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Cultural Difference of Confinement between China and Germany

Viewed 462 times 2018-2-7 13:01 |System category:News

Cultural Difference of Confinement between China and Germany

 Professional babysitters look after babies in a postpartum confinement center in Shanghai. [Xinhua]


A German-Chinese writer, Zhang Danhong, also a well-known media professional, recently wrote an article on her experience of postpartum confinement.

In China, yuezi (confinement) is a term used to refer to the period following childbirth, during which time many women are expected to stay in bed without showering, whilst others look after them, typically for one month.

The Voice of Germany website published the article called Cultural Differences between Germany and China on Confinement.

According to the article, such a time is full of happiness for Chinese women because mothers can enjoy other people's care. Meanwhile, in Germany, women tend to get back to normal life more quickly.

Many Germans would find it unfathomable to live in a stuffy environment without washing or lying on a bed for a month, wrote Zhang.

Zhang said that her own mother holds the belief that women are "fragile" during this time and, without adequate care, they would be vulnerable to getting sick.

However, Zhang said she argued with her mother, saying: "It is also harmful for the body to be living in unsanitary conditions."

To which her mother would always respond: "There is nothing wrong to learn some experience from our predecessors."

Around 20 years ago, many postpartum confinement centers started to spring up in China. They usually offered all-inclusive services for around 100,000 yuan (U.S.$ 15,897) a month.

Those who wanted to stay in their own home could hire maternity nurses for between 8,000-10,000 yuan (U.S.$ 1,266-1,582) per month.

"I think the reason some women want to employ expensive maternity matrons is that they seize the opportunity to be treated like queens. They may only get that once in their lifetime,"wrote Zhang.

She said that in Germany, some famous female politicians and supermodels have made an example by going back to work very soon after having a child, typically in just one week.

"For me, childbirth is a happy experience,"continued Zhang. "I have made a promise to my daughters that I will be like their nanny all the time, with no taboos and not expecting any personal gain."

(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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