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Second Confinement vs First Confinement – Do You Need Confinement Help for Your Second Child

Second Confinement vs First Confinement – Do You Need Confinement Help for Your Second Child

Following my first confinement experience which turned out to be rather popular, I thought I’d share my experience the second time round.

How does a second confinement compare to the first?

Is it necessary or important to have a confinement lady for your second child? Do you need them? After all, you’ve had your first, so you’d be a pro at handling a baby… right?

To help you make that decision, here are the three major differences between my first and second confinement:

Quicker Recovery

I’ve always heard that the more babies you have, the easier birthing becomes. I would’t say that my second labour was necessarily easier (still very intense), but it was definitely quicker, and so was my recovery.

For my second, I was in full spirits after delivery at 5pm and opted to be discharged the same day! Of course, we had thumbs up from both the pediatrician and obstetrician before doing so.

To compare, it took me 3 months to fully heal from the first delivery, despite having had natural birth both times.

During the second confinement, my overall better physical state meant that I was able to focus more on other things such as my newborn baby, breastfeeding and my toddler.

It made such a HUGE different being mobile and able to do normal things without worrying about your wound and the pain. For example, little things like taking my water bottle from the next room – easy!

Divided Attention

We made the decision to have our second child shortly after the first, so when he was born we were having 2 under 2 (two kids under the age of two).

That meant that my elder child was still young and required a lot of attention too.

Which means despite being physically more able and mobile, my attention had to be divided between my newborn and elder child.

I am thankful to have both my confinement lady and parents to help me out during the confinement period. The confinement lady will focus mainly on my newborn and me, while my parents helped with the elder child (who is, at the age of nearly 2, is a handful!)

So if you are reading this and about to have your firstborn, enjoy your baby to it’s fullest! You will be busy, but at least when the baby sleeps, you have a moment of peace…. not another child to look after!

In this sense, I miss doing confinement in peace.

Experience Counts

First time parents would likely feel overwhelmed looking after a newborn, especially in the first few days and weeks. Simple and basic acts such as holding, feeding, bathing and putting a newborn to sleep is a steep learning curve by itself!

As if to make it even tougher, all babies are individuals and likely to have different temperaments and characters.

That said, if you have cared for a newborn before, you would have likely picked up some basic skills. You would be familiar with the tasks that needs to be done.

I found that it was easier to pick up cues and signals from my newborn due to experience compared to my clueless first-time-mom self. I knew what was coming and what to expect, and this made a big difference!

That also meant that I had my own way and expectations in managing my newborn. It might or might not be the same way that my confinement lady is used to, so it involved some adjusting on her side.

With my first, I relied quite heavily on my confinement lady to teach me things like how to swaddle, bath and burp the baby as I started with zero knowledge on how to keep a baby alive.

An example would be that I preferred to have my newborn lie on his back due to safety reasons. To my horror, my confinement lady was used to putting a rolled blanket to the side of the baby, so that he is slightly slanted on his side and “can sleep better”.

Had I not known any better, it wouldn’t have been an issue but sometimes you can’t just turn a blind eye once you have learned something.

IN SUMMARY

Despite a quicker recovery and more experience in dealing with a newborn, I definitely needed help during the confinement period.

This is especially so when one has a toddler full of energy to deal with.

If I were to do it again, I would definitely get a confinement lady as well.

It is extremely important to fully heal, both mentally and physically, during the confinement period to prepare yourself for what lies ahead! Not one, but two kids! Your life has changed once again!

What are your thoughts? How did your second confinement compare with your first?

Till next time! xoxo

Why We All Decided To Sleep In The Same Room During My Confinement

Why We All Decided To Sleep In The Same Room During My Confinement

I’ve been getting quite a lot of hits on my other post about confinement lady sleeping arrangements at night, and thought that it would be a good idea to expand on why I went with Option C ie my confinement lady (CL) sleeping in the same room as hubby, baby and I.

On hindsight, I really have no regrets with this arrangement. Let me share with you why:

I was able to sleep in the same room as my newborn

To me this is extremely important because I have just delivered my baby and want to spend time with my newborn. And yes this includes night time!

Yes you need rest but you need to be able to see your baby too without walking too far. It’s an emotional thing!

It’s also important vice versa as your baby will most likely be able to smell your milk and feel comforted at the same time.

My newborn had a constant environment at night

He was either sleeping in his cot, feeding on my bed or being pat to sleep in the same room.

He wasn’t being transferred from one room to another.

Perhaps one room was colder and another warmer. Perhaps one had air conditioner on and another didn’t. Perhaps both rooms had the lights offed but the hallway’s light was very bright.

Any change in environment can be off-putting and distracting to a baby still getting used to living outside the womb, especially at night time.

I was able to cope after my CL left

Because I slept with my newborn throughout my confinement I was able to pick up on his subtle cues on feeding, changing etc.

For example, for the first few weeks he required to be fed, then burped, then fed again, followed by a change in diapers, followed by another burp before being pat to sleep.

It made me know what to expect at night and I did not feel at all overwhelmed once my CL left. Win!!

