During my pre-natal classes in Singapore I met Hana, a beautiful Singaporean Malay woman who was born to do what she does.
Learning that Hana was a masseuse, among other things, I saw her for a few pre-natal massages. When Hana understood my background, she started sharing the post-natal care that has been part of her culture for centuries. She asked me if I’d like to experience this care after the birth of our son, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
I got home from the hospital on day five and Hana was there. She visited me daily for two weeks for binding, wrapping and Jamu massage. I already understood the physical benefits to a certain degree, but I wasn’t prepared for the profound emotional and psychological benefits I felt in those initial days back home.
I experienced almost immediate relief from the headaches I’d been having. My water retention was alleviated, and my constipation subsided. A lot of de-toxification was happening post birth and the aches in my ankles, wrists and lower back started to improve. During my five-day stay in hospital I was advised on confinement nutrition. Hana reinforced this and I followed her nutritional guidance for the first three months to support lactation.
On day one, three of Hana’s fingers fitted in the split of my abdominal muscles. She said that this would take the longest to heal, but she was confident that we’d quickly see a huge difference. And she was right: within two weeks, the gap was down to a single finger. We continued with a maintenance program after the initial two week daily ritual. I was back at Pilates and swimming to improve my pelvic floor muscles. By the third month, the gap had gone entirely.
There was also an aesthetic side to it: my abdominal area toned and strengthened up very quickly with the help of wrapping and binding, the Jamu herbs and massage.
I will always be grateful to Hana for the love and care she gave me in those important first two weeks of Lachie’s life. And now, for inspiring Nurture by Touch.