WELCOME to my blog.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chinese Way of Confinement Care (Postnatal Care)

A Confinement Nanny

The main duty of a confinement nanny is basically to ensure the mommi is well rested and the newborn is well taken care of which includes taking over household duties such as laundry, cleaning of the house as well as cooking healthy confinement food for the mommi to ensure fast recovery.  At the same time, providing guidance & support on how to care for her newborn.

When we first had Gabb, we didn't managed to hire a confinement lady to take care of my needs during the first month after delivery.  Reason was, I started looking for one only after my first trimester.  I thought that would be a sensible time to start hiring one when things are stable.  Oh boy I was wrong!  Apparently, they are booked 9 months in advance if not earlier.  So basically, the moment you tested yourself positive, the first person you call is the -----> CONFINEMENT NANNY.  Not your hubby.  :p

This time round, I thought I out-smarted the system.  I called the confinement lady first before anyone else the moment I tested positive.  We agreed on her fees and I gave her my estimated due date.  All was well until 3 months later, she called to say she can't help me cause my two weeks earlier confirmed c-sec date (cause I am going for c-sec) clashed with another job she accepted.   I smelled something fishy.  Two weeks is not a big difference.  Found out later she accepted another job paying in SGD. *%$#$

And so I decided that I will never ever hire another confinement nanny even if I were to have another dozen of babies (really, it was just anger talking!).  Why should I subject myself to the mercy of others?  More so at the mercy of someone I am paying RM3.5k - RM4.5k excluding RM800 angpow to care for me?!  I must be mad.  Logic-less.

Seriously, it is not that hard to DIY our confinement.  Just dont think too complicated.  Actual fact, it is pretty simple.  Here are some tips and hope it helps new mothers who stumbled upon my blog:

1) Nutritious confinement meals: If you have a mom around to help, confinement herb packages for 24 days are available in most TCM shop with prices ranging from RM399 - RM999 complete with instruction.  Also, get a confinement recipes book for meals.  If you do not have anyone to help, just cater from confinement food caterers.

2) Confinement drinks: Some believe that new mothers are only allowed to drink red dates water or rice water.  Just pre-packed all those herbs in the fridge, get hubby to throw them into a slower cooker set on timer to boil every night.  Rice water are easier.  Pour hot water into thermos with 3-4 tablespoons of pre-prepared rice (washed, dried & roasted in wok) and voila!  You can alternate between the two types of drinks.  I on the other hand, drank plain water as well.  :p

3) Bathing herbs: To make life easier, get a big electric kettle at your floor (if u stay in double/triple storey home).  Put a kettle-full water to boil with one packet of those herbs came in 'teabag style' (bigger).  Once boiled, mixed it with a bucket of lukewarm water.  These bathing herbs are also readily available in most TCM shops.  Please dont tell me no-bathing for a month nonsense.  We are in Malaysia with 40 deg Celsius on average.  Not winter in China.

4) Avoid catching a chill:  Wrap yourself in a thick towel bathrobe before stepping out of the shower cubicle.  Down a pack of DOM to warm your body internally.  Dry your hair and etc. wait till you are totally dry and warm, then changed into your clothes (long sleeves, long pants & socks).  Another option for washing hair would be to head out for the salon.  Tell them you are in confinement and ask for a quick wash & blow dry. :)

5) Laundry: If washing machine is too tedious, there is always a launderette.  Just get hubby to drop it off.  

6) Disposable undies:  It's a blessing.  No need to worry about washing stained undies.  Just throw it away after wear.

7) Feeding/Burping/Swaddling/Bathing baby: Anything concerning baby care, you can always youtube it.  Plenty of good teachers out there.    

8) Postnatal massages: You can always signed up packages at beauty & spa centers who provide postnatal care or you can always engage a Malay Masseur to drop by at home which will probably cost approximately RM70/hour excluding 'bengkung' (body binding services).

9) Sleep in aircond/no aircond : I slept with aircond turned to 25 deg celsius and not directly blowing at me.  As long as the room is cool, it is good enough.  Better with a cool room than a fan blowing full blast.  Due to hormonal changes, you will tend to sweat a lot.  Just ensure that you are changed into dry clothes at all time to avoid catching a cold.

10) Heat pad: This is additional.  A girlfriend gotten me a heat pad with regulated temperature of approximately 2'x2' to sleep on.  I thought it is rather useful.  It kept my spine warm or soothe my aching shoulder from all those breastfeeding.

And last but not least, 

11) A positive outlook & a mantra: This is the most important.  Tell yourself... "It is just a baby. Easy peasy!" :)  hehehehe....

Really, the services rendered by a confinement nanny is overrated.  It is really not that hard.  I had a c-sec and I survived taking care of myself as well as baby Gabb.  You just need to be a little more cautious in things you do, taking care of your wound and etc :)  Be sensitive to your body needs and rest whenever you can!

We have no confinement nanny with Gabb and we survived.  Mom was around to help with the meals. This time round, we not only have mom but Ella as well (our Pinoy helper).  I don't see how we can't cope at a ratio of 4 adults to 2 infants!  Lols...

Good luck & enjoy your little bundle of joy!  Believe me, it is a beautiful experience. 

Disclaimer: All photos courtesy from original producer.  Googled from internet.  None are my own photos.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Announcement: Yes, we did it again!

Yes, we did it again.  Special package arriving in October 2014.

Photo taken on 17.8.2014 when I was 7 months 2 weeks.  Now, I am 8 months 1 week!

This is what prompted the tidying up of Gabb's drawer.  About time to get ready for the second bundle of joy!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Happy Mid Autumn Festival

Being a Malaysian living in Malaysia, we really do not know much about the significant of all Chinese festival or cultures.  Yes, we do know the story behind each festival, but really?  The culture of celebrations are usually passed down from our forefathers who had travelled to this land decades ago.

We will be celebrating Mid Autumn Festival tomorrow.  It's falls on the15th day of the 8th months of our lunar calendar.   But really, in Malaysia, we do not have autumn nor spring, summer, winter.  Same tropical weather all year round!  What mid autumn?  Hehehe...

Anyway, our definition of mid autumn will be these: Mooncakes, pameloes, lanterns, plenty of candles and of course the extra large round moon up in the night sky.  Lols...

Decided to make our own Mooncakes this year since can't get one that agree with my taste buds!  A little too sweet though, but what the heck!

Made two types, jelly ones with mango jelly filling & snow skin with lotus paste filling.  Not very pretty but I think passable!

Wishing everyone near & far a blessed Mid Autumn Festival!