And now, let’s get some of your concerns out of the way! These were my initial worries too but in the end none of them mattered!

What if my working husband’s sleep is disturbed by our baby’s cries?

Men are generally (not all) not light sleepers. Imagine a couple sleeping in the same room as their newborn baby – most of the time the mom will be the one who wakes up and feed the baby while the dad just sleeps on.

He may help if he wants but if he’s got to work the next day, maybe not πŸ˜‰ That’s why you hired help in the first place!

So try it for a few nights – chances are he might not even stir if you and your CL have it all under control and manage to sort out your newborn before he/she starts wailing.

I want my privacy!

After birthing a baby, your modesty and privacy will be thrown out of the window.

And I don’t mean it in a bad way. You just don’t bother as much, as the most important thing is making sure that your baby gets fed in the easiest and most convenient method possible.

We want our privacy!

This may be a personal preference but seriously? After giving birth to a newborn, there is no time nor energy to do any hanky panky stuff. I was trying to heal myself and had to minimise movement let alone do anything that requires energy.

The most important thing is that we get enough sleep, and baby gets fed/changed/soothed to sleep.

We can’t fit so many people in the room!

We barely made it too! Thankfully my CL is rather simple and did not mind sleeping on our Sealy mattress placed on the ground.

This made it easier to move during the day so that it doesn’t take up too much space and clog up the whole bedroom.

Our sleeping configuration was like this: hubby and I on our Queen bed, baby in his cot next to our bed, CL on the mattress at the foot of our bed.

IN SUMMARY

I am really glad we had a good confinement experience, particularly at night.

I tried sleeping with my newborn separate from the CL on the first day after coming back from the hospital, and boy that was a grave mistake!

I had to carry my lil’ boy all by myself, change him, put him back to sleep. All while trying to recover “down there”!

It was only one night before I decided to use the help we hired. I let go of my ego, my stubbornness and let others help me – and this made all the difference.

However, what works for one might not work for another. As mentioned in my previous post, it really is up to you, the mother of your child, to decide how you want the setup to be.

I hope your confinement will be a great experience too!

Your baby is only newborn once, so appreciate the moment and embrace the hourly night calls πŸ˜‰

Till next time! xoxo

Confinement Lady Arrangements At Night

Confinement Lady Arrangements At Night

So you have decided to hire a confinement lady, good on you!

I personally had a very good experience with mine and was well rested after the confinement period.

One of the main roles of a confinement lady is helping to take care of the newborn baby at night.

The first 30 days postpartum would be one of the tougher times.

As your baby is still adjusting to being in the outside world, they require constant attention and checking. Most babies would require a feed at least every 2-3 hours throughout the day and night early on.

For first time mothers, breastfeeding would be a whole new experience. At the same time, your body would be in the process of healing after all that hard work throughout your pregnancy and delivery.

How do you balance between both – taking good care of your baby as well as yourself? How would you maximise the help from your confinement lady, especially at night?

Here are some possible combinations that you might want to consider if you want to feed your baby through direct latching at night:

A. Baby sleeps in the same room as you and hubby + CL sleeps in another room + Pass baby to CL to burp and resettle back to sleep

Pros:
+ You get to sleep in the same room as your baby
+ You don’t have to burp or resettle baby which is 50% of the work

Cons:
– You have to call your CL each time after a feed (you have to go to her room to get her or call or text her)

B. Baby sleeps in the own room with CL + CL brings baby to your room for feeds + Pass baby to CL to burp and resettle back to sleep

Pros:
+ All you have to do is feed the baby (you might not even have to leave the bed)
+ Baby will get used to sleeping in own room from the beginning
+ You don’t have to burp or resettle baby which is 50% of the work

Cons:
– Baby would have to be brought in and out of the room
– Your breasts might be engorged or full before baby is brought in (if he is in the same room then you can just latch anytime)

C. Baby and CL sleeps in same room as you and hubby + CL brings baby to you for feeds then burp and resettles baby to sleep

Pros:
+ All you have to do is feed the baby (you might not even have to leave the bed)
+ You get to sleep in the same room as your baby
+ You don’t have to burp or resettle baby which is 50% of the work

Cons:
– Lack of privacy
– Room might be cramped with so many people

If you want CL to feed your baby with expressed breast milk or infant formula, you will be able to stretch out your sleeping time at night.

That said, there is a higher chance of having engorged breasts if you leave them be without latching or pumping for 4-6 hours. Most mothers I know who express their milk would have to wake up and pump during the night anyway to maintain supply.

Bear in mind, it is advisable to feed your baby through the direct latch to the breast in the first month if possible. This is to establish and encourage milk supply during the early days of breastfeeding.

It is also advisable not to introduce bottle feeding to your baby initially because the sucking motion is different – getting milk from your breast is different from getting milk from the bottle. They actually have to work harder sucking at the breast.

Feeding your baby too early with a bottle before they have “mastered” getting milk from the breast might confuse them, or they might prefer drinking from the bottle instead because it is so easy to get the milk.

