Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Confinement after Childbirth: Malay-Kelantanese Style

My confinement experience is solely based on what has been practised in the family. There are always similarities from other parts of Kelantan, but some parts may differ! Ingredients used in the diet and the other practises are said to be having healing properties but scientific evidence won't be given as the author is too lazy to do the research or look for more info.

Cheh...I never thought I would take blogging so seriously, especially when I have to ignore that 'look' that my mom gave when she saw me snapping photos of her 'tungku' etc.

To me, anticipation to receive a new baby to the family is always accompanied by the anxiety to face two challenges: the labour pain and the confinement!

With Bea1, the labour lasted for 26 hours. One thing was over followed by another! The confinement lasted for 40 days. People said mothers would forget all about the pain when she sees the baby for the first time. In my case, I once said "For that 40 days in confinement, I'd rather have the labour pain 5 times more".

My sisters said they love confinement as it is 40-day of not lifting a finger to do house chores, taking care of the kids etc. You may agree with them. But before that how about eating ONLY rice and grilled fish for lunch and dinner for the first two weeks.


What I mean by grilled is fish (certain fish only, the non-'gatal' type) smothered with salt and tumeric and grilled in open flame!
Raw young tumeric is also eaten together as 'ulam'. Normally I would throw away my toothbrush as the bristle turned yellowish due to the tumeric.
That drink is some sort of traditional medicine, some roots called 'sipe gederam' cooked in boiled water.

A little variety is added later with beef, again grilled with tumeric and salt. All traces of fat is trimmed, and a lot of times it is hard and 'liat' and soooo goey that it just stays in your mouth forever!


My mother-in-law came to visit us during my confinement with Bea1 and gave a fish recipe to my mom. She uses a lot of black pepper and finally I could have a little gravy. Mom tried to cook it again a few days ago, but I don't know why she is so into tumeric that the thing came out yellow instead of black!

Anyway, I found an article about tumeric being used a lot in confinement here.


Did you notice that no vege or fruit in the pics. That's because none of them is allowed! My mom-in-law (half Javanese) allowed steamed 'sawi' but it is still a no-no to mom.

How do I survive this 'ordeal'? Thank God, Milo is allowed. Very thick Milo and ONLY bun 'kosong' and crackers for breakfast and 'minum petang', and they are heavenly!


I may sound ungrateful, considering that many suffers out there. But seriously I hardly complaint as before I even opened my mouth, mom would start talking how during her time it was very hard to get fresh fish. What was available was dried fish.

We are also bombarded by some gory stories of mothers who did not strictly follow the confinement. One of them is about a mother who ate beef curry, that came with a lot of fat. Her 'thing down there' became wet and smelly all the time that she had to get pregnant, gave birth and do the whole confinement again!

Basically the food should not be fattening, oily, 'sejuk'. As if it works for me, I really can't tell as now in only the second week, I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weigh/figure. And that goes to my waistline too. Mom insisted that it is not only about the figure, but to care 'benda-benda dalam' (sorry don't know how to translate).

Next: 'bertungku' and 'bersalai' plus the conflict with modern medicine


Anonymous simon said...

off topic, selamat hari raya mama22beas!

2:56 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Thanks Simon...very kind of you to drop by here to say that! During this confinement, all raya goodies is not allowed for me...anyway, happy to have the whole family with me and at my kampung summore...hehe!

12:20 AM  
Blogger Pompit said...

Hiya Ros .. just read about your delivery. Congratulations .. siapa nama dia ..or did I miss it somewhere? I have moved to Rawang and there is absolutely no telephone line .. Ini pun I dragged hubby to his office .. nak guna inernet ... (^*&&$&

Selamat Hari Raya to you and your family .. Happy Cpnfinement, too ... you're lucky to hav a mom who knows and practices it ...

2:01 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Hi Pompit...nice to see you here! Yeah I know you have moved from your blog;).
Selamat Hari Raya to you too. Lucky? I suppose I should think that way, but seriously...can't wait to get over with!
BTW, the baby's name is Beanisha...so officially now I'm mama23beas;)

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dear...i didnt realise that it was to this extent. my mom is kelantanese and i was born in kelantan, but i grew up in klang (still can speak the slang though). when elyas was born, i got daily doses of earfull lectures from mum - well, cant really berpantang if my son is in the ward (he was admitted for 2 weeks). and well, my medical teachings didnt seem to support confinement practices, so i managed to not go through it. guess will have to wait and see later if it affect my er... 'innards'? :)
my otherwise non malaysian in laws have never heard of confinement practices...
guess my innards are doomed!

Beanisha ... lovely name...
Happy Eid ul Fitr


7:54 PM  
Anonymous a&a'smom said...

Don't think u have to ever worry abt weight problems-some ppl r so lucky

12:40 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Hey Fuzzy....and I have not started one bertungku, bersalai yet! Personally I don't really trust if these things work! But I believe that I should take a lot of rest, so that's why have to stay with mum, so have to follow her ways! Summore takut dia kecil hati pulak. My gynea just advise, follow but moderately!
As for the innards...yeah, mum said we can't see it now if we would have some 'problems' but later! Still, to me hard to believe lah!
Selamat Hari Raya to you, too!

a&a's mom...people said I will gain some weight after the second baby, but looks like the scale still doesn't move a bit! That's why, think my diet during confinement doesn't play a role here...I'm just skinny!
Happy Deepavali to you and family! Wish I'm in KL...can go and visit you;)

3:55 PM  
Blogger 5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

HI!!!!! I pegi Pahang and just got back few days ago. So my belated wishes and maaf zahir dan batin kalau ada apa silap-silap cakap or blogging, ya!

10:15 PM  
Blogger ninuk said...

well i follow the pantang one - the jawa/indonesian one because my mother is javanese. somehow i'm OK of course because i'm allowed to hv vege and cook my own meal. i do take chicken though in soup or grill. and when my late f-i-l was still around he bought a kuih (can't recall now) and he mentioned specifically this was for me alone ... cewahhhh special gilerrr masa tu. and i do like the fact that my husband himself do ikat bengkung himself on me. and he make sure i took the mandi air daun-daun tu. he said he used to helped his elder sisters in confinement. ye lahhh kan dia kata, kena take part on the maintenance. sapa untung - dua-dua juga untung maaaa.

5:41 PM  
Blogger domesticgoddess said...

Kinda belated Selamat Hari Raya!
This is definately an eye opener for me! looks like the kelantanese confinement very strict leh... but hor to get back the pre-preg weight and waist-line, it's worth it no?

6:00 PM  

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