Friday, 11 March 2016

How To Keep Your Vagina Clean During Po Ge Lai

Po Ge Lai is a Filipino-Chinese post-partum confinement practice that lasts for 30-40 days starting from the day a woman gives birth.

According to the strict rules of Ge Lai, Post Partum women are not suppose to wash any part of their bodies with water. So, ideally even washing your hands under a running water is a no-no. Ideally.

Some use wipes. Some opt for sponge baths.

But what about the vagina...the part of the body that worked the hardest during labor? How do you keep your vagina happy during your Po Ge Lai?

And yes, I'm calling her by her real name because she deserves respect.

According to my OB with a specialization in perinatology (high risk pregnancy), I must wash my privates religiously and frequently during my post partum period to avoid infection.

One of my friends, told me she only used wipes. 

A reader emailed me and this is what she said..

I did the "sauna" thing.. (boil water with herbs or in my case bayabas leaves for antibactirial properties) then put that in the urinola then "steam" my err. nether regions.. bawal maligo eh. but I did still wash it with a wash my OB prescribed ha... and warm water.

...punas punas ng wet wash cloth except for the nether regions na I was adamant to wash. Nakasquat pa ako nun trying not to wet my legs. and mabilis lang talaga. Warm water too. I did it after I steam myself.

Another reader pointed out...

And after giving birth pala duduguin ka pa parang mens.

I talked to my mother-in-law about this and she said.
You can wash your private parts. Just use the bidet so that you don't get other parts of your body wet.

That seems like a reasonable compromise. 

 Bottom line is...keep your vagina happy. She worked hard.

Happy Friday,



  1. the hospital gave me a squirt bottle which I would fill with warm (soapy) water - it's a good alternative if you don't have a bidet. And you don't get your hands wet too.

    To avoid wetting my hands, we used lots of disposable gloves.

    1. Talaga? Career! You really didn't wash your hands? How did that feel? Weird ba?

    2. Unfortunately, I did have to wet my hands at some point because I was the primary caregiver of our child , wala Naman kaming yaya and my husband went back to work after a week. the goal was to avoid getting wet if I could so I put in gloves when changing diapers, prepping meals, going to the bathroom, etc. I did have to wash my hands lots of times - my son was an impressive poop machine (and still is) - but the thought that I did try to the best of my abilities makes me fee better.

      my parents came and stayed for 2 weeks, mom was on my case a lot because she feels I wash my hands too much. She wasn't very happy about me going out in winter too ( December Ako nanganak), so pano dadalhin ang baby sa pedia if I don't go ? And my parents helped out with housework but not with the baby, they've never taken care of an infant before since we all had yayas.

    3. My cousin in HK said, the new requirement to breastfeed, is one of the main reason confinement practices are changing. It's not practical daw kasi if you don't take a shower and breastfeed.

  2. Hi. Hindi ako chinese pero I did the same when I gave birth to my eldest. I was 21 then. My lola adviced me na dapat umupo ako sa arinola with dahon ng bayabas na pinakuluan, parang nilalanggas. para daw po mag heal ng mas mabilis yung mga stitches. It helped a lot. pero I never liked the thought of me not taking a bath. but i have to follow the "rules" ng mga matatanda. So what I did was nag sponge bath na lang ako. And ako mismo ang nagaalaga sa baby ko, so I have to be always clean.

    1. ahhhh! i'll try that kaya. assuming natural birth din ako. how many days ka sponge bath?

    2. Sponge bath ako for a month. hindi pwdeng hindi sundin ang "rules", baka maloka raw ako sabi ng lola ko. Pero aside sa "paglalanggas" meron din akong betadine para sa mas mabilis na pag heal ng stitches. Super sakit kasi ng tahi ko sa first baby ko. as in parang one month akong hindi makalakad ng maayos. Normal delivery kasi ako. :)

    3. May ge lai din pala sa Filipino traditions! How fascinating! If cross cultural sya then I'm sure May sense tlga to then

  3. yes meron din :) pero in time, nawawala na rin. like sa 2nd baby ko. hindi ko na siya ginawa. naligo ako and thank god, hindi naman ako naloka :)

    off topic, ur post are really educating and interesting. thanks a lot.

    1. Thank you! I mostly do posts on Filipino-Chinese Traditions with the intent to explain and modify them. May feeling kasi ako, a lot of Chinoys follow without understanding. Eh ako, ayokong Gawin unless May sense.