Thursday, 19 July 2007


The one thing on our minds now is what are we going to do with the confinement.

There are many options out there but the only 3 available to us at this point in time are:

1) To hire a live-in maid and the Mrs will do her own confinement with the maid's help

2) To move in with her mum for the first month since she has a wealth of experience and also a maid

3) To simply do our own confinement with my help and no maid

Personally I prefer for the Mrs to do her confinement at home because this way I can spend more time with her and Baby. I am not able to stay there with her because besides my mum-in-law (MIL), there are also other occupants such as my dad-in-law, brother-in-law with his wife, their baby and a maid, Lily, living there. All 3 rooms are already occupied. Furthermore I have to go home and feed our dog also.

The Mrs would like to do it at home too because she cannot imagine not being able to shower for a month. My MIL is very particular about this. She has 3 daughters-in-law and all of them had to skip showers. They were only allowed to wipe themselves with wet cloths.

Actually there was this incident that was rather amusing. When my 2nd SIL who is a Canadian gave birth here years ago, my MIL told her that she could not shower when she got home. A Sister Nurse happened to pass by heard her comment, came in and demanded to know who said that. She was rather fierce and she chided everyone in the room that my 2nd SIL must be allowed to shower.

Anyway back to us. We are leaning more towards option 3. If we can do without a maid then it will be good as we get to keep our privacy and at the same time save some money. We are thinking of bringing Baby to my MIL's place and she and Lily can help look after both Baby and my nephew who is 6 months old. Then we will pick Baby up and go home everyday after work. This is subject to my BIL's agreeing of course since he hired Lily to look after his own son.

If this can be arranged then we do not have to hire a maid (but will pay Lily extra for her help) then the only outstanding thing is the confinement.

Actually I feel our main problem is with food for the Mrs because as it is she has not been doing housework for sometime already. No, I'm not complaining Dear.

We have a part-time helper who comes in twice a week to clean the place and iron her clothes. All my shirts and pants are sent out for ironing. Yes, I can't iron very well. T-shirts and Polo-Tees no problem but work shirts is another matter altogether. The throwing of clothes into the washing machine is done by me these days so come to think of it we only need someone to look after Baby and cook for the Mrs during the confinement period.

Thankfully my working place and hours are rather flexible so I foresee myself coming home early to look after the 2 of them. I can go into office late too which means I can prepare all the necessary stuffs in the morning and then come back like 4pm to check on them.

As I can't cook my main concern is the confinement food for the Mrs. We may end up ordering confinement food for the whole month which is still cheaper then getting a maid or engaging a confinement lady. Our confinement period should be January next year so from what I understand these confinement ladies are asking for an arm and a leg as it is close to Chinese New Year. Besides, their wages do not cover the ingredients that we have to buy in order for her to cook.

I know there are daddies who did the confinement with their wives so some input from you guys will be helpful. However I have this strong feeling you are all able to cook right? In any case although my work hours are flexible I will not be able to go to work late, come back and prepare lunch then go back to work again before finally coming home by 4-ish.

What about you ladies? What are your thoughts? Any other options that we can explore?


missmoon said...

i'm becoming a regular here!!

i think the best thing to do is to go with what you and Mrs feel most comfortable with. if you're helping with confinement, then perhaps it makes sense to order tingkat (confinement food for Mrs, and perhaps normal food for urself?) because believe me, you and Mrs will be really very busy with bb throughout the day.

imagine this: every 3hourly feed bb, sterilise bottles, bathe bb, clean poo, laundry for Mrs and bb, tend to bb. this may or may not happen every 3 hourly but it seems like that to me! less than 3 hours maybe. sleep is almost non-existent. let's not forget the midnite feeds!!! if breastfeeding on demands, it's really tiring too.

i remember my 1st month confinement. even with my mom's help, i lacked sleep and proper rest because i'd fret and tend to bb's every single cry. 1st child syndrome? maybe.

i still feel that you need someone around the house during the day when you're not with the Mrs. She needs her rest too, very important because she needs to rebuild her strength from the childbirth!

okok, that's all from me for now.

Lionel n Rachel said...

hi..still remember me...anyway..just some info. i tink having a confinement lady wld be very helpful...they are all usually very professional & experience ( with of cos..some blacksheeps)..put dat aside.

their main priority is the mum & bb. they wld look after the bb 24 hrs with care,feed the baby, wash his/her clothes, bath the baby, change his/her diapers...etc for the mum, to cook for her confinement dishes, look after her general well being, cook longan/red dates tea everyday (a must for mummies to drink, etc...

hehe...i am also doing my onfinement 2nd child - a ger whom i gave birth to on 17 Jul. my CL is very good & experience & easy going as well...

however, if u still prefer of havin someone close to you to help, then the next option wld be either ur mil or do it urself...but doin it urself, just like wat cynthia have gonna be tedious...not to mention food, looking after bb itself is gonna tear urself away from everything, even work.


