The amount of times people shower per day varies, but it’s safe to say that most people will shower at least once a day. Now, if you ask any doctor, they’ll tell you that hygiene is very important. You would certainly think that washing after a grueling exercise would be a wise idea. But what about washing after giving birth? Before you say yes, you should know that one doctor named Terry Loong thought differently after she gave birth to her first child. Not only did she not shower immediately after, but she waited an entire month before doing so, and this was the reasoning behind her decision.So, when she gave birth to her first baby, the 40-year-old mom decided that her body needed some time to heal itself after the ordeal. In order to do that, she opted not to wash for her first month as a mother.
But when it came time to having her first child in April 2016, the doctor from London, England, decided that she would focus all of her attention on herself, and her baby boy, Matthew, which she certainly needed after the birthing process.
She was 37 weeks along, so she wasn’t worried. She was even busy talking to a patient on Skype. But then, she started experiencing contractions. So, she got in an Uber taxi and headed to St. George’s Hospital in South West London.
She had called her friend, who had organized the baby shower and explained to her that she wouldn’t be able to go to the event because she was giving birth. Just three hours after her first contraction, she had the baby.
Creating a new life, carrying it inside your body, and then delivering it into the world takes an incredible amount of energy. As a doctor, she recognized the fact that she was physically exhausted from the ordeal and needed plenty of time to recover.
In Asian cultures, some new mothers will not leave the house, shower, or welcome any guests into their home for the first month of motherhood. This was something that Loong was totally on board with since she felt completely exhausted. But postpartum confinement also included not taking a shower for a whole month.
Aside from giving the new mother a chance to regain her strength, the process also gives the baby a chance to build up its immunity, which is really weak after coming into the world. Essentially, taking this time off gives the mother and the child a chance to prepare for the bigger challenges ahead.
A couple of medical experts have claimed that postpartum confinement might make a new mother feel isolated from the outside world. Without a bigger support system of friends and family, a mother might find it more stressful to care for her newborn.
She was the oldest and can still remember how her mother went through postpartum confinement with her other siblings. In fact, it’s thanks to having been exposed to that practice that Loong decided that she would tap into her Malaysian background and do the same for herself and her son.
The only thing that went into her stomach were meals that were warm and full of nutrition. The food she consumed also had to be easy for her to digest since she couldn’t risk straining herself so soon after giving birth.
She kept the windows shut so that he wouldn’t catch any infections from the outside world. There was only one time that Matthew was exposed to the world and that was when she took him out on his first walk.
About two weeks after giving birth, she decided to leave her confinement and walk around the park for an hour. It was a nice and sunny day too, which made it even better. Together, both mother and child enjoyed a picnic and absorbed the sunshine, but they both avoided human contact.
She claims that her newborn baby kept her very busy. Besides, since her husband, Kurt, who’s a business consultant, works from home, they were able to spend a lot of that time bonding together as a family.
In general, new parents get tons of visitors after the baby comes home. Loong and her husband did allow a small number of relatives to visit, but that was it. Since the child hadn’t been fully exposed to the outside world, they didn’t want to overwhelm his immune system with germs.
Since giving birth to Matthew, she has pointed out that she feels like that month gave her family the chance to bond without any distractions. In the end, she came out of those four weeks feeling stronger physically and mentally and was ready to tackle her new life as a mommy.
She firmly believes that the process makes her feel like she’s starting motherhood on a high note. Oddly enough, the thing people have the toughest time understanding is how she managed to go a month without showering. But she seems to be totally fine with the practice, as she did state that if she has another baby, she’ll undergo confinement again.
Being a mom is a full-time job, but so is being a plastic surgeon and she intends to do both. But balancing it all out doesn’t come without feeling a sense of guilt when she has to say goodbye to her little cutie. Fortunately, she has a supportive husband who can help her out.