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40 days ( or some set time) of 'not going out' with newborn.Do you or anyone you know practice... - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by shenanegans View Post
I started taking my son out for small strolls around the park and the shrine near my house when my son was about 2 weeks old and I would have old ladies stop me to ask how old he was and then scold me, and tell me we shouldn't be outside. Eventually I just started telling everyone that he was 1 month old. The resons there are to protect the baby from germs and to let the mom rest.
This is exactly what I am talking about. There is a huge difference between enjoying bonding time with your newborn, and snuggling up at home because you WANT TO, and doing it because of societal pressure.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Here in Serbia they have the same custom (I am an expat). It is linked to the Church as far as I can see. PP moms and new babies are not supposed to enter the Church for 40 after birth, then on that day a ceremony is done to welcome the baby to the Church. They get assigned a Saint's name until they get baptized, usually somewhere in the first year.

I love the idea of a babymoon, and I did enjoy lots of private indoor time with my son, who was born in December and it was really cold out. BUT... Am I the only one who sees this practice as less than positive? I could never stay indoors for that length of time, and I don't think that's beneficial at all. If anything, it's depression-inducing for me. I hate the way in which people are shocked when you do take a newborn out (they think a newborn should not go out of the house at all, yet they exclusively birth in hospitals!). Personally, I have lots of energy PP and I LIKE to go out and about, as well as needing to, for shopping etc. The practice feels extremely restrictive to me.

One woman even said it was wrong to take my new baby outside because her young son asked "why is the baby so red and shrivelled" and she didn't want to explain that it was because he had just emerged from my vagina !?!?!?!
I feel the same way about the Chinese custom to be honest. While I did rather enjoy the "confinement" period the first time around, I resent that it is expected by society here and if I don't do it then I'm a bad mom and don't care about my child or my own health. It is one thing to do a babymoon because you want to, another to do it because you "have" to. Being a new parent is tough and if a mom feels like she needs to get out of the house and get a breath of fresh air she shouldn't be given a guilt trip over it.

For this second baby I'm probably going to skip the confinement thing, or at least scale it back a lot. It was ok for my first, but this time it'll be right around Christmas, my folks are coming to visit, and I just don't feel like staying indoors or in bed for a month or more. My husband, luckily, has chilled out a lot since we had our first and he's no longer convinced that I might die an early death if I want to go out for a coffee shortly after giving birth.
post #23 of 44
I'm glad that your husband has lightened up! In such cultural conditions, it must be great your folks are coming around the time of the birth as well.

Do they have terribly long hospital stays there as well? Here, its is around a week, at least. So when you are out with your day old baby people say... "Aren't you supposed to be in hospital still? I can't believe they let you go so soon!" Fortunately, one of the many benefits of homebirth is being able to go out as soon as you want to.
post #24 of 44
interesting! i did my ma dissertation on postpartum depression & particularly its variation according to cultural practices, like "sitting the month" or cuarantera or whatever its local name is. evidence does suggest that ppd is lower in cultures that socially mark the transition to motherhood in some way
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
I'm glad that your husband has lightened up! In such cultural conditions, it must be great your folks are coming around the time of the birth as well.

Do they have terribly long hospital stays there as well? Here, its is around a week, at least. So when you are out with your day old baby people say... "Aren't you supposed to be in hospital still? I can't believe they let you go so soon!" Fortunately, one of the many benefits of homebirth is being able to go out as soon as you want to.
I'd say the hospital stays here are medium length, probably about 3-4 days on average for a vaginal birth. With my son I think I left on the 3rd day. Part of the reason for that is that the really good hospitals don't really have enough rooms to meet their demands, so they sort of have to make sure people get out to make room for new people. Still a lot longer than back home where people often don't even stay for a full 24 hours though!
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Here in Serbia they have the same custom (I am an expat). It is linked to the Church as far as I can see. PP moms and new babies are not supposed to enter the Church for 40 after birth, then on that day a ceremony is done to welcome the baby to the Church. They get assigned a Saint's name until they get baptized, usually somewhere in the first year.

