Post childbirth, your life pretty much revolves around changing your baby’s diapers, making sure they are fed enough, and how much sleep they are getting. But how much sleep are YOU getting? We’ll spare you the maths and we will be honest with you — your sleep is not enough. If you have been kept awake or were woken up by your crying newborn at nights, you know this is true.
You might be thinking, ‘What can I do? It’s not like I can just ignore my baby and sleep soundly.’ Well, not really. There is a way you can just ‘ignore’ them and sleep soundly, all the while knowing that your baby is in safe, loving motherly hands – by having a confinement nanny by your side! She would be your companion, your biggest support during your most critical period, and also a teacher with endless lessons, knowledge, and tips on baby care to share. She is basically a new mom’s best help any mom could ask for.
But…what about all those upsetting stories you have heard from other mothers about their confinement lady (CL) who constantly controlled what they did, making their confinement a nightmare? Are all confinement nannies traditional? Will yours understand your needs? If you get one, will yours fit in your modern lifestyle? These kinds of experience surfacing have made some moms balk at the thought of getting personal help during this critical period, which can, eventually, take a toll on them.
Fret not! We have created this guide so you can clearly set things between you and your CL. This would make your confinement period a sweet dream you would happily reminisce later on instead of a nightmare! Before deciding on whether you should bring in a confinement nanny into your home, do go over these aspects first.
Part-time vs full-time
This should be decided between you and your partner but is worth mentioning here regardless. First of all, does your partner work? If they do, you might have to divide the days between your partner. Divide the days equally on who should get up in the middle of the night to tend to your crying baby. Or better, simply take turns every night.
If both of you feel like that is tough to be done, you may opt for a full-time confinement lady. If you are able to pump more breast milk, the CL will take care of your baby completely. Given the situation that you need to breastfeed directly, your nanny will normally stay by your side through it and later put your baby to sleep. If your CL can produce breast milk, you can give her permission to breastfeed or produce milk for your little one. Regardless, you will certainly get longer and better night’s sleep.
Some parents, however, do not like a stranger living in their home, especially having them around at bedtimes. Thus, they would opt for part-time nannies who have working hours similar to office hours. They would come in the morning, perform their duties, and go back. However, this also means there wouldn’t be anyone else around at night.
If you do not want to depend on your mom or mother-in-law, get a confinement nanny. Many women do not like to rely on either their mother-in-law or their own mother. That is totally understandable – imagine disagreeing on how you would like to live your life after birth. It is also crucial to know what exactly do you need help with – be it in boosting the newborn’s growth, getting assistance in your postnatal recovery, or simply wanting someone who’s in the know around you at all times. Even better, set the chores & schedule for your nanny.
Your expectations towards the confinement nanny
Learn their past experience, knowledge, and skills (related to training & certs of agency’s nannies). Find a confinement nanny that is skilled in doing what they do. Just like how you would not go for an unlicensed doctor, you should treat a confinement nanny the same way. You would not want to be stuck for about a month after going through delivery following confinement rules you do not agree with. Some of them even have certifications in personal care services which can benefit you immensely. Some confinement nanny agencies provide herbal packages in their package, so it is definitely in your best interest if your confinement lady knows how to prepare a proper bath or perform massage on you.
Lifestyle after Birth
Several confinement practices can help ease your recuperation journey, but you CAN keep a modern lifestyle and your nanny should understand and adapt. That is why mutual respect is important. Plus, some confinement practices are not all that bad, you see. Agencies like PEM train their nannies to be able to provide a variety of both traditional and fusion dishes so new moms will not be served with traditional food every day. Getting a CL from an agency will spare you headaches in the future – there will normally be a number of replacements if your nanny does not suit you. If you are going for a freelance CL, you don’t have any other option but to stick with her through the whole month.
If you are mostly going to be alone after delivery, having such a supportive companion will ease your postpartum period tremendously. Then again, what CAN you do to ensure that you will not find a nanny that will worsen your early postpartum period? Start by listing out your requirements and expectations.
If you are looking for one while you are pregnant, you have extra time to talk to them. Now, the problem with this is that if you reach out to a single freelance confinement nanny, they might not be able to live up to your expectations. Hence, under such circumstances, going to the agencies would be highly in your favour. Make the right choice and you may get a Chinese confinement lady who will make your confinement feel like a sweet dream (instead of a long, draggy nightmare)!