Jamu or Postnatal TCM Tuina Massage with Madam Partum?
Many of my mother friends highly recommend postnatal massages. “Help to get rid of the bulge,” they said with a wink. Dig further, postnatal massage has lots more benefits. Coupled with tummy wrap, the massage helps to relax and heal the body, expel wind and to reduce swelling in the uterus. After my first postnatal massage, I realised the best part of it all is the breast massage to clear clogged milk ducts.
My First Pregnancy with Jamu/Malay Massage
I assumed those referrals for postnatal massage done by Malay ladies is known as Jamu massage. Like how I thought pampers meant diapers, I thought Jamu massage is another term for postnatal massage. It is only during my second pregnancy that I realised that it is not the only type of postnatal massage.
Jamu massage is a traditional postnatal massage from Southeast Asia – with body and chest massage, and application of herbal paste on the stomach and abdominal area. There’s also the wearing of a stomach binder for hours thereafter, depending on the massage lady. Some mothers was ordered to wear 12 hours, and some till the next massage session.
For my first pregnancy, I went with a Malay massage lady my friend recommended, let’s call her Lady M. Lady M told me she doesn’t use Jamu oil for her massages because some mothers are sensitive to it. Which was a good thing, because even without the Jamu oil, I had rashes breaking out during my confinement. It could be due to the heat, the hormones, and/or the binder.
Lady M told me her massage technique was passed down through her family from generation to generation, and not through any formal training. Initially I thought it was still Jamu massage, just with a normal massage oil instead of the Jamu oil. However, on hindsight, I think it was not Jamu massage. I did wear a binder for a few hours, but without the herbal paste. I wonder if it’s the same thing for other private Malay practitioners.
Anyhow, her breast massage to unclog my milk ducts was super painful. I heard such pain was uncalled for. Moreover, the massage sessions were scheduled for 5 consecutive days, and it felt a bit packed for a first time mother still grappling around with motherhood. What’s more, I didn’t look forward to the pains from her massages.
After each massage session, Lady M would wrap the cloth stomach binder on me and I had to wear it for many hours. If she came in the afternoon, I had to have late night shower or to take out the binder pre-maturely for my shower. I chose the latter because the binder got uncomfortably tight and hot because of its non-breathable material, unlike the corset I put on this time round. I also couldn’t wear the binder myself before the session because it was too complicated to wear.
I was not that keen on Jamu massage after the first experience. Moreover, I think my skin would be sensitive to Jamu oil and herbal paste. So I am happy to find an alternative with Madam Partum!
Postnatal Massage with Madam Partum
This time, I engaged Madam Partum for my postnatal massage. I am a big fan of Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) tuina massage pre-pregnancy, so why not do this for my pre-partum and postpartum massages?
Tuina is a therapeutic massage that is similar to osteopathy. The massage applies pressure to acupoints, meridians and muscles or nerves to clear blockages against the flow of energy, “Qi”. These blockages result in pain, swelling and build-up of toxins, which in turn cause many health problems.
About Madam Partum
Who is Madam Partum, anyway?
Whenever hubby and I come across the name, Chien Chi Tow, he would tell me how his 五十肩 (frozen shoulder) was “healed” here. Super painful, he would add, but effective. Chien Chi Tow has been around Singapore for over 50 years and is now a renowned traditional chinese medicine (“TCM”) brand.
In recent years, it has branched out into Madam Partum, a pre- and postpartum wellness and confinement care specialist. With the support of Chien Chi Tow, Madam Partum harness the effectiveness of meridian massage (Tuina) to help mummies achieve a complete & wholesome recovery.
Madam Partum provides holistic care for mummies, making sure mummies are well cared for at every stage of pregnancy and parenting journey. From massage to confinement care products, there are also postpartum services such as lactation massage, and childbirth education.
About their Massage Therapists
According to Madam Partum, all their therapists for pre and postnatal massage (“PM therapists”) are professionally and medically trained, with more than 350 hours of intensive training! They have at least 4 years of experience and undergo rigorous in-house Meridian Massage training. They are also certified either by the International Therapy Examination Council or the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications.
All their PM therapists are female and have all learned about the workings of the female anatomy and the right breast massage techniques to resolve issues such as engorgement and low milk supply.
Madam Partum postnatal massage review
The difference in Jamu and Madam Partum’s massage lies in the massage techniques, massage oils/herbs used, binding method, and the frequency of the sessions.
Madam Partum’s massage oil is a natural blend of olive oil & lemongrass essential oil, which is suitable for mommies with sensitive skin. However if you are uncomfortable, they can change it into pure olive oil.
Mothers may also purchase their specialty slimming oil (worth S$38.90) to be used during the massage of the stomach for slimming results. This special blend of cold pressed grapeseed oil with essential oils helps to break down fats and stubborn cellulite to contour the body by increasing circulation and detoxification.
