This writer thought it was crazy. Until she saw it up close.
New mothers will tell you that having a baby brings an endless stream of well-meaning, yet unsolicited advice. Yet nothing quite prepared me for the barrage that mothers face in China. Imagine not being able to wash your hair, or go outside for a month after giving birth! To me, this sounded like an outrage.
Confinement is an ancient tradition dating back 2000 years, but it is still widely practiced throughout Asia today. Zouyuzei literally means “sitting out the month.” During the first 30 days, mothers are expected to remain indoors and follow a complex set of rules to care for themselves. One of the most extreme rules is not touching cold water.