I love the idea of a babymoon, and I did enjoy lots of private indoor time with my son, who was born in December and it was really cold out. BUT... Am I the only one who sees this practice as less than positive? I could never stay indoors for that length of time, and I don't think that's beneficial at all. If anything, it's depression-inducing for me. I hate the way in which people are shocked when you do take a newborn out (they think a newborn should not go out of the house at all, yet they exclusively birth in hospitals!). Personally, I have lots of energy PP and I LIKE to go out and about, as well as needing to, for shopping etc. The practice feels extremely restrictive to me.

One woman even said it was wrong to take my new baby outside because her young son asked "why is the baby so red and shrivelled" and she didn't want to explain that it was because he had just emerged from my vagina !?!?!?!
I agree with you about the PPD stuff. The thing that would be different, I think, is that in a traditional society, you would have a parade of women coming through to help you cook, clean, etc. You would actually probably havemore social interaction than if you live alone and go on a walk around the block or to the grocery once a day.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
The thing that would be different, I think, is that in a traditional society, you would have a parade of women coming through to help you cook, clean, etc. You would actually probably havemore social interaction than if you live alone and go on a walk around the block or to the grocery once a day.
Exactly. My mom's Indian friend had all her female friends and relatives basically come over and take care of her house for her during her pp period. Totally different from sitting alone in a little house not having any adult contact for a month!
post #28 of 44
Here in Sweden we look at things in a more practical way. The first week or so it's important to let the mother get some rest, establish routines and make sure breastfeeding is working fine. We usually have few visitors so that mother and father can have some peace and quiet. Wife is Mexican but I had never heard any special tradition regarding this before.

We gave birth at a small private place where visitors aren't even allowed which I personally thought was great. Plenty of time to see everyone later:-)

It's more or less mandatory for the father to stay home during the first 14 days. This helps every family to have a good start and not rush into things.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayrigah View Post
I am curious after seeing this mentioned in the soup thread.

Do any of you , or anyone in your family or communities, practice a "rooming in" or period of confinement with the newborn? Were you ever told why? What was your rationale? What's the ethnic/geographic/religious/generational background, if you'd be willing to share.

I learned this from an Aunt, who told me in no uncertain terms as a girl that this is what we hayer ( Armenians) do. I am expecting my first 11/13 , and will do this also-forty days because it seems sensical to me.I am only "ethnically" Armenian Apostolic christian, *not* personally, so I am *not* motivated by christianity. I'm gen x teetering on gen y, and I learned it from the first post-genocide generation ( children of survivors), who raised me in diaspora. I was taught this in passing as "background chatter" and also during a lecture while I attacked my Aunt's kourabiyah cookies.

I noticed that some have cited religion-as in "churching"-however, I have known of Egyptian Arab women to have practiced this , both Muslim and Coptic or Christian. Moreover, I am aware through the study of folk magic practices that many West Asian (re: Middle Eastern) practices that predate monotheism give protection prayers/amulets/practices for up to 40 days.
Your post is so familiar to me. I am American, but have been married to an Armenian (from Turkey... the family fled the genocide) for a long time and this has become part of our individual culture. There were some things I put my foot down about... not clipping the nails for 40 days just was NOT going to happen, however we did participate in some of the other traditional practices out of respect for his family. We dealt with the 40 days when his mother died as well because there are similar practices surrounding death. We are not in Turkey among his 100% Armenian family, so we have been able to avoid some of the cultural trappings (including how we were married). However, we always respect his culture as much as we are able to living abroad.

We are not "gen x". Dh is in his mid 50's and moved to the US over 30 years ago. Perhaps it's a generational thing, but we are very committed to raising dd as close as we possibly can to know the traditions of Armenia, or at least to how dh was raised as an Armenian minority in Turkey. Good luck!