Decide on the Massage Package
I got the package of 7 days of 90-minute postpartum massage. Currently, this package is priced at S$973.70. I had wanted to go for the 60-minute package, but Madam Partum recommended 90-minute.
The reason being, 60 minutes is too short. After the lactation massage, little time will be left for the whole body massage. And based on my experience, lactation massage is important for the first few days. I also polled my WhatsApp mummy group, and most experienced mummies voted for 90 minutes too. So 90-minute session it is.
You can head down to one of Madam Partum’s ten outlets for the postpartum massage, but with a body that’s recovering from childbirth and a newborn at hand, it’s definitely a great idea to opt for home service. Unless you want to escape your confinement “jail”, and take a breather away from your newborn.
For my firstborn, I remember being so tired in my first month. Going to the polyclinic for Baby EX’s jaundice check ups took great effort — the changing of clothes and making the trip down. So I definitely vote for home service for the massages. Of course, be sure you have someone to take care of the newborn while you are in the massage session. Enjoy the massage session in peace!
Do note that their home service is unavailable on weekend and public holidays.
Book the First PostNatal Massage
I suggest buying the massage package at least one month before your EDD. Your baby might come earlier than expected and throw you into disarray. So best to settle your postpartum stuff like massage and food early.
In this way, you can book your first massage session once you deliver. Inform your assigned customer service specialist (via WhatsApp) so that she can plan your schedule for you to enjoy your massage soon. Do book the session/inform as early as possible because their massage therapists are high in demand.
Madam Partum recommends starting massage only 5 days after natural birth and 5 weeks after cesarean-section (“C-sect”). For lactation massages and relieving of body aches, the massage can start 5 days after C-sect.
Before Massage Session
Unlike Jamu massage sessions that are done in consecutive days, TCM massages are spread over the first 2 to 3 weeks postpartum. According to Madam Partum, these initial weeks after birth is the golden period for mummies to recover. Hence, at least 2 sessions, and if possible, 3 sessions per week are arranged for optimal recovery.
Upon informing Madam Partum about my birth, the representative arranged a schedule of sessions for me, alternating between two massage therapists (“therapist”), Ye Jin and Hong Ying. Apparently with the COVID-19 going on, the therapists are busy with house calls for non-partum massages too.
The day before my first session, the portable massage bed was delivered to my place. I had to keep it until my last session. So be sure you clear some storage space for it. 🙂 This portable bed is a good idea because I wouldn’t need to prepare extra towels to line my bed, which might still get stained with massage oil regardless of precautions. Oh yes, Madam Partum provides fresh towel sheets for use too. I got to keep the towels after all my sessions instead of them being re-used for other mothers. Thumbs up for hygiene.
As advised by Madam Partum, I tried to breastfeed the baby before the massage session to allow the therapist to massage without interruption. Good to have uninterrupted rest too. Moreover, latching or pumping before the session will decrease the squirts or wastage of milk during the breast massage.
Actual Massage Session
To allay the COVID-19 fears with good hygiene practices, the therapists washed their hands before each session and wore a surgical mask throughout the session.
Even though Madam Partum is a company, the massage session does not entail strict standard operating procedures. I was still able to communicate my needs and concerns for the massage session to be customised accordingly. My main concerns are lactation issues and muscle aches. Oh, one good thing about booking through a company is that I can change the therapist if I am unhappy with the current one.
What I like about TCM massages is that other than the usual postnatal massage of the breast and stomach, I can request for massage relief on other areas, such as my shoulders, and lower back. Pampering. This was also only possible because my massage session is 90 minutes, with almost the first hour spent on the pertinent lactation massage and uterus recovery.
It was during the second session that the therapist worked on my stomach, and the third session when she used much more strength to massage away the fats of my stomach and to help in uterus recovery. This massage, together with Madam Partum’s corset, significantly shrunk my 5 months’ pregnant looking stomach. More on their 3-piece corset in “Postpartum Corset with Madam Partum“.
Madam Partum’s therapists cleared blocked ducts by pressing on specific accupressure points. The lactation massage was still slightly painful, but not as bad as the one I had with the Malay masseuse for my first pregnancy. It was uncomfortable when clearing the blocked ducts, but not crying pain like the first time. Love the soft like tofu feel of the breasts when ducts were cleared!
If you are staying in the central or north regions of Singapore, or near their Bendeemer outlet, you might be able to choose/be assigned the same therapists as me. Both of them are good in massaging and clearing blocked ducts, just with different personalities. See if you prefer some tender loving care, or leave me alone kind of therapist.
- Ye Jin: She’s chatty and friendly, but might be a bit naggy in her advice, such as over confinement practices. You can sense her concern for the mother though. Like she would make sure I’m well covered, made sure no wind from outside or cold from the aircon get into me, and urged me to drink a cup of hot red dates tea after massage.
