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Confinement Lady who speak "English" Recommendation Needed

  1. #1
    andyammy1 is offline Registered User
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    Confinement Lady who speak "English" Recommendation Needed

    Hello All,

    My due date is 1 JUN 2011. My husband and I (also our helper) are foreigners and don't speak Chinese. From what we heard, most confinement ladies cannot speaking English. If you know any confinement lady who can at least communicate in English (no need to speak fluent) this would be awesome.

    Alternatively, if you know any maternity agency who can guide us through this, it would be great.

    The time is getting closer. Your help is highly appreciated.

  2. #2
    thundacatchergo is offline Registered User
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    i thought this whole 'confinement' concept is only for chinese people

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i was thinking the same thing.... if you are all NOT chinese, then why do you think you need a confinement nanny? you already have a helper... isn't it HER job to help take care of you and the baby?

    if you are really lacking confidence in your own abilities, you could always hire a midwife to come round to your house and do "checks" on you and the baby.

  4. #4
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    maternitynurse is offline Registered User
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    Hi,
    I work through a very good agency in HK called "In Safe Hands" and the person who runs it is also a pediatric nurse so she really understands your needs. Also, the people who she recommends are either trained Maternity Nurses and experienced or very highly experienced with newborn babies. You could give her a call! The website is of the same name. Best of luck and if I can be of any more help please call me. Tel 63346080.
    Professional Maternity Nurse, Breastfeeding & Sleep Consultant, Multiples & PND Carer

  5. #5
    andyammy1 is offline Registered User
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    I am Asian and consider it is a good approach to have confinement lady. Yes, we have full time helper but she has not experience in handling new born. We do not have in law or relative around, therefore confinement lady is our choice. Midwife is not a bad idea however, she will not cook for you and only visit you from time to time.

    We are looking for confinement lady who can communicate in Eng, come over day time, teach us on how to handle baby etc. If you know anyone, please feel free to refer. Thank you

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by thundacatchergo View Post
    i thought this whole 'confinement' concept is only for chinese people
    You know, as a completely non-Asian foreigner, when I was pregnant with my son I really thought the whole "confinement concept" was outdated and well, very foreign. I think I was a bit naive and prideful actually and couldn't see the true wisdom in the practice.

    I'm married to a local Chinese man who isn't at all into traditional Chinese things but through research over the past few years I've come to really respect the concept of confinement and what it is trying to accomplish.

    In my own country, there is an unspoken attitude of "So? You just gave birth to a baby? Get up and get out there--afterall, women nowadays work outside the home and are moms at the same time, why close yourself off from the world just because you happen to be post-partum?" I bought into this "super woman" mentality personally and really paid for it with my health and sanity. At the time we were not in Hong Kong and were traveling around staying in various friends' homes so I didn't have the option of truly slowing down and "confining" myself for recovery. In hindsight, it's one of the most foolish things I did after my son was born. Sometimes, I think, as a busy foreigner who is not used to the concept of forcing oneself to rest (I come from a place where people are constantly doing something--they simply don't take time to even just eat a meal slowly) a "forced" rest period is a type of discipline that I could benefit from.

    I am convinced that if I had taken a month, as many Asian women do, stayed in my room, ate nourishing food and focused solely on bonding with my child, establishing breastfeeding and recovering my health and made no unnecessary trips around the city, I wouldn't have suffered the same health and recovery problems that I did for the following six months. So, the purpose of a confinement lady is to focus solely on the needs and health of the mother and baby. Domestic helpers are really great and could probably fulfill this role but there are other roles that they need to fill as well--especially if there are other children or members of the family in the house.

    Actually, confinement, to me seems like a very deep way of honoring the mother for her hard work and sacrifice as well as recognizing that her body and mind have unique needs after childbirth. It would be nice to hire someone to wait on you hand and foot just for that short period of time. Historically, confinement was one of the only times that women (who often held a very low position in society) were truly looked after physically--where they were fed properly and allowed to rest.

    Now, as a non-Asian person there are a lot of hierarchical things about hiring a confinement lady that would be very difficult for me to deal with--for example, the mother-in-law is the only one who can give orders to the confinement lady (traditionally)--not even the mother herself or the mother's mother have the right to correct or direct the confinement lady--she is fully overseen by the mother-in-law. Also, there are some foods and ceremonies/traditions that I would not personally want to partake in.

    Having said that, wouldn't it be nice if I could have the best of both worlds--someone who is experienced in post-partum care for baby and mother but who doesn't come with a set of "duties" that she must perform (making you eat certain foods, insisting you handle your own baby in a certain way etc.). But, I can truly see the wisdom--even for non-Asian women--in confinement, however one goes about it. This time around I truly plan to practice my own version of this, whether or not we hire an "extra helper" to be a part of the process or not.

    Good luck with finding a good person who can meet your needs!
    Last edited by thanka2; 01-11-2011 at 01:16 PM.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    to me, that was what my helper was for....

    i could get out of bed/shower when i felt ready. i didn't have to cook, clean or do the grocery shopping. she would bring me breakfast in bed when I asked for it, same with lunch. if i felt like getting up, i would have dinner in the dining room. she cooked what I wanted to eat and when i wanted to eat it.

    all i did was take care of myself and my baby. if i wanted to go out, then i did, when i felt ready for it.

    i DID NOT want someone to tell me what to do and how to do it. i was confident in my ability to care for newborn with the help of my husband (who was for moral support more than anything, he had no experience whatsoever with babies).

    to me, it's the rigid adherance to tradition, especially since it's not my tradition (married to a local though), being forced to eat stuff that i would never eat and to "do as your told" with regards to what is best for my baby and i, that i would have HUGE problem with.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    to me, that was what my helper was for....

    i could get out of bed/shower when i felt ready. i didn't have to cook, clean or do the grocery shopping. she would bring me breakfast in bed when I asked for it, same with lunch. if i felt like getting up, i would have dinner in the dining room. she cooked what I wanted to eat and when i wanted to eat it.

    all i did was take care of myself and my baby. if i wanted to go out, then i did, when i felt ready for it.

    i DID NOT want someone to tell me what to do and how to do it. i was confident in my ability to care for newborn with the help of my husband (who was for moral support more than anything, he had no experience whatsoever with babies).

    to me, it's the rigid adherance to tradition, especially since it's not my tradition (married to a local though), being forced to eat stuff that i would never eat and to "do as your told" with regards to what is best for my baby and i, that i would have HUGE problem with.
    I think it just boils down to looking at things from a different perspective. To us "western ladies" maybe a confinement lady represents someone bossing us around and being nosy but others might find comfort in having "a professional" on board and tradition is what tradition is--there are a lot of things people around the world do for tradition that seem maybe weighty or too much but people find security in their traditions no matter what the "burden." I know quite a few very "western-minded" Chinese ladies who really enjoyed their confinement period and put up with the minor inconveniences and went along with the flow--a few of my friends look back on that time with fondness, actually.

    My one Malaysian friend actually enjoyed the "do as your told" thing because she didn't have to think much during the whole process and went with the flow. I guess it depends entirely on who you hire and how the family dynamics work. Also there are certain things in Chinese tradition that are left to the "professionals." My old housemate's mother, for example, was the only one who could officiate at the grandmother's funeral because she was the only one who had retained enough knowledge of the old ways to be able to perform the rites properly. So, I guess it does go beyond just tending to the mother's and babies needs in some respects.

    Anyway, my helper is fantastic but she sure has her work cut out for her. Right now with managing my son, husband and I and getting everything else done she gets pretty tired. It would be nice to have another set of hands around the house when the newborn is here--still looking into it.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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