Trina said...

Did i read that you plan to leave baby with ur MIL during the day, even during confinement period? Pls dont do that! This will give Mrs a chance to start taking care of the baby, and not be nervous later on. Also, if she intends to breastfeed, this arrangement will not work. Although infants feed often, they sleep alot too. abt midnight feeds, well, that's part of the parenting rituals to go through, but after a while, Mrs will enjoy and treasure the night feeds cos it's an intimate moment in the quietness of the night.

I did my own confinement without maid. My hb was able to take extended leave, so he cooked for us. Simple dishes of steamed fish, stirfry veggies, and soup from crockpot. you can substitute with catered confinement food. during weekends, my parents will bring over the more complicated dishes like pig trotters in vinegar, that can last over a few days too.

since u've got housework covered, then shld be quite manageable for mrs to handle baby (although may fumble a bit at the beginning). and she gets to bathe!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina,

No, what i meant was leaving Baby with my MIL during the day after the 3 months maternity leave.

The Mrs will have to go back to work so instead of hiring a maid, we are considering leaving Baby with my MIL.


You are scaring me with the every 3 hour bit. The Mrs have to consider can she manage Baby when I'm back at work. Laundry and bathing Baby can wait till i'm back but the feeding and tending to the crying will probably drain her.

Hi Rachael,

Of course I remember. How can I forget you ladies who left valuable comments and advices here?

Looks like we have to seriously look into engaging a confinement lady.

Congratulations on your baby girl!

Will keep you all informed of our decision. We still have some months to go.

Anonymous said...

Hi... me again.
I did my confinement at my mom's place (yes we, my hubby and I shifted there for 1 month). but i had the luxury of doing so because only my parents are in the house.

anyway we did engage a CL as well cos eh my mom a bit rusty as to what to cook etc.

Anonymous said...

oops, message got cut off

... even with my mom and the CL, time was never enough and they are always busy with things... Like what Cynthia said the feeds always seems shorter than the 3 hrs period and sleep is a luxury...

so for first timer, its always good to have extra helping hands around the house...

but be warned: because CL is somewhat a stranger, some things you and the MRS need to close one eye lah...

missmoon said...

oops! not my intention to paint such a scary picture but it was that way with me because i expressed out rather than latch on. that kept me busy all the time lah. plus i had a colicky baby then. heh.

yep, it's draining. sleep is non-existent as it is... so i'd say it's tough caring for bb alone during the 3 months maternity. maybe have help for 1st month, so the mrs has sufficient rest and recuperate the body and then DIY 2nd and 3rd month with your help? just thinking out loud.

sorry for the scare, huh

Anonymous said...

hi cynthia,
hey i was also expressing out cos bb can't latch on well...

i dont think you painted a scary picture.. but trying to show that it may not be that easy afterall... better to paint scary pictures and get prepared then to have a beautiful picture and caught off guard with the "extra" stuf...

Ya first month rest is very important esp for the MRS... must "tiao yang" properly

F A I T H said...

I totally agree with cynthia and happyhour. I wanted to do my own confinement initially but went ahead to get a CL when my MIL asked me too. Thank God I had the CL. Being first time mom, there's so much to learn! Even my hubby learnt a lot from the CL. If only we had our maid arrived when the CL was still with us. She could have learnt a lot from the CL too. And I had a good rest, ate good food, learnt tips which really helped after the CL left. If I hadn't rested for the 1st month and get myself re-charged, I doubt I can survive the months which followed. I strongly recommend engaging a CL. But I suggest getting recommendation from friends/relatives.

Just to add on, my CL was "modern" enough in terms of her thinking to allow me to bathe with herbal water everyday. She didn't insist on "powder bath" which some of friend's CL did.


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Ladies,

After hearing from you all, it seems like we have to engage CL after all.

I will prefer the Mrs and Baby to be at home so will get a CL to come. But she must not be afraid of my dog. Ha ha ha

Alternatively to save money the Mrs will go to my MIL's place and I only see them for a few hours a day. :(

Before we make decision we will speak to this friend who did her own confinement singlehandedly. Her MIL brought food for her everyday but that was it. She did her own washing and looking after of baby until her husband came back after work.

Thinking back now, she seems to be one tough cookie.

Anonymous said...

since ur work timing is flexi can u take one month leave? my husband took one mth leave during my confinement and all we had was each other. mil came over first few days to help out with food and cleaning. hubby was great with cooking from confinement menus he found and teachings from mil. i really had a great time during my confinement. good food n tender loving care from hubby. he bathe baby for the whole month n took care of all loose ends and i concentrate on resting and feeding the baby. best thing we like was the absolute privacy with no outsiders. we bonded very closely during this time :)

Anonymous said...