- Hong Ying: She gives off a stern and aloof attitude, but does her job (massage) well in silence. Good for mothers who love peace and quiet during massage and don’t want another person to nag her.
About Breastfeeding Advice
I appreciate the breastfeeding advice given by the therapist but it got a bit pressurising and naggy for me. She reminded me of the Malay masseuse who also stressed me about pumping. I agonised over it badly as a first time mother then. Because for both times, my babies were latching so frequently like 1-2 hours that I hardly have time to rest, let alone slot in pumping sessions into my schedule.
I understand the therapist’s insistence because Madam Partum’s theory for mothers facing blocked ducts issue or engorgement is to make sure the breast is “emptied”. This is done either by latching or pumping. Just that the therapist focused on the latter. Instead of piecemeal advice, would appreciate that the therapist realises that there is no fixed way to solve a breastfeeding issue, but to tailor advice accordingly.
Madam Partum recognises this though. Hence, you can arrange to meet with CP Judy, their certified lactation instructor at the Katong outlet. Judy will provide a comprehensive analysis and thereafter advise the mother on what works best for her according to her unique circumstances. Judy also uses TCM methods to treat blocked ducts and engorgement. These methods include lactation tuina and a combination of acupuncture and moxibustion.
Madam Partum is serious about supporting mothers in this breastfeeding journey.
The therapists had training from the famous lactation consultant, Dr Wong Boh Boi, about breastfeeding and on how to help mothers with engorgement and block ducts issues. Moreover, Yen, the founder of Madam Partum, is herself a counsellor with Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group Singapore, a non-profit, mother-to-mother support organization. Lastly, you can also send in breastfeeding queries through Madam Partum’s WhatsApp hotline for them to be answered.
Corset with Madam Partum
Instead of cloth binding, Madam Partum encourages mummies to put on body sculpting corset. Madam Partum’s corset is specially designed in 3 separate pieces for postpartum mummies to get back to pre-pregnancy shape faster.
Find out more about the benefits of Madam Partum’s corset and the steps on how to wear it in “Postpartum Corset with Madam Partum“.
Madam Partum’s Pricing and Promotion
60-minute PostPartum Massage:
- 1 session: S$96.30
- 7 sessions: S$636.65 (S$90.95/session)
- 10 sessions: S$856 (S$85.60/session)
- 14 sessions: S$1,123.50 (S$80.25/session)
90-minute PostPartum Massage:
- 1 session: S$144.45
- 7 sessions: S$973.70 (S$139.10/session)
- 10 sessions: S$1,337.50 (S$133.75/session)
- 14 sessions: S$1,797.60 (S$128.40/session)
Prices are inclusive of portable massage bed and essential oils. Full Payment is required before your Estimated Delivery Date. Please allow 2 days booking in advance, subject to availability.
- Single session of 90-min: Additional S$42.80 per trip
- Package sessions: Additional S$32.10 per trip.
- No home services during weekends and public holidays.
- Specialty slimming oil: S$38.90
- 3-piece Body Sculpting Corset: S$78
- Holistic PostPartum Package: From S$1,799 (S$321 for home visits)
Love what you have been reading? Quote “JoogoStyle” to enjoy these promotional rates:
- S$48 nett for 60-minute prepartum massage session (U.P. S$83.45)
- 5% off postpartum massage package (excl. home service). In addition, you get a complimentary bottle of slimming oil when you purchase the package of 10 or 14 sessions of the 90-min massage.
Terms and Conditions:
- Valid for new and existing customers.
- Valid for massage sessions from 1 April to 31 December 2020.
- Valid for session booked at an outlet. Home service is not applicable for 60-minute session.
- Bookings to be made in advance via WhatsApp to 8166 0060, subject to availability. Quote “JoogoStyle” at time of booking.
- All prices quoted are inclusive of GST.
- Not valid with other discounts/promotions.
- Services sold are non-refundable and non-exchangeable for cash/products or other services.
Madam Partum Info
- Email: [email protected]
- Tel: +65 66 633 933
- WhatsApp: +65 8166 0060 / +65 8166 0070
- Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Fri); 10am – 6pm (Sat – Sun, PH)
- Website: www.madampartum.com
- Social Media: www.facebook.com/madampartum; www.instagram.com/madam.partum (@madam.partum)
- 10 Outlets: www.madampartum.com/contact.asp
- Madam Partum: Tanjong Katong
- Madam Partum (Chien Chi Tow): Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bendemeer, Chinatown (People’s Park Centre), Clementi, Jurong East, Redhill, Tampines, Yishun (Chong Pang City)
- Home services available (additional charge)
Love what you read? Book your massage sessions with Madam Partum today! 🙂
Disclosure: This is an editorial review. I was sponsored a portion of the package and was not paid for publishing my experience with this service. All opinions are of my own and are genuine.