. If you're still gonna visit a Christmas market during this time in December, go during a time where there is likely less crowds.

So in the afternoons, You know, or in, if you wanna go in the nighttime, just go for a little while. Don't have to stay out too long, or just go position yourself in areas that there's less people. Because if there's one thing for sure, us modern women and modern moms want to do these days is we want to follow this practice, but we also want to be able to enjoy the festivities and all of the good things that are happening.

During our confinement month. Well, that's definitely me for sure. Um, if you prefer to stay home during this time, then absolutely too. It's really what you wanna do during this time to help you through the 30 days. 'cause it can get quite boring, I have to say. That's my experience. After a while, it just gets a bit too much.

Uh, there's a reason why there is a running joke back home in Malaysia when someone says, oh yes, you know, I'm pregnant. I'm, I'm expecting . and then the follow up from friends would be like, so are you going to go to mommy jail once you give birth? Is that what you're gonna do? You're gonna do confinement? Because of how strict it can be.

So that's it for today's episode. Short and sweet, and I wish you a happy rest of the 2023. Enjoy the holidays. Congratulations on your newborn. Congratulations on going through and doing the confinement practice. It's not easy. I know it. If you guys have any questions, uh, leave me a comment in the YouTube video or email me.

And especially for those of you who have bought my book, please, please email me to let me know because I want to add you to a private Facebook group that I have, especially for clients and readers to have more information from me about everything related to confinement, postpartum, maternal health. So I'm gonna put all the links in the show notes in the YouTube description so you guys can check it out.

Um, and with that, I will see you next year.

Hey everyone! Welcome to the blog post for the last episode of the Postpartum Wellness Show in 2023. This is gonna be short and sweet.

Today, I want to talk about how you can make the most of the year-end holidays while going through your confinement month.

Whether you're following the traditional confinement style, the modern confinement, or a bare necessities confinement, I have some tips for you to enjoy the festivities during this time. 

  1. Dress Warm, Eat and Drink Warm, Stay Cozy: Even if it's cold outside, you can still go out and enjoy the holiday spirit! Bundle yourself up in warm clothing and make use of pocket hand warmers to protect yourself from the chilly weather. Wear beanies that cover your ears, thick scarves, and neck warmers to keep yourself warm from head to toe. And for your little one, make sure they are also bundled up. Hit up all the warm foods and drinks at the stalls or restaurants!
  2. Hydration Is Key: No matter the weather, staying hydrated is crucial during your confinement period. Water is essential for your body's recovery, so make sure to drink plenty of it. Avoid iced water and opt for room temperature or warm water to adhere to the confinement practice. 
  3. Breastfeeding on the Go: If you need to breastfeed while you're out, it's important to find a comfortable spot where you're not too exposed to the cold air. There are also many clothing options that make breastfeeding easier, such as jumpers that provide easy access for nursing while you're still bundled up and warm. For husbands, spouses, partnerts, family, and friends, please plan ahead and choose quieter places for the recovering mother and newborn. Or visit places during less crowded hours! Remember, you, the mother, should be resting during your confinement month. So, leave the mental load of planning to someone else! 
  4. Emotional Well-being: Rest and avoiding intense feelings are fundamental principles of confinement. However, hormonal changes during this period can make it challenging to control your emotions. I've been through that! If you find yourself in a rowdy or crowded environment that makes you uncomfortable, listen to your instincts and move somewhere else. Prioritizing smaller and quieter gatherings can also help minimize exposing you and your newborn to germs. These types of gatherings are usually more comfortable and cozy too!

Remember, the choice of staying at home or going out is entirely up to you. If you prefer to stay home during your confinement period, absolutely! Otherwise, find activities that bring you joy. This will help make the 30 days of confinement more tolerable. 

I hope these tips help you navigate the holiday season while going through your confinement. Congratulations on your newborn too! 

If you have any questions or want more information on confinement, postpartum care, or maternal health, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at kristallau@bridgesinhealth.com

And most importantly! For those who have purchased my book, please email me to get access to my private Facebook group dedicated to clients and readers. I'm re-starting monthly discussions and highlights in that group to supplement your confinement and postpartum experiences.

Enjoy the holidays and take care! See you next year!


Like what you read, heard, and watched and want more?

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Prefer video? Watch this episode below!

Check Out The Confinement Practice Mini-Series (5 Episodes and Posts)


About the Author

Physician and Postpartum Wellness Consultant. Author of 'Postpartum 30'. International Speaker. Mother of 2 girls and U.S. military spouse.

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