Having a baby is really hard, a very fulfilling and beautiful experience, but definitely hard! In the initial days after birth, a new mom needs a lot of help and support to take care of her newborn and to regain her physical and emotional strength. Confinement after childbirth is a postnatal traditional practice commonly followed among Malays, Chinese and Indians.
It helps mothers to recover and strengthen their bodies after giving birth. It also gives them a chance to learn from professionals and midwives how to take care of their precious babies; it’s a first-hand lesson on breastfeeding, bathing, massaging and the well-being of your new fragile addition. Read more about the Chinese practices here.
In Indian custom, we follow a 40-day confinement period, during which I did not step out of my home other than for visits to my doctor and my baby’s pediatrician. I had a live-in specialist with me from the time I was discharged from the hospital. She took care of my baby and helped me recover after an intense labor. Her work involved massaging the baby twice a day, giving him a bath, changing the nappies, swaddling him and putting him to sleep. Basically, she was constantly there to help me with my little one, day and night. She also gave me a massage every day to relieve my sore muscles. Beside that, she assisted me with breastfeeding and expressing milk.
It was definitely a huge help to have her! Everything is so new when you become a parent for the first time, and it’s like having a savior, who is there to make life easy for you by doing the repetitive chores, like cleaning and sterilizing the bottles, handing over the nipple shield when you forget and have already sat down to feed, or breast pads when you are continuously leaking milk.
Finding a confinement centre in KL
A confinement period generally ranges between 28 and 40 days, with a few minor differences between the customs. There are confinement centres in KL where a new mom, along with her baby, can go to relax for a month and have a team of midwives, nurses and confinement specialists take care of her every need.
The centres are equipped with 24-hour help and have the luxury of a spa. Most of the centres are breastfeeding-friendly and focus on providing mothers with nutritious meals about five times a day. Some of them are also equipped with services in Chinese medicine. All in all, you are guaranteed with a 5-star treatment of rest and pamper, and don’t be surprised if you find a baby swimming pool too! A confinement centre charges will come to roughly RM 5000 for 30 days. Some of the top centers in KL are:
- Esther Postpartum Care
- Kimporo Postnatal Rejuvenation Centre
- Bonda Villa Confinement Centre
- Gina’s Place
- TLC Confinement Centre
- Mom Retreat Confinement Centre
- LYC Confinement Centre – read another blogger’s review here.
- Nejlika Confinement Care Centre
- Kabo Care Centre
- Best Month Confinement Center
- First Month
- Care Nanny
Live-in care or visiting confinement lady
If you don’t prefer to leave your home or stay away from your partner for so long, you can also call for a confinement lady at home to live-in, or get her services on a part-time basis. It is always recommended to do your research and to get reviews from their past customers before hiring someone.
Traditionally a confinement lady’s role will do include:
- Massaging and bathing baby daily
- Feeding the baby: the new mum can express milk and let her take care of one of the feeds in the night
- Cooking special confinement dishes, like chicken soup etc.
- Washing the baby and mother’s clothes
- Generally caring for the baby, so that mummy can get some rest
Top tips to keep in mind when selecting the right person:
- Word of mouth is the best option, try to get hold of a recommended confinement lady
- Confirm that she is available during the due date, and pay a deposit fee to confirm
- Check if she will keep an eye on the older child(ren) too
- Get a list of items which she will be requiring during her service, so that you can arrange for that in the third trimester (read this article on how to make the most of the third trimester)
- Brief her about your expectations, it is better to be in sync beforehand
These services are very much in demand and they need to be booked in advance. A good time to look for a recommended confinement specialist is in the beginning of the second trimester of your pregnancy. In my experience, a live-in confinement lady’s fee will be roughly RM 5500 for 30 days, whereas a part-time service will come up to around RM 4500. Some of the confinement specialist services at home available in KL are:
Confinement food delivery in KL
Many believe that eating the right kind of food post-delivery is essential, as it will have a direct impact on breastfeeding and keeping energy levels high, in order to deal with new changes. Confinement food delivery service ensures that new moms get the nutrients required for healing but also timely food, which otherwise easily gets neglected while taking care of a newborn!
Confinement food is specially planned in a manner to incorporate all the herbs that will improve lactation and focuses on healing the uterus. The meals are prepared with less salt, sugar and oil without compromising on the taste and quality. The food should be light and easy to digest. Some of the healthy and delicious options available in KL are:
I believe the best practice to follow is the one that makes you feel comfortable and does not add to any stress. If a new mom finds the practice too old-fashioned and restrictive, she should prioritize her comfort and follow only what makes sense to her. This is the phase where the new parents and baby are of utmost priority and the focus should be on recovery of the new mom and getting precious time to bond with the little one.
“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers… strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”
– Barbara Katz Rothman
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