Confinement period – ‘Magu-Bananthi Aarike’ :
The morning sickness, “Eating for Two”, ‘The bumpy Photo shoot’, ‘The baby shower’ (Seemantham / Aashirwad ceremony),’The Koopadhi Kool’ ( A tradition followed by Kodavas where the expecting mother gets to relish some of her favourite delicacies cooked by her favourite people ! Thanks to all my kodava friends who made this happen to me.), ‘The antenatal classes’ , and finally ‘the labour pain’ ! The Climax is all OVER.
And now you are holding the most awaited and beautiful baby in the world ! Its the new beginning again …. a brand new story !The very first word that i uttered to my new born was “Happy Birthday darling !” . Woof ! it felt sooooooooo good to see him after having to wait for 5 days past 9 months !
Oh now i see a dozen – people waiting not only to see my little one , but also to give me a list of DO’s and DONT’S ! Dont get annoyed , they do that because they care for you , you see!
Confinement is all about keeping a mother and her baby at home for a certain number of days or weeks after delivery.The basis for such practices is to protect the new mother from future ill health, restore her strength and protect the new mother and baby from infection and help the mother recover from the exhaustion of childbirth.
My ammamma (granny) says :
‘A bananthi (women in postpartum period) has a tender body (‘valle aang (konkani)/ hasi mayyi (kannada)’) if she does not follow a strict confinement period then she will have to suffer for a life time ‘!.
My hodema’s( mom’s eldest sister) says :
‘ Pregnancy is a time when bad fluids get accumulated in the body.Within 48 days of time all these bad fluids has to be drained out of bananthis body.’Hot’ food – (Foods that produce bodily heat) are seen as essential for eleminating these fluids and on the other hand ‘Cold’ food – (Foods that reduce bodily heat) are avoided.’
Generally confinement period is about 48 days. Different communities have different traditions for confinement period. For me it was 90 days (3 months) ! with 48 days of strict diet and the oil massage and hot water bath continued for next 42 days !
P.S : The food/medicine that is listed below were the ones suggested and given to me by my family during my postpartum period. Please do a double check with your elders/gyno before you follow any of this diet.
The first 48 days :