Is Confinement Lady Really Necessary?

These days confinement ladies (CL)ย are charging exorbitantly.ย  I called up a few CLs today and most of them are quite demanding, monetarily and in other areas.ย  Most of them would only want to accept the job if :

1) You don’t stay in a double-storey house (coz most of them have problems climbing up the stairs due to pain in their legs)

2) You have a maid at home, so they don’t have to do so much washing.

3) Your mother or MIL are not staying with you so that they have more freedom and can rule the roost! Who likes having another old lady breathing down their neck when they work, right?

4) You pay them more than RM2700 for only 28 days plus an ang pow of course.

5) They have their own room to sleep and don’t have to sleep with anyone else except the baby.

I called up Pei Ling Confinement House and they are charging RM2880 for their CLs.

Hearing these, I am really considering if it’s really necessary to have a CL. I just need someone to cook for me, bathe my 2 kids plus the baby and to change the baby’s diapers at night and clean up the baby after she has poo pooed in the middle of the night. I can consider getting catered confinement food but what about my 3 kids? Who is going to bathe them and this time, I will not wet my hands anymore during my confinement period.

When I was in confinement after delivering Alycia, I was so eager and excited to be a first time mum that I did many things myself though I had a CL. I wet my hands with cold tap water even in the middle of the night. In the 2nd month, I had very bad Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on both my arms till I could not even hold a baby bottle or open the door. I also had bad bronchitis which lasted 2-3 months until I saw a heart surgeon. The Chinese would say that I had ‘yup foong’ or ‘wind has entered my body’ during my confinement. I never believed these old wives’ tales until I suffered myself.

Part of me still wants a CL lady very much but I just can’t stand their list of demands. I don’t meet most of their demands except that I have a maid and I don’t really mind paying RM2700.

For those of you who did not have a CL and have more than 1 child at the time you delivered your baby, do you mind sharing with me how you coped? Was it stressful? If you have to go through it again, would you have hired a CL this time despite the price of getting one?

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20 thoughts on “Is Confinement Lady Really Necessary?

  1. These are the ladies you contacted from the contacts in ally’s blog? I hope you would be able to find one that’s good. I think you really need one so that you can have a good rest. If not, could your MIL help you?

  2. Barb… no, from another list. I managed to get one from Ally’s list but she’s charging RM3k! Freaking expensive!! I have to pay her RM500 as deposit. Don’t know if she can be trusted or not. What if something bad happens to her and she can’t work for me? What will happen to my RM500. I wonder if it’s the norm to pay so much as deposit.

  3. Get the maid to bath the kids. Train her up before you deliver. I suppose your MIL will be happy to help out. I will be very pai seh to get my MIL to help, but I know if she were to stay with me, she will volunteerily offer to bath the kids and change the baby (but maybe not as frequent as my mum did)

    CL now really very par pai …

  4. Elaine…my mil can help a bit but at night when my bb poops, i still hv to clean her up and I am really terrified of ‘yup foong’ again.

  5. My MIL helped with the cooking when i was having Chloe as i’m staying with her during confinemnt. When I had Phoebe earlier this year, KW’s at home for 1 whole month, so he took care of Chloe and other hosehold chores while i concentrated on Phoebe alone. We did not engage any CL’s as it’s soo expensive and MIL is still cooking for us every few days during that period and we have few close friends who cooked for us too. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Couldn’t have go through that period without all those help.

    Perhaps you could train up your maid on helping with cleaning up the baby as well? Under your supervision of course…

  6. I did not have CL for both my babies. I do not have a maid, MIL, mother or any other older person to help accept my husband. He is my confinement man. We catered confinement food and the rest we handled ourselves. Hubby took 2 weeks off work to help. I don’t bathe the baby at all. I just do topping and tailing ie sponging and bathe baby once a week only with hubby’s help. After the confinement food catering was over, I survived by eating tapau economy rice for dinner which hubby bought everyday and I reheated for lunch the next day for myself. I did not do any cooking or housework and concentrated only on the kids. Thats how I coped! At least you have the maid to help out.

