Thursday, October 19, 2006

Confinement after Childbirth:Malay-Kelantanese Style

Part 2: Bertungku & bersalai

But before that, why suddenly I feel like blogging this when I'm supposed to write about my pineapple tarts for Raya? Because at this time last year, I didn't enjoy the raya goodies so much due to the confinement.

Besides, I do owe some bloggers who read my first part some detail explaination.

5xmom said this:

Take care and enjoy the 'smoking'! Take photo and blog it? in her comment here

What she meant by 'smoking' here is due to the bertungku and bersalai. I'm sorry for my pathetic "england", I guess the word for bertungku is warm compress but I have no idea to bersalai, but it is sort of the thing people do to warm the bodies during winter at the fire place. The difference is during bersalai, you may run a risk of your back skin being scalded....ok, ok I try not to sound too negative there but that's what I feel.

We use stone, normally of cobble size, of igneus origin as it must be hard and resistant (a bit of geology lesson here...hehe), can be found near rivers, with roundish shape. Mom heat it up, her time using charcoal, now on the gas stove. When she predicted that the stone is super-duper hot, she lifted it and place it on some leaves which are underlain by a piece of cloth (normally old cloth, something that you don't mind to get burnt). You can see some smoke due to the stone burning the leaves. A few minutes, the stone is wrapped with the cloth and secured.

I didn't have the opportunity to get the stone with smoke, hope this will do.

And it begins....

The most important part is the tummy. Some rules apply, though. Certain part should not be "touched" except by "expert" for the first two weeks. We need to wait till the womb contract a bit. The purpose here is to get rid of the remnant of the menses and at the same time to tighten the womb muscle or my mom words are "kecutkan peranakan".

Other part is the whole body, mainly to "kecutkan urat". During pregnancy, the veins (no idea if this the right term) that carries the blood would became bigger, I hope you know what I mean there.

Most of the time I'd go "Ouch, ouch...too hot, get more cloth" and mom would always scold me saying that I'm such a manja kid. But after around 45 minutes, the tungku can be really good. Especially when you have other people doind it on your back and calves.

Why other people? Because mothers in confinement must be pampered. The whole household gets involved. Anyone should not protest when mom asked to do anything to the mother in confinement.

That is done about 3 times a day, each session with 2-3 tungku that would normally take 1-2 hours. That is equivalent to 7-8 tungku.

As for bersalai, we normally lie down on a 'bed' but one with a 'specialised' base. It is made of planks of wood, arranged in certain distance so that the heat can reach the body. The heat is from a charcoal stove below the bed. We only dress in a piece of thin kain batik and socks. We need to sweat it out. I normally wait till the heat reduced, very nice on cold morning but mom says at that stage, no use anymore. Must be realllllly HOT....aduihhhh!

Sidenote: Actually as I was writing this, what I have in mind is more and more negative remarks as I just hate bertungku. But I don't want mom to "kecik hati" and I miss her, she and dad are in the Holy land, Mecca and will be back after Raya...huhuhu. End of sidenote

domesticgoddess asked:
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?

My answer is, I'm still blur if all this works, I follow this strictly because mom insists, but I feel good after that. My gynea said my womb back to almost normal during the first check-up after birth. But it is worth it to make my mom happy, though we get into debates now, and then;).

And this is whatninuk says about her hubby:
"....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..."

Ok, my blogging time is up. I will continue with berbengkung or corset, later. No, no I won't wait till next year. After raya, maybe, just need to take a pic of it.


Blogger Adam said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. More regular updates I promise.

My wife went through the whole process after giving birth to Rahil and Imaan. SHe had ladies come down from Kampung for that. I recall her ging through the Bertungku but not the bersalai parts.

10:24 PM  
Blogger WMD: Wife, Mother, Daughter said...

I did the bertungku part. Yes, it is hot and it was so embarassing that I would crying "ouchh, ouchh, ouchh" But I certainly felt good after that.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family Selamat Hari Raya.

9:28 AM  
Blogger domesticgoddess said...

heheh... the bersalai sounds like sauna ;)

9:54 AM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Adam, I just love reading yours, esp. now that ur wife is doing a PhD overseas, something I wanted to do but no chance, had it done locally.
Yes, people raely do bersalai now.

wmd: Oh, you did, too? I always thought it is a form of a torturing device, luckily we are ok...haha.
And thanks for the wishes.

DG...yes, you are right. That's sound more like it. Of course sauna better, sometimes I feel like I'm a piece of daging salai over the flame...;)

12:46 PM  
Blogger 5xmom said...

ROS! You finally wrote about it. LOL.

I come by to wish you SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI, maaf zahir dan batin jika ada tersilap kata/blog. Have a nice holidays. Hugs to your kids.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Thanks Lil...;), I will definitely write more about it.

12:14 PM  
Blogger rayhana lisa said...

hi there,
i know this may be a bit late?

anyway i had been reading about bertungku on MMB and it seems that it is quite dangerous?

i am in a quandrary on whether to go ahead with this or not..

some/any advice would be appreciated

8:52 AM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

Hey Rayhana,

Firstly, thanks for reading.

And no it is never too late.

Yes, it can be dangerous if we do it wrongly. Even the bidan that did it on me said that, that's why I mentioned certain areas can't be touched.

I heard that mothers are ok without it, knowing this I neither encourage or discourage. It is my mom who insists.

But if you decide to go ahead, make sure you get yourself someone who is really experienced to teach you.

Hope that helps, feel free to pm me in MMB if you want to talk more.

And actually, I got to 'know' you from 5xmom blog and I have visited yours a few times but only read silently!

1:12 PM  

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