BREASTFEEDING CHALLENGES: DATA MINING ON MALAY FORMULATION AND PRACTICE AS RECOMMENDED IN THE MALAY MEDICAL MANUSCRIPTS
Introduction: Breast milk confers numerous benefits to infants throughout their stages of life. Inappropriate practice and cessation of breastfeeding are also associated with several breastfeeding-associated disturbances among women. Besides, it is renowned that Malays have inherited many practices for centuries, especially practices using natural products in healing an illness, including remedies to enhance milk production and treat breastfeeding-associated problems. These practices had been documented in the written form, which is known as Malay medical manuscripts. Aim: This study sought to discover the potential natural products that the Malays employ to encounter breastfeeding mothers' problems as documented in Malay medical manuscripts. Methods: A narrative review procedure was applied for data mining on Malay medical manuscripts. Thematic analysis was adopted, which is crucial to investigate the data that are significant for this study. Results: The review's findings demonstrated the discovery of information in the derived sources that relates closely with the breastfeeding aspects: Kitab Perubatan Melayu: Tayyib al-Ihsan fi Tibb al-Insan, Seksologi: Ilmu Perkasihan Melayu and Warisan Perubatan Melayu. Altogether nine traditional remedies were found in the formulations. Thematic analysis showed two breastfeeding-associated problems mentioned in the formulations: breast engorgement and clogged ducts. Conclusion: This study has discovered that there is data available about breastfeeding, including its treatments, recommended in the Malay medical manuscripts. However, more transliteration of the manuscripts and review of secondary sources is proposed to overcome the limitation of breastfeeding data. This discovery of breastfeeding treatment in Malay medical manuscripts would be very much appreciated if they can contribute to the incorporation of local natural products into the current modern medicine for breastfeeding treatment.
KEYWORDS: breastfeeding; Malay medical manuscript; narrative review