Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

Zuo Yue Zi – Sit out a month

on January 9, 2012

As my wife was brought up in China and I was brought in the US, we knew that in marrying and having a child together we’d inevitably have cultural differences.  We’ve blended a lot of these cultures in our daily life by taking the best of each respectively.

We have a running joke about some of the Mainland Chinese traditions is that they are old. 5,000 years old and the assumption is that they’ve been working for that long and should be continued. One of these traditions is the idea of Zuo Yue Zi or sitting out a month. The idea is that post pregnancy, the mother takes a break for 40-ish days of home confinement to rest, heal and recover from the pregnancy.  She would eat special foods and soups that were mostly bland, avoid all things cold, and wouldn’t even bathe or brush their teeth. In keeping with tradition, my wife has been doing a modified Yue Zi.  She showers and brushes her teeth, but she’s only been out for a couple of Doctor’s visits and that’s it. She’s avoided all cold drinks and foods and has been eating fairly bland food and herbal soups that I’ve prepared while taking care of the baby. I’m not sure I could do it. As a matter of fact, in Taiwan and China, there are even “birthing centers” where multiple mothers go through this process together while being fed by private chefs, attended by nurses, and resting in hotel-like facilities while nurses watch the babies. Here’s even a more modest one in NYC http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/nyregion/bringing-an-asian-tradition-for-new-mothers-to-new-york.html?_r=2

Claire’s month is over, but her mom is saying it should last for 42 days so she’s sitting out some more.  I’ve got to believe she’s dying to get out of the house!

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