Monday, April 18, 2011


Kapas (cotton wool), Paku (nail), Lengkuas (Galanga), Garam Kasar (Salt)

"Kelahiran" means the birth. It comes from word 'Lahir' (giving birth, born)

"Berpantang" comes from the word "Pantang", meaning forbidden, restriction or abstinence. In this entry, it refers to the traditional healing process practiced by Malay women after giving the birth.

Thanks to Allah I finally and safely had a chance to experience myself the birth of my first child, a boy, few days ago. I know that most of the married couple, especially those who have children already knew about the Pantang. But I would like to share some of the rituals, or traditional healing used during the Pantang for the well being of the mother and the baby.

Me too it took me to many places with many persons to note down every details what to do and how to do before, during and after the birth. The Pantang rituals that I would like to share here perhaps are slightly different with your version, but at least it could be useful for a 'dummies' like me! lol

Ok, for the future father, don't worry. no panic! I'll note down step by step you must prepare!

During the pregnancy:

-reciting as much as possible the holy Quran
-never do harm to the animals, insects, ot plants
-never mocking people's disabilities
-try to satisfy your wife's request (especially food that she wants to eat). We call it as "Mengidam" (desire of the fetus that influences the mother)
-eat the Sunnah food (the food that Prophet pbuh recommend)
-don't forget the white pigeon's heart

The birth is approaching:

-make the Minyak Selusuh (special coconut oil to make the child birth easy)
-make the Air Selusuh (water which recited the Zikr and Quran to help the child birth process)
-it's better that the husband make himself both Minyak and Air Selusuh
-multiply the Zikr, especially the Zikr for the birth
-make a Hajat prayer asking the safeness
-go to the market or the jungle, and search and buy the stuffs for te Pantang

The birth:
-stay with your wife
-never forget Allah
-teach your wife not to forget the Zikr
-after the delivery, do the Azan at the right ear,and Iqamah at the left ear.
-"process" the "Uri" (placenta). Wash it nicely and carefully with abondant water to wash away the blood. In Kelantanese dialect we call the placenta as "Sod". Wash it, do the right thing with it before burying it. In our way it is buried with a nail, cotton wool, salt, slices of Lengkuas and Asam Gelugor. Put in coconut shell, wrap it in a white cloth and bury it in the soil.
-choose a right place where to bury the Sod. The old folk believe that the Sod is the twin of the baby. As a twin, they are influencing each other in spiritual way.

Sod ready to be buried....

Now we are at the state of Pantang. Most of the terms which I use comes from the Kelantanese dialects. So be familiar with it! ;)

We begin at the early morning. At 5 a.m everything must be prepared. "Diang"/"Nyalai", "Bertuku", "Urut", "Mandi Tersat" and finally "Barut Perut".


-use your single bachelor bed frame. Put a rectangle biscuit zink (?) container (cut off one of the side), put in the sand, and put the container on a piece of wood. This container will be the place that you will put the hot charcoal. After putting the charcoal, put it directly under the bed frame. Place a mat on the frame, and the mother should lie down on it to 'enjoy' the warm heat underneath her butt. Change the position of the container to her back, ot to the legs. This is a Nyalai (smoked)

-if we don't have the bed frame, put the container a side the place where the mother sleeps. Give her back faced the container. this is called as Diang (pendiang/mendiang etc)

-the Diang/Nyalai keeps a warm environment for the birth system of the mother. It will keep a good blood circulation, and will help the smooth discharge of blood, and the activation of the breast milk.


Bertuku means using the "Tuku" to do the massage. Tuku is a river stone, round-shape like a small ball, and burned before being used. The main purpose bertuku is to re-place the "Peranakan" (women birth system). Put a stone in the charcoal or on the gaz burner for 30minutes-1hour, than wrap it with a cloth after cooling down for few minutes (if not you'll burn up the clothes!) before wrapping it with the cloth, put whether the papers (old newspaper) or the "Kapalterbang" leaves. Do the massage on from the point of pubic (ari-ari) to up to the left or to the right. Never do the massage from the pubic straight to the stomach because that will damage the "Peranakan". The Bertuku is done when the mother is on the Penyalai (Nyalai).


Urut means massage. From the massage the Bidan knows whether the Peranakan is 'up' or 'down'. The Peranakan in the position 'up' is good, and the Bidan will massage and tuku until it goes back to it's "sarang" (nest). A Peranakan that stays in right position guarantees a good health of the mother, especially during the old age where the muscles became weak.


After having 1-2 hours of Mendiang (diang), Bertuku, and Urut, it's time for the mother to take a 'Tersat" bath. We use seven, nine, eleven, thirteen or even twenty one fragrant herbs and plants, boiled with water, to refreshen the mother's body and to bring the frangrance. Serai Wangi, Daun Limau Purut, Daun Inai, Daun Jintan Hitam, Daun Jambu Batu etc are among the plants used for the Tersat.

