After the hard work of giving birth to a baby, a woman must rejuvenate and take care of her body so that she will get back to optimum health. The chinese often have what is called a lived-in confinement lady to look after both the mother and baby for up to a month after birth. Some of the basic duties of a confinement lady as published in the Peiling website (a confinement care services company in Malaysia) includes the following:
- Food preparation for Confinement mother
- Baby care (Day & Night)
- Laundry for confinement mother & baby
- Cleaning & washing kitchen area & utensils
- Light household chores - Sweeping / vacumming the floor daily & mopping twice a week (optional)
- Cooking dinner & laundry for husband (optional)
Sounds ideal doesn't it? But the price does not come cheap. In fact, you could even say its quite a norm to hire a confinement lady for help post partum. Both my sisters did, as well as my cousins and friends who had babies before me. So, when hubby and I announced that we weren't going to hire one, everyone expressed shocked and said we weren't going to make it caring for our own newborn alone. We didn't have any other help ie no experienced mums or mums-in-law.
In fact, I too was apprehensive at first when hubby first told me about his dislike for hiring an outsider to look after our baby for us. He is a man who guards his privacy most carefully. However, hubby was quite persuasive so in the end I relented and I must say I have no regrets that I did.
It was very tough looking after our newborn without any extra help. Being a first time mother with no experience and no one to turn to, the internet became our main source of information and guide. However I must say that after getting through the difficult early weeks that there is no better experience than doing it yourself. Plus we have the added bonus of bonding with the baby during the early days. Hubby became extra understanding with the tasks since he had no choice but to help out and he now recalls those early days with great fondness.
For our second, again we were advised to hire a confinement lady since we now have an older toddler to look after as well but again, we went against everyone's advise. We were now more confident parents and involving our toddler in every process of bringing the baby home with as little changes as possible helped her to accept the new baby much more easily.
As usual I get carried away writing and my blog posts end up a mile long. So I'm going to leave the story about how we coped with a newborn during the early days for another post.Pin It