    Like Elaine said, train the maid to bathe the kids during this period. As for cleaning babies poo, perhaps you could use warm boiled water to wash your hands after you clean baby. Get the maid to prepare the warm water for you.

  7. Kerry and Mumsgather…. you both are so lucky your hubby is willing to help out. Mine is too busy with his catering biz and when he’s back, he just wants to rest.

    Mumsgather…. my hats off to you! I don’t think I can do it like you.

    Lovely Mummy…. it would be really good to hv a CL but the cost of hiring one is really killing!

  8. Don’t worry, dear. I’m only too glad to help out during your confinement. Remember, I gave up teaching, to standby just in case you need me. So, take care of yourself and BB now, and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy till April. I’ll be there at the hospital for the birth day, like when you delivered Alycia and Sherilyn. Cheer up and God Bless You!

  9. Hey Shireen,

    I’m so happy to read your mum’s comment ๐Ÿ˜€ See, you don’t have to worry anymore. Mum is here and there is nothing like having your own mother to help you during the precious month ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. My anuty help me up on my 1st bb, but too be honest i will get a good CL when i had 2nd baby . CL which introduced by frens or some one had hired b4, so they know how far and how good she is . But not easy to get too … must book very early. U r right, nowsday very Expensive la … + salary + angpow + all the expenses = ALOT . Anyway .. good luck to u .

  11. Well, I think having a CL helps alot. Eventhough mine was not up to my standards and quite problematic but at least better than nothing. Ended up my maid handled the baby more and the CL cooked and took care of me.

    You deserved good rest and good food for that period of time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. ur mom is there to safe the day ;)… worries liao lah. for me, if i’m giving birth 3rd one, i will sure get a cl cause my mil doesn’t practice any confinement at all, which scares me

  13. i never have hire a CL before.My hubby and MIL is the one taking care of everything.My hubby also did the bathing to me.We used to have a part time maid.I think that’s help alot too.I won’t waste such $$ to a CL for doing such basic things.I think it would better if you ask someone who is selling confinement food and deliver to your house and I think taking care of a bb is ok..cuz they sleep most of the time.Don’t worry everything will turn out fine!

  14. No Need CL lah. For my twins, i had my CL (my auntie) who charge me only RM2K (or else it would have een double for twins)..but most of the time just simple cooking as long as there’s ginger and those stuff good for blood circulation & expel “wind” which u can easily ask and get from chinese medical shop. Then my 2nd & rd child…I had my maid to cook for me, washing machine for nappies, I took unpay leave (in yur case , u don’t need to work).I breastfeed all my kids to 2 years, 8 months and 11/2 confinement lady not really needed to make milk when I’m sleeping coz babies slept with me.
    Your mum will be there for you. U might as well give her a good treat using the “confinement fees:.
    Enjoy ur pregnancy. Pray evertg will be fine, fren.

  15. If your hubby can help you, I think you don’t need one. Me my hubs help me with the elder one to take bath and do all the necessary stuffs. I understand sometimes CL is sucks. Charge so high price and the food is sucks too. I think I can cook better than her after the 1st experience from my 1st delivery.

    Can you get your mom to help or your maid or any of your neighbour aunty aunty that can help. Just pay them about RM800 to come over to take bath for the babies, hang clothes, washing , for about 1/2 day she can cabut la. Hope this will helps.

  16. since you have your mum and maid there, so i think they can do the rest for you.

    i even wet my hand the first day after i delivered, and so far i am ok with it and dont have any problem.

  17. Yeah! Mum always the best. I not hire any CL too during confinement for both babies. My mum is helping me for cooking & take care my 1st boy and maid for cleaning. I need to take care my daughter as well at night because my mum only able to take care one of them.

    For the washing issue, just use clove whenever you need to touch water. I only use hot water and dry it fast . So far no problems for me.

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