ETA: We deal with a very similar combination of religious cultures because Turkey is Muslim and his family has been in Istanbul since the genocide. They are all Eastern Orthodox, but also participate in the sacrifice Bayram (that just occurred). They have an interesting mix of very Armenian culture influenced by the Muslims of Turkey. You have to find your balance in everything.
post #30 of 44
My co-worker did this I think it was 4-6 weeks. I thought it was the.weirdest.thing.ever, but I see it is more common world-wide. She is AA. My IL's are too, but they didn't mention anything about this nor did we follow it. We went out to eat at about a week, then I took him to mall, work at a few weeks, then out of the country at 6 weeks for vacation. I wanted to get out and socialize, I couldn't imagine staying home 6 weeks, I could do 1-3 weeks though and do see the benefit.
post #31 of 44
Old Bulgarian tradition--the new mom stays in bed for 40 days and the whole village brings her "strong" food (eggs, meat, etc.). This is what both of my grandmothers told me.
post #32 of 44
I'm American. In my husband's culture (Japan) the woman goes back to her hometown to be with her own mother. She stays inside for one month while her mom "mothers the new mom"

I totally wish I had such an opportunity. My son was born here in the states. My mom came after he was born. I love my mom, but I admit she was kind of at a loss as to what to do. I told her that I am not supposed to be driving per instruction of the hospital. She thought it was pretty crazy didn't understand why I shouldn't drive. She said, "I could understand if you had a c-section..." But acutally I had all natural birth without any pain meds. I was so exhausted. I had to drive everywhere. (doctor, supermarket, target...etc.) I just wanted to stay home in my jammies and have someone take care of me. I can honestly say it was the worst period in my life. I am afraid to have another child and go through that period again.
post #33 of 44
2 or 3 of my western friends have had babies in korea (we worked there for a while, so knew a fair number of expats) and they (the koreans, not my friends) take the 100 days rest very seriously, at least in our smallish town. my friend would get chased down the road by the ajummas (old ladies) when she tried to take her little girl out for a bit of fresh air and sunshine, and told to go back inside! they were also very strict at the hospital... the rooms were kept boiling, you weren't allowed to get up and they practically force-fed you the seaweed soups and whatnot. haha, and there was NO mention of getting released early! unfortunately, these women were there with only their husbands, and so following the old ladies' advice would have been nearly impossible, since the husbands usually only get a short leave, and most of us were also working full time. we did do our best to support them though! it's hard to give birth on the other side of the world from your family!

personally, i'll do my best to relax as much as possible afterwards... my husband's leave is pretty flexible, and after he goes back to work, i can ask my mom to come and stay with me for a week or so, if i feel i need it. i think it might be more stressful to have her in the house though!
post #34 of 44
This is a Greek Orthodox tradition as well. I did this with my first child, my daughter Sophia, but not with my son Achilleas.

Here is why they do it:

40 Day Churching
When the mother and child return from the hospital, it is traditional for them to observe a period of 40 days during which they rest and recuperate from the delivery and refrain from traveling outside the home. The first place that the child is brought, then, is the Church, and what a beautiful sign of our dedication and hopes for the child than to offer him/her to the Lord! The roots of this tradition are found in the Old Testament (Leviticus 12), but the reason that they are still practiced is founded in the example set by Christ through His own presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:22-40).

In the Orthodox Church, both baby boys and baby girls are taken to the Church on the fortieth day after their birth. This is done in remembrance of the Theotokos and Joseph taking the infant Jesus to the Temple.
Today, when a mother and father bring their children to the Church to present the child to God, they are following the example of Christ. Instead of the couple just bringing their first born son however, now all children (sons and daughters) are brought by their parents to dedicate their child's life to God.

At the Forty Day Blessing, prayers are offered to thank God for blessing and protecting the mother during child birth and make her worthy to enter into the Church and to continue to participate in the Sacramental Life of the Church. Prayers are also read for the health and well being of the child asking God to protect him/her and make them worthy of His Promise of Eternal Life at the time of their Baptism.
post #35 of 44
I'm Indian (Hindu), and we do it as well. It's 40 days, and not so much you can't go out, but more like you don't have to-- Ie, you can blow off your sisters wedding, and not do any housework for 40 days and you are good. Nobody can say anything, or expect you to do anything. Normally you would go stay at your mom's house sometime before pregnancy and stick around there for as long as you wanted after the baby came.

