Malays believe that looking after the mother is an essential part of the post birth process and it will greatly help in the healthy life of the mother both immediately and well into later life, as well as benefiting the new born child.
Mothers who neglect proper care after childbirth, commonly suffer body and back ache, pain to the muscle, bones, and joints, including the abdominal area and cervical erosion.
The Malay Way will heal the wounds of childbirth, re-position the uterus and restore the tightness of the vagina muscles. Malays believe that if the uterus area is sagging, the woman will look more aged than her actual age.
To achieve this, a special corset known as a ‘barut’ is used throughout the 6 weeks.
Advantages of this ancient practice of abdominal wrapping:
- ensuring a firm flat stomach, clean and devoid of stretch marks, even after undergoing several births.
- helps to correctly re-position the uterus.
Combining this abdominal wrapping with specially prepared herbal remedies, a strict diet regime, massages, and Kawi hot stone treatments will greatly enhance the internal and external health of the new mother.
The Malay Way is divided into 3 phases of treatment, with each phase containing several components of traditional postnatal care practices. For instance, massage techniques change according to the health condition of the mother.
In Phase 1 of the post delivery care, a wellness massage called ‘urutan sentuhan’ is used to combat stomach cramps, loosen tense muscle, overcome fatigue, reduce stress and encourage restful sleep.
A therapeutic Malay massage called ‘urutan asak’ is introduced. This gently helps the uterus to find its way home and reposition itself. This massage further helps to ease out the postnatal bleeding (nifas blood), encourage the elimination of stubborn impurities which lurk around the uterus and the pelvic areas, and relieves flatulence and constipation.
A Kawi Hot Stone Massage (‘urutan tuaman batu’) is also introduced.
This specialised treatment starts from the 4th day until the 39th day of birth. It is used to loosen tense muscle, break stubborn fats, eliminate trapped winds and toxins, hasten the shrinkage of the enlarged uterus, flatten the abdomen and trim the body back to a pre-pregnancy figure.
In the Malay Way, forced massage is never practiced. Body massage is done in a very patient manner – tender touch, firm yet caring.
It is recommended that a special herbal brew called ‘akar herbanika’, an anti oxidant drink popular among the ancient Malays, is also drunk daily. This herbal concoction helps to enrich the blood, promote healthy mother’s milk, combat fatigue and dehydration, induce perspiration, reduce water retention, clear impurities in the urine, rejuvenate and enhance the skin and help hasten the slimming process.
Malays also have their own set of dietary dos and don’t’s. We subscribe to the ‘warming’ and ‘cooling’ properties of food. New mothers are discouraged from consuming lots of fluids, as this is believed to increase water retention. Therefore, dry foods that are grilled, steamed and herbal salads are preferred. Shellfish are avoided as they can cause skin allergies and retard the healing of wounds. Food that causes wind and bloating such as sweet potatoes, cucumber, nuts and legumes, should also be avoided.
On the 44th day an ancient Malay ceremonial practice takes place to end the postnatal program. The mother is given a floral bath of 7 varieties of scented flowers, 7 citrus limes, and rose water.
This special mixture is kept overnight and added together in the floral bath. After the bath, the mother will be give an exotic sweet scented floral herbal drink called ‘ubat asah wangi’. This final treatment is to welcome the mother to a new healthy harmonious life popularly know to the Malay as ‘balik perawan’ (back to ‘virginity’).
Traditionally , the new Malay mother would return to her parent’s house, where she would undergo postnatal care with the help of her mother for the whole 44 days.
However The Malay Way has been created so that every mother can enjoy its benefits in their own home and many of the practices once learnt can be self performed.
Internet source: http://www.themalayway.co.uk/malay.html