• Annisa Nurrachmawati Department of Biostatistics, Population Study,andReproductive Health Faculty of Public Health, MulawarmanUniversity, 7511, Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia
  • Anna Marie Wattie Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas GadjahMada, 55281, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Mohammad Hakimi Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas GadjahMada, 55281, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Adi Utarini Department of Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas GadjahMada, 55281, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia




postpartum care, culture, beliefs, Kutai ethnic tribe, longitudinal qualitative ethnography


Postpartum is recognized as a critical period in many cultures, when societies view mothers as vulnerable. A longitudinal qualitative study of pregnant women in the rural area of Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, Indonesia was conducted to explore cultural beliefs and practices during the postpartum period. Ethnography approach was performed and the data on the postpartum period are presented. Intensity sampling was used to select informants from Muara Kaman Ulu and Ilir villages, Muara Kaman Sub district, Kutai Kartanegara and in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 Kutai postpartum women, two midwives, and two traditional birth attendants. Data analyses were conducted using the thematic analysis method. The main health problem occurring in the postpartum period is called “kamboh”. It is a whole body ache with many symptoms, mainly fever, becoming skinny, with burning sensation that suddenly appears on the legs, itchiness and shivering. In order to prevent it women should undergo dietary and physical activity restrictions for 40 days. Certain foods were perceived as the possible causes of the itchy condition, delayed wound healing and hemorrhage. Following the traditional taboo, going outside the house and working hard were restricted. Close families and traditional birth attendants play important roles to ensure compliance of postpartum women to these restrictions. Understanding of cultural beliefs during the postpartum period is critical to support women. Therefore, health promotion interventions with particular attention to diet and physical activity should be designed by taking into account the local practices.


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How to Cite

Annisa Nurrachmawati, Anna Marie Wattie, Mohammad Hakimi, & Adi Utarini. (2019). “KAMBOH”: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF POSTPARTUM CARE IN KUTAI ETHNIC TRIBE, EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 19(1), 25–30. https://doi.org/10.37268/mjphm/vol.19/no.1/art.33