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What is Jamu Massage and Belly Binding Massage and Why You Should Try It

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

The feeling you experience after your delivery is exceptional. A mixture of joy, relief, and worries that you may not be a good enough mom is all normal. Postnatal care is an important period for mommies to get back on their feet as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this was rather overlooked by most non-traditional women.

Different cultures have different types of postpartum care. In Indonesia, women have been using Jamu postnatal massage and belly binding since the 17th century. This traditional massage is gaining popularity, and more wellness centers from different parts of the world are already starting to offer it.

What is Jamu Massage?

Jamu or Djamu is a traditional medicine originating from Indonesia. It is mainly composed of herbal medicines such as leaves, fruits, and roots. It is also considered a go-to medicine for a cold or discomfort. There are no certain ingredients as it varies depending on the body’s current state.

Postnatal Jamu massage is a whole-body massage that quickens the recovery of women after giving birth. It is not a typical one-time therapy, but a continuous treatment for several days. It starts with a full body massage using herbal oil, followed by the application of jamu paste on the abdominal area, and finished with a stomach binder. Breast massage is also done to stimulate milk reproduction.

postnatal jamu massage

Why should I try it?

If you are a mom who regularly gets a trip to your favorite spa, you are familiar with the benefits of a massage. However, postnatal massage techniques are adjusted for the safety of the new mom. Just like any other traditional massages, it has been around for centuries because of the beliefs and benefits they have experienced. The essence of this therapy is a key to quicker postpartum healing.

1. Assists with pain management

Pregnancy has always been associated with pain. Unfortunately, breastfeeding mothers avoid taking painkillers as much as possible. Jamu massage increases the body’s blood circulation and lymph drainage while releasing any tension from an excruciating delivery. This way, it can rapidly reduce swelling and water retention. It will also make you feel relaxed and increase your happy hormones that can reduce pain.

2. Boosts lactation

Some new mothers may experience their breasts barely producing any milk or having blocked milk ducts. Jamu massage includes a chest massage that is very helpful for breastfeeding moms. This massage can unblock the milk ducts for better milk flow. It also reduces their stress hormones and increases their prolactin hormones (milk production hormone) for boosted milk production.

3. Helps with swelling and weakened abdominal muscle

Uterus massage or sengkak aims to treat abdominal swelling after the delivery. The therapist will help the uterus go back to its normal size and put it in the right position to prevent complications such as uterine prolapse and incontinence. During pregnancy, it is common for your rectus abdominis or what we normally call the “six-pack abs” to get separated. This condition is called diastasis recti or abdominal separation. Jamu massage strengthens the abdominal muscles and lessens the abdominal swelling.

4. Provides body relaxation

Labor and childbirth is an exhausting process for new moms. Massages are naturally healthy for our physical and mental health. It increases the happy hormones that make us feel good. It is important for the new mom to feel relaxed and renewed after giving birth to prevent long-term postpartum depression.

What is Belly Binding?

Jamu massage is always followed by belly binding. Jamu belly binding or Bengkung belly binding is done by applying jamu paste on the abdomen and tightly wrapping the abdomen and the pelvic area with traditional binding cloth.

This procedure aims to reduce abdominal swelling, quickly achieve the pre-pregnancy shape, reduce water retention, and remove body winds. It also supports and helps to straighten the spine. Keep in mind that a professional massage therapist is needed for proper belly binding.

belly binding

Is it safe and effective?

Postnatal massages have been backed by many studies about their efficacy and safety. Most traditional massages, including Jamu massage, are still lacking funded research. However, the effectiveness and safety of this massage can be proven by countless generations of women who have tried it.

When can I start having this therapy?

Moms who had a normal delivery can start around ten to twelve days after giving birth. For cesarean delivery, you need to wait for four weeks before starting this therapy. Always decide on your doctor’s discretion to avoid any complications.


Jamu massage and belly binding are good postnatal care alternatives most women should consider. It is beneficial in speeding up the recovery process of moms who just gave birth. Talk to your doctor and your therapist in detail before you engage in any postnatal treatments.

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