my mom's vietnamese postpartum rituals

Pork belly with pickled ginger
With each baby, the day I come home from the hospital, my mom would sit down with me and remind me of all the things I can and can't do.

This week I heard some new things I never heard before.  I find these cultural rituals are silly.  She told me to get out of the kitchen when she's grinding meat.  The sound is bad for me as it shakes my nerves. If that's the case she should be here nonetheless the person doing it !  But she said once my hormone is back to normal then it should be ok.  I have no idea when that is and nor does she.  Maybe in a few months ?  I left her there and proceed to re-arrange a shelf in our dining room sideboard.  Within seconds she rushed over and nagged me because doing anything with force right now will damage the strength in my hands and my veins will pop up underneath my skin, making my hands unsightly.  I complied, to avoid her nagging, then proceed on with what I'm doing when she's out of sight.

If my mom only knows, I've been doing and eating a lot of things I shouldn't.  All the things my mom told me not to do, according to her, is to prevent ailment in my golden years, in my old age.  I don't believe in any of it !  Could I be wrong ?  A slim chance as none of these seem to make any sense.  But if she's right I wouldn't know until I'm old and by then it's too late and I will say "oh, only if I listened to mom" :-)

These are what I'm to avoid after I gave birth:

-  Avoid drinking cold water !  I can't stand room temp. or warm water.  I guess I'm doomed to be chilled for the rest of my life.
- No bathing for a month.  I bathe right after baby is out.  It's gross if you waited that long.
- No reading book or devices (phone/ipad) or TV to prevent vision loss when old.  I went onto fb to post baby picture on the day of giving birth !  ooops.
- Avoid standing near the stove (???).  I went on a banana bread baking spree days after.
- Avoid eating fruits/food that have warming characteristic (mango, lychee, chocolate, etc)
- Don't wash my hair too often !  This she doesn't need to tell me because it's not like I have time to do that everyday anyways.
- Avoid exotic fruits
- Not to go out !  Baby and I should stay home the first month to gain strength (avoid sickness, etc)

What I'm nagged often to do:

- Eat lots of ginger to get the uterus contract in faster
- Bind my stomach
- Eat pork belly or pork hock to encourage milk production
- Drink warm water
- Eat soft food (to avoid constipation > this makes sense)

While I don't listen I'm thankful for my mom.  If anything, it makes our conversation more interesting and I also get a glimpse into the past, into my mom's and grandma's time.