Daun Jintan Hitam

Leaves for the Tersat


Barut perut is wrapping the abdomen with a Bengkong. The purpose is to help the mother to reduce the fats and to get her lines again before the pregnancy. The "hot" element (food) and Pendiang are among the tools to maximize the fat burning process. My mother and grandmother said the first 3 days we wrap the abdomen with the Cucurma and Salt. The next three days we wrap it with Lime and "Kapur" (anyone, translation please!), and the last three days with Vinegar and "Ragi" (yeast). The 10th to 40th day, we use the mix of spices like pepper, cucurma powder, ginger etc. Sometime, we do the "Param", the black glutinous rice boiled with the Asam Gelugor (asidic dried fruit), kulit rambai etc... Then ONLY after Barut Perut that a mother could take her breakfast!!!! ;) (or the old folks believe that you risk of having an 'ugly' stomach! 8D )

Ibu Kunyit (Cucurma) and Rice

Sepey Kederey woods, Manjakini fruits and herbs


-don't eat the 'cold' fruit like banana, apple, papaya etc
-NEVER drink the cold water
-don't eat food cooked with oil, coconut milk, or anything creamy or much fat.
-don't even think to eat chicken (especially for the first 2 weeks!).
-beware with fish. As what I've learned, Selar is one suitable for Pantang
-the salted dried fish, grilled is permitted. the best is the Gelama fish
-the Haruan fish is good also. Grilled.
-After 2-3 weeks, mother can take the meat. Only the fresh local meat (daging asli), boiled with the 'kakas' of soup with much ginger. ALWAYS, NO OIL USED!
-the only vegetable I learned which is permitted is Sawi. (celor/ sunk in hot water for few minutes)
-the best menu for Pantang is Selar fish with curcuma and salt, grilled without oil. Or boiled or steamed (but don't swallow too much water)
-the best "Sambal" is black pepper + halia muda (young ginger) + ibu kunyit (curcuma) + salt
-the fresh black pepper and fresh young ginger are eaten like "ulam" (salad)
-drink milk for proteins
-drink black coffee to digestion
-for every morning, one Telur Ayam Kampung (country hen's egg) is good
-honey is recommended
-my mom said avoid the bread, it could cause the unnecessary expand of the stomach!
-"biskut tawar" is allowed
-drinks the boiled Sepey Kedere woods and Cekani (manjakini) fruits.
-drinks the extract Cucurma+ uncooked blended rice for 3 days, Heena extracts for another 3 days, and the boiled of Heena root for 3 days.
-Mother should drink little water once, but regularly. A cup everytime feeling thirsty, but she can drink again after a while. It is to avoid of "Kembang Air" .

Ladu: The desert for the Pantang women. Made from the black pepper.

Extract of Cucurma to be sipped....


The daily menu:
Sawi , Rice + young ginger, grilled Selar fish with cucurma, Pepper sambal, pepper powder

OK OK, voila voila, there are many more details one should know regarding the Pantang. It is worthful to learn from the old folks, the Bidan and the Tukang Urut. Most of the modern Malay doesn't want to do a strict Pantang anymore. Well, it' your one choice!!! For me personally, there are too much benefit doing the Pantang. Maybe there is a secret lies behind the Pantang that keeps a woman healthy, get a beautiful shape, and "produce" many children! My mom and my grandmom always tell me to take a good care of my wife during the Pantang. Since both my mom and my mother in law couldn't come to help us here, we just 'D.I.Y' (Do It Yourself!). But of course we went to learn the "first-aid kit" for the Pantang from few old folks first. For the special Tuku and Urut things we called the Bidan to come to our house for couple of weeks. For the future Father who doesn't have any ideas what the Pantang is about, I hope that my modest explanation here could give you many information, at least, the QUESTIONS you could ask to the Bidan or even to your Mom!

I am no offense with the commercial products of Bengkong, Lulur or whatever in the market. It is easy, ready-to-use, and simple. But I prefer the traditional way, as I know what am I using, and how to use it in a natural way.

One day, I called my Mom. I asked her "Ma, it's hard to find the Selar fish here. Could I use the Selar Kuning instead???". She said " No, that will cause the itchy effects". I said again "But I manage to find only the Selar Kuning (Selar with Yellow line). Aren't they the same species???". (I thought it's just only the Yellow line makes both fish different!) She said "No. They are not the same species!". I said "So I absolutely must find the Selar fish???". She then asked me a killer question "Do you want to do the Pantang or not??? Do you???!!!!". I said "Errr...Of course I want to..". She said "Then do as what I say. If not, do as you wish!". Oh no. We initially obey blindly what they said. But after couple of days doing the Pantang, we start to feel and witness of the benefit of it....

******what am I writing here is only my personal few days of Pantang. I am sure that there are more people who are far more experienced than me in this field. For any remarks, suggestions, tips, complaints, please feel free to share with me here! Many thanks in advance for your precious sharing of knowledge! ;) *******


  1. terima kasih armouris di atas iklan itu. kalo susah2 sangat nak bertuku, pakai yg elektrik xpa, asalkan badan ibu bersalin sentiasa panas. cuma tuku batu jangan tinggal.... sebab tuku itu batu sungai. batu sungai itu hidup. ada sebab kenapa org2 tua pakai batu sungai. susah2 sedikit pun tak apa, asalkan hikmah tu dapat i'Allah.