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The fading birth practice: urban Malay mothers in Malaysia negotiating confinement practices.

Syed Hussien, Sh Fatimah Alzahrah (2019) The fading birth practice: urban Malay mothers in Malaysia negotiating confinement practices. In: International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities 2019, Grand Milenium Hall ParkCity Everly Hotel Bintulu Sarawak Malaysia. (Unpublished)

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Malay mothers’ postpartum experiences often include a period of confinement, similar to other Asian parallel practices of “doing the month”. This confinement period comprise of a set of beliefs, rules, and practices based on traditional eastern medicinal knowledge. Cultural practices of postpartum confinement, or berpantang, among urban mothers in Malaysia is competing with modern western medicine in the contemporary setting. The data for this presentation is from a phenomenological study utilising twelve open-ended interviews of couples and two focus group discussions with mothers on their experience of berpantang. Even though it is still widely performed, the elements within berpantang are handpicked by these mothers. According to these mothers, the traditional practices are thought to be inadequate or inferior when compared to the authority of western biomedicine. In events where medical practitioners give opposing advice, all mothers chose to adhere to, and accept biomedicine’s explanations and justifications over the traditional practice. The former cultural figure head, the bidan (midwife), is no longer a part of the birthing process in these urban settings. Urban mothers today rely on or refer to their maternal mothers for knowledge and guidance on berpantang. Urban mothers who practise berpantang describe the main reason for their practise was to maintain familial peace. This paper seeks to highlight social and cultural implications this hegemony has particularly on challenging the continuity in the chain of traditional knowledge.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Slide Presentation)
Additional Information: 8444/76869
Uncontrolled Keywords: confinement, Malay mothers, cultural and traditional practices
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Depositing User: Dr Sh Fatimah AlZahrah Syed Hussien
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2019 11:30
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2019 11:30
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/76869

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