Urut (pronounced oo-root) means massage. Urut is a postnatal massage usually performed by women after childbirth by the bidan kampung (village midwife). Urut is part of the traditional Malay’s postnatal care and the massage is carried out for three days or more following delivery. This postnatal massage is believed to help improve blood circulation, break down fat, tone and shape the body, and ‘lift’ the womb.
After a 1-2 hour massage, the urut lady will put a postnatal wrap on the mother which is also known as a bengkung. Among the benefits of this wrap are to flatten the tummy, reduce weight and tone the body, and to promote good posture.
With these benefits (especially the slimming ones), it’s no wonder that all races today adopt urut as part of their postnatal regime. A famous local cartoonist, Lat, always illustrated the Malay lady with an hourglass silhouette, while the Chinese lady was a little more voluptuous.