“22 years ago, I delivered my first child. I went back to my hometown and asked my mom to find a ‘tukang urut’ for my ‘pantang’ (confinement). Everyday, I had to wait for my mom to come back from her office, then my dad will send me to the masseuse’s house, while my mom will take care of the baby. How inconvenient!
One day, the old lady (midwife) was massaging my back with her foot and slipped because of the oily surface. I almost fractured by back bone and was in and out of hospital for six months. I don’t ever want any new mothers to experience the same thing, so I decided to start Pantang Plus.
I am 46 years old and I have four children. Throughout my four ‘pantang’ (confinement) journeys, my mom took care of me. She learnt it from her mother, who gave birth to 10 kids. This was the practice through the generations and it was passed down ‘turun temurun’.
My mother is my inspiration and Pantang Plus is a tribute to that. Pantang Plus is an online platform that provides confinement services to new mothers in Malaysia and globally. It makes me wake up every morning and remind me I have a purpose to serve.
With most of the mothers who use Pantang Plus, they don’t have the luxury of their own mothers taking care of them. Their mothers are either too far away, too elderly, or have passed away. We are basically filling in for their mothers. So I tell my therapists, ‘You are there to care for them like their mothers, so please show your professionalism.’
Some new mothers might experience post-partum blues, especially if they don’t have support from their family – they are literally left alone. When that happens, they can do all sorts of funny and creative things – some even try to commit suicide or injure their babies!
What I see in modern mothers nowadays, some of them wasted the 9 months of pregnancy.
They think, “Oh, I have branded baby strollers and baby clothes, good gynaecologists and hospitals, I’m now ready!”.
But they forget to feed themselves with more research. They should also have a heart-to-heart talk with their husbands, families and gynaecologists to set their expectations.
I used to be in banking for 15 years, so I am quite exposed to the corporate world. But I was still not prepared to become an entrepreneur – I was always scared, I was not a risk taker.
MaGIC has provided me the best environment to grow. It is the best place to learn and mingle as they provided us with a supportive environment. Not to mention, being surrounded by entrepreneurs with similar mindsets from different industries, where we are all there to learn and take our businesses further. Mana you nak cari tempat macam tu?
The best part was the mentors who have really helped me mold my business. They drive you to where you should be, not where you think you want to be. And in the end, I am very grateful that I am able to help mothers, not just in Malaysia, but all around the globe too.”
Humans of Kuala Lumpur is partnering with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) in featuring inspiring and impact-driven entrepreneurs, problem solvers and startups in their mission to solve Malaysia’s problems! PhotoStory is written and photographed by Humans of Kuala Lumpur.