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Asian’s Best Kept Traditions Of Post Pregnancy Massage

Initially I never took postnatal massage as an importance to my health. It was merely a way to pamper and reward myself. Until I experienced personally a few years back, I truly understand why Javanese mothers emerged themselves as beautiful butterflies afterbirth.

The technique of postnatal massage is one of Indonesia’s secrets. Although this knowledge has been spread across to other countries, it remains as the exclusive property of the Malay Community.
According to the beliefs in Indonesia, the jamu massage is usually done at home and is carried out for 40 days after the arrival of the newborn. This is to help the mother regains her looks, health and strength. Treatment is usually carried out by an experienced therapist known as “Ibu Pijat”.

The masseuse uses a herbal oil for body massage to restore the muscle tone. This is followed by pulling the mother’s hair back tightly to remove wind and relieve migraines or headache. At this stage, Jamu herbs called “Tapel” is mixed with water to form a paste. This cleanses out any blood remaining in the womb, firms the muscles and shrinks the stomach. Such precautions counteract stomach ache and help the mother regain her figure. For external care, Jamu “Pilis Wangi” helps to make the eyes bright and reduce dizziness after birth. Jamu also known as herbal remedies, which is a viable element in any Indonesia daily life. Consuming a Jamu drink daily is common during postpartum care.

Finally the binding is put in place. The binder known as ‘bengkung’ in Javanese swaddles from the rib cage to the hips. This is made of cotton cloth. To achieve its objective, the binding needs to be reasonably tight. This also helps to straighten back the curve spine of the mother after 9 months of carrying extreme weight around.

Malay treatments today remains almost much the same as in the past, except with some improvements and adjustments such as massaging of the breasts to stimulate milk supply, clear any blocked ducts or relieving of engorgement which are commonly faced during the early days after birth.

10 Key Benefits of jamu Massage

1.Regain your energy and feel revitalised
2.Remove remaining blood clots in uterus
3.Eliminate excess body fluids and reduce fluid retention
4.Relaxation for the exhausted body
5.Tone overstretched tummy muscles
6.Get rid of trapped wind and relieve constipation
7.Ease tense and tight body muscles
8.Promotes blood circulation
9.Realign and straighten curved spine
10.Reduce the risk of postnatal depression

For a mother that has delivered her baby naturally, it is generally pretty safe to go for a malay massage within a week after delivery. For those that delivered by Caesarean, do consult your doctor first to ensure total recovery of your wound before you proceed to start the massage. Usually it can be done from the 4-6 weeks after delivery.

postpartum massage provides a sense of continuing comfort for the new mother. The aim of this massage is to give nurturing and emotional support as well as alleviate the muscle strain of labour and childbirth.

Changes to expect after birth

Your tummy may still look like you are 3-4 months pregnant and your abdominal muscles may be quite loose
You may experience pain in your abdominal due to the shrinking of your uterus
You will experience pain if your Perineum has stitches. Be sure to keep the area clean to prevent infection
Your breasts may feel full and hard from the 2nd to the 5th day when your milk “comes in” – known as engorgement
Your nipples may be sore from frequent breastfeeding, make sure your baby latch properly
Haemorrhoids – Avoid constipation, prolonged sitting or standing or try pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
Fatigue – You will feel extremely exhausted. Limit visitors until you are ready and don’t be shy to ask or accept extra help. Make time to rest.
You may experience “baby-blues”, feeling sad, weepy or anxious for the first few days after birth. They are normal and it will pass. If the “blues” gets of out hand, do confide in your loved ones and seek professional treatment.

Rebecca Chan is a trained postnatal massage therapist, a qualified Montessori teacher and a mum to 2 girls, aged 3 & 1. She believes “Health is Wealth”. She runs a Jamu postnatal massage home based business with a team of trained therapists.

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