Having a confinement nanny gives the new mother, the much-needed support to ease into motherhood with the new baby. This helps reduce the risk of depression and blues and allows the mummy to have a proper rest.
So, whether it’s your first or subsequent baby, it is always good to have an additional pair of hands to help you along your confinement period.
We invited Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Obstetrician & Gynecologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Editor-in-Chief of Pregnancy Singapore, to share more about the benefits of having a confinement nanny.
What is the confinement period and why is it important for the mother?
Confinement is a very Asian culture when the mother recuperates from her delivery (whether natural or C-section). The Chinese mums typically practises 28-30 days, Malay mums, 44 days and Indian mums, 40 days.
What does a confinement nanny do?
A confinement nanny helps to look after the newborn baby for the first month. She also attends to the welfare of the mother, especially her diet. The nanny cooks nutritious confinement meals and prepares herbal baths, which is believed to help the new mum recover from the physical stress of pregnancy and delivery.
The nanny will feed the baby if the mummy is not breastfeeding exclusively, as well as bathe and baby-sit the newborn.
If she is accredited for infant CPR, that would be added bonus! She should also be well versed to pick up post-natal blues, so that she can alert the family and the depressed mom can seek urgent medical attention.
Who can be considered a confinement nanny?
In some families, their own relatives, parents, husbands or even domestic helpers are the confinement nanny, this could be an option that is most cost-effective.
Most importantly, they need to be able to support the new mother’s recovery and take care of the newborn’s needs. To be able to cook confinement food is a bonus, but there are always tingkat food options available.
“My husband did my confinement for me, although he is Indian, he made the effort to learn how to cook Chinese confinement food, prepared what was needed to ensure I was well taken care of. Seeing how he cares for me, our 2 older sons and our newborn daughter, made me very happy.” ~ Camille, mummy of 3
“My mum did my confinement for me as I was living with her. She was a great help, especially during the night when my baby was inconsolable. I didn’t know what to do, my mum took over and my baby immediately calmed down. I guess my baby could sense my anxiousness and stress, and having a veteran mum by my side helped both me and my baby.” ~Rose, mummy of 2
The more common option is to hire a confinement nanny from an agency or freelance confinement nannies.
Ideally, who you choose as your baby caregiver, should get their up to date vaccinations to protect your baby against infections. Your baby is vulnerable to infections as he/her immune system is developing.
Feeling luxurious? Did you know there are confinement centres in Singapore?
When is the right time to find a confinement nanny
Start by discussing with your spouse when you first confirm your pregnancy and decide on the confinement plans before deciding to engage in postnatal care options.
If you are considering getting your own relative or family members to do your confinement, you should let them know as soon as you are ready to announce your pregnancy to them.
If you are considering hiring a confinement nanny, consider the interview duration and the document application process and work backwards from your due date, don’t delay as you have to always be prepared for the unexpected (e.g. early birth, confinement nannies on high demand).
We secured our confinement nanny at gestation week 12 as we didn't want to trouble our parents with the confinement. We were also afraid that if we delayed the engagement of the confinement nanny, there would be a shortage of nannies by the time we welcome our little one in Sep 2022.~ Nicholas and Trina
Overall, I would suggest securing your confinement help by the first trimester once the pregnancy is stabilised. The popular nannies would be snatched up real fast!
How to hire a confinement nanny?
If you are getting a freelance confinement nanny, recommendations from close family or friends are always the best and most reliable. You can also put up a job application online. Do remember to do background checks and check out their reviews if available, it would be best if you can meet her before engaging. Even a phone discussion is good to assess her communication and experience. Not all confinement nannies are able to speak English so do your homework beforehand.
If the freelance nanny is from Malaysia, you are required to apply and pay for her work permit through MOM which costs $35, a monthly levy of $60 for newborn Singaporean citizens, transportation and other related costs. These costs are on top of the salaries that you will need to pay for her. You can apply for a special nanny work permit with the Ministry of Manpower for up to 16 weeks if you decide to extend her help.
If you are hiring from an agency, you won’t have the hassle of applying for the necessary documents but you will have to pay for their services.
Here are some confinement nanny agencies:
I Love Children would like to thank Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye for his valuable input.
Supported by www.pregnancy.com.sg