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Traditional Postnatal Care Service; In The Hospital or At Home?

During the postpartum period, it is a common practice for mothers regardless of race and belief systems to observe the practice of postnatal confinement. In general, each race has their respective confinement practice passed down from one generation to the next. Some aspects of postnatal care may also differ from one state to another. For example, the usage of ‘pilis’ in Johor and the practice of ‘bersalai’ in Kelantan.

During the confinement period, the mother will be resting at home to recover her energy and health. Over the period of 40 – 44 days (6 weeks), three main features of Malay postnatal care, namely the use of herbs, the use of heat (bertungku) and Malay postnatal massage are part of the postnatal care regime.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has introduced traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) services in public healthcare facilities since 2007 with the establishment of T&CM units, which aim to provide safe and quality T&CM services as a complement to modern medicine.

The MOH emphasises the importance of safe postnatal care services via regular monitoring and proper documentation of the service in public healthcare facilities. Mothers needs to go through a screening process by healthcare staff prior to receiving postnatal care services to prevent any complications during the treatment period.  

Tradtitional postnatal care services at the T&CM units consists of wellness massage and midwifery care. Wellness massage has two components, which are body massage and breast care. Each session lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes. Midwifery care consists of whole body massage, ‘bertungku’ (hot compression), and ‘barut’ (body wrapping/ binding). Midwifery care is done 3 times in the first week following normal delivery and on the 39th, 40th and 44th day of the confinement period. Each session lasts for 60 – 90 minutes.

As of October 2015, traditional postnatal care services are offered at 10 T&CM units in public healthcare facilities as follows; Putrajaya Hospital, Sultan Ismail Hospital, Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital, Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital, The Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Sarawak General Hospital, Jasin Hospital, Low Risk Birth Center– Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council, Putrajaya Hospital and Kepala Batas Hospital.

Since December 2012, the Traditional and Complementary Division (T&CMD) has expanded T&CM services to the primary health care level.  A pilot project was initiated at Masai Health Clinic, Johor Bharu for postnatal mothers who are interested in the service.

The concept of traditional postnatal care services at the primary health care level differs from the services offered at T&CM units in public healthcare facilities.
Mothers can now receive traditional postnatal care services at home. They can also choose to have the introduction session (wellness massage) at the Health Clinic and subsequent follow up sessions can be conducted at home.

The T&CMD hopes that the traditional postnatal care practice will be futher expanded at primary healthcare level so that mothers will be able to receive safe and quality service.

Wellness Treatment Flowchart for Traditional Postnatal Service at T&CM Unit

This flowchart has been adapted from the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Practice Guideline on Malay Postnatal Care, 1st edition, June 2009, T&CMD.

Follow Up Session Flowchart for Traditional Postnatal Care Service at T&CM Unit

This flowchart has been adapted from the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Practice Guideline on Malay Postnatal Care, 1st edition, June 2009, T&CMD.

Flowchart for Traditional Postnatal Care Service at Health Clinic

 

Continuation from the previous flowchart : Session at home – by T&CM Practitioners

An overview of the work process for Traditional Postnatal Care Service at the Health Clinic adapted from the Guideline on Traditional and Complementary Medicine Services at Primary Health Care Level (Traditional Postnatal Care), 1st edition, 2015, T&CMD.

References

  1. Shariffah Suraya Syed Jamaludin (2014). Beliefs And Practises Surrounding Postpartum Period Among Malay Women, Proceeding of the Social Sciences Research.
  2. Traditional and Complementary Medicine Practice Guideline on Malay Postnatal Care, 1st edition, June 2009, T&CMD.
  3. Guideline on Traditional and Complementary Medicine Services at Primary Health Care Level (Traditional Postnatal Care), 1st edition, 2015, T&CMD.
Last Reviewed : 29 May 2017
Writer : Balqis bt. Mohammad Zin
Translator : Dr. Siti Norhidayah bt. Md Almi
Accreditor : Dr. Dyanan a/l Puvanandran