PREVALENCE OF POST-NATAL PRACTICES AMONG SEMIRURAL MALAY COMMUNITY
INTRODUCTION & OBJECTIVE
Traditional post-partum beliefs and practices are common in many countries. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of post-natal practices among the Malay community and the reason practicing them.
This was a cross sectional descriptive study on 345 reproductive age subjects in semirural villages using systemic random sampling. Questionnaires after reliability study with acceptable Cronbach Alpha consisted of sociodemographic, post-natal practice choices and the reason practicing them were used with guided interview on the subjects.
The result has shown that high percentage of subjects practiced post-natal regimes namely food restriction, heat treatment, physical manipulation, and medication. Food restriction was practiced among all subjects in which ice was avoided by 97% subjects. Heat treatment in the form of hot compression (tungku) practiced by 95% followed by corset 88% and using local application of hot cream to the abdomen 85%. Body massage was practiced in 97% of subjects followed by breast massage 86% and post-natal exercise 36%. Taking post-natal medication of either modern or traditional was practiced by 92% subjects. Traditional medication such as jamu, majun and herbal root drink were preferred over modern drugs. The main reason in adopting postnatal practice was to fasten uterine contraction which was agreed by 96% subjects followed by improving blood circulation and promoting lactation.
In conclusion post-natal practices are prevalent in Malay community and believed to improve wellbeing of mothers in agreement with many earlier studies.