Confinement period. Is it 1 month, 90 days, 30 days or 28 days?
Different people tells me different things about confinement and usually it is supposed to be one month and for some approximately 90 days. However, after I had engaged my confinement lady, I realized that they will only work for exactly 28 days which I was like…. “WHAAAT???”
Mind you they are definitely not cheap and so-called one month becomes 28 days. So I asked “WHY?” and the answer I got was that they will use the shortest month in the calendar – which will be their so-called one month!
I consider myself pretty lucky as I got a good confinement lady and she was also charging us reasonably at RM4,500.00 (inclusive of ang pow). After I had spoken to numerous people and their experiences with confinement ladies, my advice would be:
- Make sure you book your confinement lady after you have passed your first trimester (pregnancy) – most of them (the good ones) are fully booked if you wait till last minute. If your EDD is near Chinese New Year, please note that some confinement lady does not work during CNY and some charges double
- Make sure that the confinement lady that you are booking is recommended from someone who has used her before and can share with you their experience such as – whether she cooks well and if her food are yummy, does she help out a bit with housework, does she support breastfeeding mother, etc.
- Do pay the deposit if requested as this will provide security to both sides. Sometimes, it is not the confinement lady that should be worried we will not hire them last minute, but we are also worried that they will not appear when the time comes! I have 2 friends who experienced last minute unavailability from their confinement lady; usually their excuse is because they are unwell but they can’t be bothered to inform you until the day you are delivering your baby!! *such irony*
- Decide up-front with your husband or family members (that are staying with you) the arrangement with the confinement lady. Sometimes, the mommy will sleep with confinement lady and baby in one room so that they do not disturb the daddy that needs to go to work and sometimes baby sleeps with confinement lady and will wake mommy during feeding time and some mommy just leaves baby with confinement lady all night (mommy will pump milk or baby will take formula milk). The reason to decide this earlier on is so that you can prepare the space/room for the confinement lady and also minimal interruption during your confinement period
- Who buys the food? If you know what you want, you can do the groceries and all confinement lady need to do is cook. Otherwise, you can bring them out to the market every week and they will buy what’s necessary and cook for you!
- Before the confinement lady comes, you can go to any herbs shop to buy the necessary herbs for confinement period.. Simplest would be to ask them to pack for you the package for 1 month. You can refer to the link provided to get the basic care from Eu Yan Sang. Otherwise, I have also attached a photo that you can show to any herbal shop. The quantity listed in the photo is slightly more than normal, so you can ask the shop to advice you accordingly. Link to Eu Yan Sang website
So far, I am pretty pleased and happy with my confinement lady – she arrived on the day we are discharged from the hospital (she took a bus from Pahang) and all we need to do was pay for her cab fare to our condo. She is quite hands-on the moment she arrived! More on my confinement lady in my next post! Her name is Aunty Lee.