I did actually go and stay at my mom's after my horrendous birth. It was literally the best 2 weeks of my life. We fudged the rule, I had to go to the optometrist! The baby did not leave the house *or car* for the first 40 days. I thought it was wonderful, and went hand in hand with getting breastfeeding established during that time period. I highly recommend it!

ETA: I always assumed the 40 days came from the average time a woman would stop bleeding after a birth. It equals 6 weeks, the same amount of time many people get paid maternity leave for the same reason.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngeliqueW View Post
My understanding is that it can be a way to nurture the mother. Family and friends do the shopping, come by to cook and clean, offer general support.
*here*!

i live in germany and gave birth to my sweet dd in winter 4 years ago. since i was a single mother (and in germany we have the legal right to take paid maternity protection for at least 6 weeks after birth - up to 1 year, without a paycheck of course)) i participated in a voluntary program that is offered in my city. it is called "wellcome" and it helps new mums/families within the first weeks/months with the new baby. my family lives quiet far away, so i took part of this program.

a really nice, older woman came to my apartment everyday to do shopping/cleaning and supporting wherever i needed it. it was so precious, i sometimes still think about it.

du to that i was able to cuddle with my little one almost all day in bed, nurse her around the clock and rest my body.

it was great.

midwifes in germany recommend to stay inside at least 4 weeks after birth, but only a few women here in germany still do that - too much stress (other kids, jobs, husband....). i am really happy that i did it and would like to do it again if i ever got pregnant again.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
ETA: I always assumed the 40 days came from the average time a woman would stop bleeding after a birth. It equals 6 weeks, the same amount of time many people get paid maternity leave for the same reason.
yes, exactly. It's all about the unclean nature of lochia, according to the anthropology textbooks!
post #38 of 44
Thanks for the fascinating thread! I'm writing an article for a mainstreamish parenting magazine about babymooning, and currently doing research on different cultural perspectives on the post-partum period. This has given me lots to go on with!

FWIW I plan to be a lot lazier after having the next baby. I wasn't exactly running marathons, but even so I ended up fainting in the shower a few weeks after she was born. I considered doing the "nobody gets to see the baby for the first week but us" thing, but decided my family would probably revolt. Is there any cultural basis for that one, or is it just something MDCers with toxic relatives do?
post #39 of 44
I did this and it was lovely. I did 25 days of just family. It you can do it, it is time that lasts forever in memory. I cherish those times so much.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
I'm Indian (Hindu), and we do it as well. It's 40 days, and not so much you can't go out, but more like you don't have to-- Ie, you can blow off your sisters wedding, and not do any housework for 40 days and you are good. Nobody can say anything, or expect you to do anything. Normally you would go stay at your mom's house sometime before pregnancy and stick around there for as long as you wanted after the baby came.

I did actually go and stay at my mom's after my horrendous birth. It was literally the best 2 weeks of my life. We fudged the rule, I had to go to the optometrist! The baby did not leave the house *or car* for the first 40 days. I thought it was wonderful, and went hand in hand with getting breastfeeding established during that time period. I highly recommend it!

ETA: I always assumed the 40 days came from the average time a woman would stop bleeding after a birth. It equals 6 weeks, the same amount of time many people get paid maternity leave for the same reason.
If this is the definition, then I guess we do it...staying in the house for 40 days would probably cause PPD for me lol. I like the idea and I think it makes sense but I was imagining it as never leaving the house. I had a the weirdest, strongest urge to get out after DD was born. Literally, the next day after she was born I was crying and begging DH to go somewhere. We ate out, we visited all the family, we even sat at the park, went to the mall....

But in terms of never lifting a finger...yes I think my whole family had this view. I was not expected to do anything other than nurse my baby. If I tried to do something, there would be a tsk tsk and a "go sit down" sent my way haha.

Incidentally, DH got FMLA and vacation leave, and then the scheduler messed up his return to work schedule so he did end up off work for 6 weeks. We are planning on it again.
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