My Chinese confinement lady – Mei Ling
You might be surprised what makes me spend time writing about my confinement lady. A little story first before I continue.
On my third month of pregnancy, my baby is considered as safe and stable. Hence, I had called at least 50 confinement ladies to make a booking for my confinement, and here are the replies:
“Sorry, I am booked.”
“No need to meet or interview me, if you like, you can just book me by paying me deposit, without meeting me.”
“I can also help you to massage, but of course additional charges occurred.”
“Market price now is RM 4000, and you need to give me angpow during my first and my last day of work.”
“Oh, you have stairs at your house. You need to pay me extra because I need climb up and down in the house.” – WHAT THE?!
I can tell you, I almost heart attack listening to the replies. Luckily, Mei Ling was able to find time to meet me, and we had a quick chat about her experiences and her skills. The next day, I booked her.
Well, she is a well-experienced confinement lady who can cook, take care of my baby, do some light house chores, prepare warm water for me to shower, and make sure I always have enough rest, and gosh, she supports breastfeeding too! Of course, Chinese will not miss some normal Chinese beliefs. She will share her experiences and beliefs, but she is still flexible by listening to the doctor's advice as you and her go for baby's check up.
She asked me to buy all these herbs and products for my confinement period. Ask your confinement lady the correct amount that you need to take, I bought too many 'Su Her Pill', as the guy from Chinese medicine shop 'promotes' them.
Oh ya, you will be approached by the staff in chinese medicine shop that you should take up the 28 days herbal soup package that they had prepared for you, or maybe you come across the same thing online. Listen, if you are to engage a confinement lady, no point buying the 28 or 30 days herbs package. You will only need it if you plan to do your own confinement, with the help of your relatives, and if the one who will take care of you, do not know how to prepare the soups.
Normally, the confinement lady will know how to prepare all the necessary soup. The whatever Chinese herbal package they prepare on daily basis is expensive and waste of time.
|Su Her Pill, Wu Jin Pill and rice wine|
• Su He Wan – pill to expel wind
• Wu Jin Wan – pill to cleanse the body
|wu jin wan|
|wolfberries and red dates|
Benefit of red dates: http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2012/03/red-dates-the-healthiest-fruit-on-earth/
Wolfberries, buy 1kg
benefits of wolfberries: http://www.livestrong.com/article/441412-wolfberry-benefits-side-effects/
|Left to Right: wolfberry, red dates, Codonopsis root (Dong Sum), Dong Guai (Angelica sinensis), longan|
Dong Sum, buy 1-1.5kg, benefits of Dong sum and red dates water: http://chinese-herbal-recipes.blogspot.com/2006/05/strengthen-qi.html
Longan, buy 1kg. Why should mommies drink red dates longan water? Red dates and longan tea is a one of the most common confinement drinks. Dried longan is 'warm' and extremely beneficial to the heart and kidneys. Combined with the superpower of red dates in nourishing the blood, this drink is brewed to revitalize overall body and health wellness.
Source from: http://www.katjuju.com/2012/08/the-world-of-red-dates.html
|Herbal bath for me and baby|
Herbal bath for mommy RM 2 per piece, normally use up to 10 packs.
Baby herbal bath - only used if baby has jaundice, so buy around 5 packs is good enough.
As for the food that she will cook for you, she can prepare different food menu as per your wish, for example, if you are vegetarian, or you do not prefer to eat all those internal organs; you can just tell her, and she will prepare different food.
Check out the wonderful food she had prepared during her stay:
|Pork internal organs, pork meat, spinach noodle|
|yellow wine ginger chicken|
|colorful fried rice|
|pork internal organs and pork meat noodle|
|my favorite, black pepper chicken|
|chicken essence soup|
|my favorite, pork chop!|
|my favorite! pork meatball and fried salmon|
|black pepper chicken|
Even my husband shared my confinement food with me. He has such a good blood circulation with red cheeks on his face, just like putting blush cheek powder on his cheek. Haha! Until one day, he cannot open one of his swollen eyes, because he ate too much hot and nutritious food! So my husband stopped eating, but still take a bite or two. After Mei Ling left, my husband tries his own style to cook the confinement food, but of course, Mei Ling is still the better chef, haha!
We celebrate mid-autumn festival together, so that she won’t feel lonely as we treat her like our own family.
See my baby and Mei Ling.
If you are interested to engage her as your confinement lady, please call Mei Ling at 012-6739183. She doesn’t speak Cantonese or English, mainly speaking Hokkien, Mandarin and Malay. Tell her you are introduced by the ‘Ang Mo’ family where the monkeys come and steal things in the kitchen, she will definitely remember!
And oh yeah, her daughter helps people to take care of babies and children as well. I would say their family is full of happiness and care to take care of babies and children!
Some confinement tips:
- During the confinement period, for the first 12 days, try not to have ginger or ginseng, (任何参的产品), as your baby’s kidney is not well developed and indigestion of ginger and ginseng might increase the chances for your baby to get jaundice (黄疸病). You can drink red dates (红枣)and Wolfberries (杞子).
- During the confinement period, for the first 12 days, no Angelica sinensis (commonly known as dong quai or "female ginseng"), no soya sauce, no salt, no egg, no fruits, no cooling vegetables.
- After 28 days of confinement, please take note that the best is to take care of your own health and body for 100 days. Avoid yam, seafood, ice, 'cooling' food' and pork bone soup. Cut down the spicy food as well.
- After 28 days of confinement, you will still need to take care of your body by boiling herbal soup such as 'bat zhen 八珍‘ and 杜仲补腰汤' - chinese herbal soup to strengthen your body. 1 x a week, for another 2 weeks.
- After 28 days of confinement, it is recommended to continue to drink red dates and wolfberry water everyday.