Diam la! Ownself will confine ownself.
Executive summary: we were recommended a confinement nanny through a friend. However, since our boy was NICU for another 3 weeks, confinement nanny had nothing much to do and ultimately we fired her around the 10th day. wow that was short.
Read on to find out how what confinement nanny thing is really about, what will happen, the true cost, and how you can actually do it without a confinement nanny.
Where did this confinement nanny thing come from?
I am told by my village elder (ya, only 1 left) that this was a practice from long time ago in China. When a lady produced a MALE HEIR for their family line, she would be rewarded with a companion. How this word companion became ‘confinement’ and how the peer-like relationship became ‘nanny’ I also don’t know. This companion was most likely a servant from the house of a lady of a lower socio-economic class who would be with the new mummy to help her with the pain, and hygiene factors.
If we lived in 11th century China, here are a couple of considerations:
- probably no running water/ clean water. Baths were taken by the river or something.
- chinese medicine doesn’t have a suture/stitching equivalent.
- mothers typically gave birth at home with a midwife. Not a 1st world medical facility like the ones we have today.
Since water gross, and no suturing was available, newborn mothers had to give time for their birth scar to dry. When she did want to bathe, it had to be in clean water that would help shrink the scar – this was the benefit of pomelo-leaf herb water thing.
But this really isn’t the case anymore.
Welcome to 2016.
Why did you fire your confinement nanny after 10 days
Hey hey hey – technically, she fired herself. During the short time that she was here, we had to pay her, plus foot her bills. Bills like:
- Eating 1 whole pomfret for every meal on her own, whilst we had to share one
- Bathing 3 times a day, while telling wifey that she can’t bathe, and complains that ‘wow the weather is so hot’
- Regular going-out trips. WTF – I’m not paying for your holiday in Singapore ok.
- Serving the pre-packed confinement soups in the wrong order. Because she was not able to read.
- Suddenly invented her own confinement rules out of the blue.
Guys – confinement nannies are the primary cause of post-partum depression. Save yourself the trouble (and money) and DIY.
If you must get a confiment nanny, here are 2 options:
Option 1: Have a super specific purpose of why the confinement nanny is coming. Don’t assume that she’s going to be your best friend and helping you do stuff all the time. Write up a job scope. This is what I propose.
Primary Job Function – To help wifey rest for the first month, by taking care of the baby and cooking and help the wife if asked. (Nagging not required)
- Feed the baby
- Change the baby diaper
- Cook the confinement soups and meals
- Cook a little extra for the daddy
- Take care of the older kids if they are around
- Impart childcare tips to the new mum
- Helpout with basic house chores
- Help the wife get around (or c-sec cases) and shower
- DO NOT – nag, stop me from my 21st century lifestyle, go out as you please, invent folklore to confuse new parents, become a second Mother-In-Law.
If you must terminate, the fees are on a per-day basis and she does not need to have any other special payout from you such as boat-fees, or bonus, or what crap. Any angpow you want to give is up to you. No minimums. We gave $80 at the start, and $18 at the end.
Recommended Option 2 : Ownself confine Ownself.
- Do away with the confinement nanny. Instead, hire a helper (and if you don’t have the quota, get regular house cleaner from one of these services like Kaodim or helping).
- For confinement food, don’t buy the ones from the chinese herbal shops. If you do, you will pay significantly more in time and utilities to prepare them. Instead, order from one of the confinement food delivery options around.
- You’ve paid a a lot of money to the medical professionals for their medical expertise. Ask them about all the confinement myths and which should apply to your situation.
- Drink water, produce breast milk, play with baby, and shower whenever you feel like it.
- Enjoy your newborn experience without the last 15000 years of out-dated traditions bogging down your mood. That backache probably started during pregnancy, and has nothing to do with your confinement – go get a sports massage and you’ll feel fine in 2-3 days.
The hidden cost of confinement nannies:
$2500 – 3000 for the nanny ( 1 month )
$300 for prepacked soups
$300 for other herbal stuff (red dates tea ingredients and cooking condiments)
$200 per week on ingredients (FYI – YAO ROU is just PORK FILLET. If you order YAO ROU, its at a 20-40% more cost. Pork fillets are exactly the same cut but in a thicker slice)
$100 extra utilities (for the extra ac, water, electricity usage)
$1000000000000 undue stress caused to the wifey when the nanny becomes a pain.