(ECNS) -- A new mother has died in Shanghai while following the traditional Chinese practice of postpartum care, known as zuoyuezi, as a heat wave hit the city, local media reports.
Believers in Zuoyuezi, which literally means "siting the month," take precautions to protect mothers who have just given birth. It typically lasts for a month after the birth of the child, and mothers are advised to not eat cold food, expose themselves to crowds or even showers.
Shanghai's Dongfang Daily reported that the woman deliberately trapped herself in extreme temperatures in the scorching summer heat to obey the advice of her elders.
She developed heat stroke syndromes at home on Monday and was rushed to hospital, where she later died.
The mother reportedly covered herself in thick, warm blankets in a room without air conditioning while the temperature outside was well above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some families intentionally create a high-temperature environment, which is believed to be good for new mothers. However, the practice is sharply criticized by medical professionals.
Zhang Yun, a head nurse at Margaret Williamson Hospital in Shanghai, said woman who have recently given birth are physically weaker and prone to sweating and "should absolutely not be covered like that."
She said people cannot easily rest when overheated and their mood and appetite can also be affected, which is harmful to recovery. High temperatures also increase the likelihood of heat stroke, she added.
In a separate incident, another new mother in the middle of Zuoyuezi died in Shanghai during Spring Festival 2015, China's Lunar New Year, because she rejected physical exercise.