Finally, it is recommended that babies sleep in the same room as their parents, either in a bassinet or cot, at least in the first 6 months to reduce the incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

IN SUMMARY

Every mother has different priorities and preferences. Some might want to stay in the same room as the baby and some might not; some will want to breastfeed by latching, some prefers to bottle feed.

Each baby is different as well. Some resettle back quicker than others, some are fussier and require more attention.

As a mother to your baby, you should decide what is best for the both of you.

For me, I went with Option C as I wanted to be in the same room as my baby, and think it would be easiest for both me and my CL that she sleep in the same room as us.

There are so many different ways the CL can help you at night. All you have to do it to decide which one fits your lifestyle and preference best.

Till next time! xoxo

Experience: My Confinement Lady Aunty H

Experience: My Confinement Lady Aunty H

I had a very positive experience with my confinement lady, let’s call her Aunty H.

Initially, there were doubts on whether I really needed the extra help, but I am so glad I did get it in the end.

This post is dedicated to Aunty H because I felt so lucky to have had her during my confinement period.

Aunty H came highly recommended by my father-in-law’s colleague at the hospital. She is in her early 60s and is seasoned in doing confinement overseas, which is a plus point for us. She is English educated as well which is another great plus because hubby and sister-in-law living with us do not speak Mandarin or Cantonese.

My mom and I then communicated with her through WhatsApp about her job scope, after which we decided to proceed with her service for 6 weeks. We confirmed her in February for June.

In some ways, it is fated that our paths crossed as she was available during my delivery period even though she is highly demanded.

If I were to describe Aunty H in 3 words, it would be: easy-going, friendly and resourceful.

Easy-Going

Aunty H arrived on my due date. As this was my first pregnancy, Baby E was nowhere near engaged at 40 weeks, so I had an induction booked in at 40+5 weeks.

In addition, we were supposed to move into our new house a month before my due date, but as luck has it the handover date was delayed and we only managed to move in one day before Baby E was born.

The sequence was:

Day 1: Arrival of my parents and Aunty H
Day 4: Move house
Day 5: Induction at the hospital
Day 6: Baby E was born!

Can you imagine having to move house and have a baby at the same time?

Thankfully my parents came to help as well. Hubby and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to manage without their help.

As Baby E was not out yet, Aunty H cooked for 6 people (hubby, my parents, SIL, herself and I) in addition to helping us pack and move.

The new house needed cleaning as well. Aunty H would willingly help to clean the place with my parents, including mopping, wiping and sweeping. She is also very strong for her size. She wouldn’t allow me to move heavy stuff after moving in and instead helped me with it.

Cooking for our family members and helping out with the new house was not in her job scope, but she did it anyway without complaint.

Even when my parents left, she would still cook lunch and dinner for hubby and SIL. She would make many things from scratch, eg homemade meat ball, sweet and sour pork, lemongrass chicken etc. Even her porridge was tasty!

All of us enjoyed her cooking very, very much.

Aunty H: +1!

Friendly

Aunty H has a very warm personality. Since the first day she arrived, she got along well with everyone. There were no awkward moments at all.

Now that’s a feat considering hubby, myself, my mom, my dad and my SIL were all living under the same roof and were at ease with her.

She also had no problems communicating with my friends who came to visit – all of them were very impressed with her cooking skills in general.

Most importantly, she likes playing with Baby E. After morning feeds, she would bring him out to play or talk to him in the living room. This is the case throughout the day as well when he is not sleeping or feeding.

After dinner, hubby and I would watch TV while she plays with Baby E in the room. This gave me a chance to relax and take a break from Baby E, hence I was not exhausted mentally.

Aunty H: +2!

Resourceful

I was very impressed with the fact that Aunty H was able to use existing resources to make do with things we do not have in the house.

For example, we did not have an outdoor clothes dryer nor raffia strings at the time, but she managed to make one between two poles using some extra hospital gowns that we were going to bin away.

Like what…?!

Another case in point was when she used the leftover chicken meat (double boiled to obtain chicken essence for my confinement consumption) to make chicken floss.

Homemade chicken floss..?!

Aunty H: +3!

IN SUMMARY

The day Aunty H left, I felt a tug in my heart.

She has played such a big part in the first 6 weeks of Baby E’s life. She made life so much easier during this confinement period, not only for me but my husband and SIL too.

The amazing thing was after she left, I was able to cope with Baby E because I was so well rested. I was ready to look after Baby E by myself when hubby is at work and did not dread being alone with him.

I would highly recommend her service. However, I have not included her full name or contact as she is picky about who she does confinement for. After all, she is her own boss and would mostly work for people who are recommended to her or her previous clients. You can PM me first if interested.

Thank you so much Aunty H! I am so glad we had the opportunity to meet. You may not realize it but I have learned so much from you! πŸ™‚

Is this your first, second or third confinement? I’ve done a comparison between my first and second confinement to help you decide if you need it after the first time, click here to have a read!

Baby E and I with our confinement lady Aunty H Baby E and I with our confinement lady Aunty H

Till next time! xoxo