Saturday, July 17, 2010

Korean Postpartum Rituals 삼칠일 (21 days)

In Korea, new mothers practice "samchilil" aka 21 Days postpartum care. They believe that for the first 21 days after giving birth, they need to do the following:

1. Bed rest to prevent the uterus from contracting.
2. Eat Seaweed Soup 3xs a day. It is believed that this soup has healing properties such as cleaning the blood, strength, and help with breast milk production.
3. Avoid anything spicy as they feel would affect the breastmilk and baby's digestion.
4. Wear thick clothing to prevent cold air from entering the body as they believe it can cause circulation disorders.
5. Do not take the baby out for the first 21 days since the baby's immune system is still too weak.
6. Do not make any loud noises in the house since the baby is use to the dark and quiet environment of the womb.
7. Do not leave your baby alone in the room. Most Koreans do co-sleep with the baby.
8. Moms are not allowed to takes baths or showers for the first 3 weeks (again due to circulation disorders). They are allowed to wash themselves with a warm towel.
9. Mothers should not eat anything hard as it is not good for their teeth/gums or digestive system during this time.
10. Do not eat anything cold since it could cause blood circulation disorders.

After 21 days, mothers can resume light activity.