Hey! i'm 1 of your regulars too!

I seriously dun think option 3 is gonna work out well speaking from experience.

I did my confinement with the help of my mum. She cooks, does the laundry and of coz takes care of my bb. However, she dun stays overnight with us as i wake up to breastfeed my baby. As much as i appreciate my mum's help, i do feel that its very tiring for her to travel to and fro my place and does all the chores for me.

Its very very very tiring after delivery, a feeling that no words can describes. Best is to order tingkat and hire a CL and you can do the simple chores yourself and leave the rest to the part time helper!

Anonymous said...

I dun mean to frighten you and Mrs but i heard of stories of mums who develop post natal blues when they can't handle their bbs. so its best to have someone around at all time to help Mrs out so that she can have plently of rest.

Lionel n Rachel said... name is not rachel...dat's my ger's name. its me yvonne! lionel/rachel just happen to the blog i did for my kids...wanna hv a look -

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Missy,

Yes, I know you. In fact I remember all of you readers who sign off after each comment. Although i may not remember all your actual names.

Hi Yvonne,

Ha ha Silly me. I do remember your blog name and in fact I do visit your blog regularly too.

Anyway I would like to thank you ladies.

I think what really sold me was Missy's warning about post natal blues.

In order not to risk the Mrs developing post natal blues I think I am now in favour of her having someone around to take care of Baby while she can have proper rest.

Trina said...

yup, going to MIL's after 3 months is definitely better than leaving baby alone with maid!

not to waver your decision again, but an unsuitable CL may make ur confinement period difficult too. Some CLs do not want to feed breastmilk at night cos they feel that formula is more filling (n baby sleeps longer), some not to ur hygiene standards, etc. Will be good to set up a list of requirements u expect of a CL, and get reliable recommendations. Better book early now since it'll be around CNY period.

For me, if i have to do confinement again, i'll still choose DIY. Bcos i enjoyed "total control" over how to manage my baby, and there was a sense of satisfaction that "I did it myself!".. haha..

Ok, there was 1 episode where i experienced "post-natal blues". One evening, baby was crying badly, and I felt so exasperated that I started crying n scolded baby for crying. Miraculously, baby stopped crying almost immediately. Though i did feel v guilty for scolding him. Dont recall any other time I felt "bad" during my 6 months at home.

Anonymous said...

yes yes, agreed with Trina that getting a CL is a tough one too! i've heard of CL who do things their way and who are not into breastfeeding. so if you decided to get one, do some research and thru words of mouth, get those who are hired by friends before and are higly recommended.

but i still believe its best to have someone who's always around to help out Mrs so that she can rest whenever she wants, be it a CL/mum/mum in law/yourself.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina & Missy,

Thanks for your latest input. Actually we have spoken to someone and she also said that we should get a CL that is "breastfeeding friendly".

We also know that some are rather insistent on their method.

So we will be making a list to ask the CL. We prefer someone who is modern and allow the Mrs to bathe.

CL to recommend, anyone? You can email me at


Anonymous said...


just to share, initially i was supposed to have my mum do my confinement (which she helped for 5 days) but due to my dad's illness i had to do the rest of the confinement on my own. Luckily i didn't have caesarean delivery. Though it was tiring, I appreciated being in my own home and privacy and bonding time with my hubby and baby (extra bonding cos when u see baby 24/7). At least i didn't have to fight with someone else over how to look after baby and hubby helped with the chores and we ordered tingkat normal food. Think confinement food is rather oily (a concern if your wife wants to lose wt quickly). I breastfeed on demand and that helped shed at least 2 kg for the 1st month. It's good to have some help, but you won't be at a loss if you don't have any.

Anonymous said...

forgot to add, i looked after myself and the baby for 3 weeks, breastfeeding on demand 1st 2-3days but trying to ensure feeding at least every 3 hrs to build up milk supply. Use of a breastpump can help with that so you won't need to resort to formula. I slept whenever the baby slept, and tried not to do too much - house was rather messy for a few weeks. and i did get to go downstairs for a few walks which helped ward off feelings of being 'trapped' in the house. So I didn't follow the confinement strictly, but hey everything's ok in the end. All the old women nowadays have arthritis even though they follow confinement practices! :P

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Adel,

Good point on the arthritis bit! ;)

The Mrs and I are really rather torn on whether or not to get a CL.

I actually think that we should be able to manage because I will be doing all the house work and all she has to do is feed Baby and sleep when Baby sleeps.

If we do it this way then we will be ordering tingkat.

The only problem here is I will be away from say about 10am till about 5pm so the Mrs will have to heat up her own lunch.

