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Malay Confinement

I'm not sure how my confinement will become to be. I can't imagine those pantang larang that i need to follow very closely in order to make sure i got fully healthy and in shape back. I read this article from Babycenter about Malay Pantang.

New mums in the Malay community generally consider the 44-day confinement period a test of patience. At the same time, a great number of Malay women readily and willingly observe the restrictions and taboos that are part and parcel of this postnatal tradition. It is said that women who diligently follow the traditional Malay confinement practices or pantang will regain their pre-baby figure, their health and energy levels, as well as their looks.

Malay confinement is essentially an all-encompassing process that aims to preserve the health and femininity of Malay women. According to Datin Sharifah Anisah, founder of Nona Roguy (now NR) and author of Ensiklopedia Perbidanan Melayu (Encyclopaedia of Malay Midwifery), confinement practices stem from the belief that the womb is a woman's life force and affects her overall health. Thus, a healthy womb ensures that a woman stay radiant and alluring.

Modern research support the role played by the village midwife (bidan kampung) in the postnatal period and confirm the benefits of some postnatal practices, including massage and avoiding excessive physical activity. Anthropologists explain that Malay postnatal practices are based on centuries-old understanding of four "elements":

soil, which is dry;

fire, which is hot;
air, cold;
water, wet.

These elements must be balanced in the body for a person to enjoy good health.

Midwifery knowledge is also said to be a gift from God to privileged individuals and families, with the intent that they help women from all walks of life. Thus the village midwife is viewed as a gift to the women in the village.

Today, many urban new mothers in the Malay community find themselves unable to fully observe the practices of the traditional confinement, mainly because they lack the family and community support that were taken for granted in village life. Traditionally, a new mum in confinement is helped by:

a bidan (traditional midwife);

a specialised nanny or carer;
her own mother or mother-in-law.

It is widely acknowledged that without someone to help, it would be difficult to fully observe the confinement taboos and practices for all 44 days.

I'm still confuse on Jamu thingy because I'm planning to breastfeed my baby. Ahhh on another thing is about breastfeeding too!!! Help mommies out there! I hope i could fully breastfeed my baby! I need fully support.

Source: BabyCenter

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