If she can manage these hours alone then our problem is solved. But we will not know until we try right?

The Mrs is also having problem finding a good CL for the time being.


Danny said...


I have done the confinement without maid or CL for my wife, and I think that's best.

Are you planning to BF your child? If that's very important to you, then be very very careful when choosing a CL. Most of the CL nowadays do not like BF employers, and they would discourage you to BF. Why, because they will be woken up many times, they would suggest you to supplement at night with formula and tell you it's ok, so that they can have better sleep. Before you go to work, you have to buy breakfast for her, then do marketing for her, so she can cook. And what she cook may not be taste well.

I am planning to put the confinement dishes I cooked for my wife on my blog, so by Jan, I should have quite a collection of it for you. Then you can cook for your wife!

Enjoy the process!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hey Danny,

Due to Chinese New Year the CL will charge very high plus the confinement period may have to be shortened, we will most likely be opting to stay with either my mum or her mum.

I must buy breakfast for the CL?!?!? I was hoping she can buy for me when she goes marketing! Ha Ha

I saw your blog on the food. Base on looks alone you have full marks from me already.

Thanks for thinking of me when you post the confinement dishes in your blog but I do not think the Mrs trust me enough to want me to cook for her. Ha Ha Ha

Anyway you take care of your Mrs and cute Yasmin.


Anonymous said...


Just came across your blog today so am reading it for the first time now.

A word of advice that I got from friends who had given birth--two things not to stinge on:

(a) get a confinement nanny (I hear is good. I signed up with them too after several good reviews); and

(b) a good breast pump

Oh, another thing. I did Hypnobirthing classes with Ginny at Four Trimesters and I highly recommend it! =)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hey there,

Thanks for visiting and leaving your feedback.

a) I think we have more or less settled that. We should be either engaging my mum or her mum's help.

b) We have not really looked into that. Seems like you know which one is good. I will really appreciate your suggestions.

The Mrs is having second thoughts about attending HynoBirthing classes but I will get her to go. Learn to relax if not for anything else.

You keep reading ya? And do leave a name in future so I know it's you again.


endofsinglehood said...

Hi, its me, the one who left the anon feedback the last round.

Yeah, its good to keep an open mind. Was initially rather skeptical too with the earth mama and hocus pocus stuff, but the classes really benefitted me and the hubby.

Do let me know if you need help in choosing b-pumps and other super-waste-money but no-choice-have-to-buy baby stuff!
Always glad to be of help =)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi endofsinglehood,

So far the feedbacks from people who have attended HypnoBirthing classes have been very encouraging.

We will surely be attending. I am looking forward to it actually.

I will definitely require your advice on the essentials to buy. There are so many that we have not even started yet.

But let's wait for my future post. I intend to post one on these essentials so maybe you can leave your suggestions there instead.

Take care and keep reading.

Unknown said...

i'll b looking at catering confinement food. saves the complexity of having less privacy n dealing with both ILs (my hb's & my own parents). esp the showering part. tat i muz protest!!!

Anonymous said...

You may:

1. get your MIL to cook (you can give her an angbao to thank her later on) and you tabao the food back everyday after work. (My hb's cousin did this.)

2. order confinement food from caterers.

3. to save money on the insurance and other costs, look out for transfer maid available to help out for that 3 months after which you can send the maid back to the agency. As least she is there to help your MRS when you are at work. That was what my cousin did.

Actually, in my opinion, certain expenses cannot be avoided. Taking care of a newborn is a 24/7 job especially this is her period of recuperation. She need a lot of support and help during this period. Either spend that money to hire a CL or go over to your MIL place.

My hb was not too willing when I told him this idea of me staying at my mum's place for more than 1 month. (My mum says I need to have confinement food for strictly 40 days.) He, like you, wants to have as much time as possible with his little one. My MIL also objected to to this idea as she will lose precious time with her grandson. But what to do, she is not willing to learn how to cook confinement food nor willing to take the night shift to care for the baby nor for me. Anyway, I am a modern woman and often when the old folks tell you about the old wives tales of pregnancy and childbirth, I will tell them what I think and know. I read a lot and check with my gynae.

By the way, if you want to cook for your wife, confinement recipes are widely available. That was what my mum did, she went to check around and read up. I can ask her and email them to you.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hey Anonymous,

Thanks for your suggestions.

At this point in time we are more or less settled on having the Mrs staying over with her mother. She and her maid will take care of the cooking.

Anyway we believe the confinement period will be rather short because it seems the Mrs has to complete before Chinese New Year. Since our due date is 9th Jan that leaves us slightly under a month.

Although I do not think I will be doing much of the cooking, if at all, but I will still appreciate it if you can email some of the recipes to me. Maybe I can introduce them to my MIL.

My email address is