My DIY Confinement #2: Breaking the rules

As I’d already set my mind on not hiring a confinement lady, this is what I prepared for my DIY confinement. I am halfway into my confinement, and am glad that I didn’t hire a confinement lady as it has made me more confident in taking care of my newborn. 

I am confident in handling her for the entire day as I know how to bathe, feed, change and burp her entirely on my own. Some of my friends leave baby care entirely to their confinement lady and they tell me that they are worried and unsure about what to do with their confinement lady leaves. I told them to learn as much as possible from them before their CL leaves.

She had a major poop explosion at the polyclinic which stained my hands and my dress which I managed to handle. It was a struggle holding a wriggly newborn with one arm and washing her butt with the other, but I got the job done. 

1. Confinement Food Delivery

After some research, I ordered the 28-day lunch and dinner delivery from Natal Essentials.
The main reason was because there were good reviews and secondly, the central kitchen is in Woodlands, which ensured that I would get hot food on time. I am one of the first few customers on their delivery list. 

I’m pretty satisfied with their offerings. It tastes healthy and the portions are HUMONGOUS. I’ve had fights with my husband who always coaxes me to finish up ALL the food. Luckily, my father is the one who tells me to eat what I can and leave the rest.

Stir Fried Lean Meat w Ginger & Spring Onion
Stir Fried Broccoli w Braised Chinese Mushroom
Fish Tail & Papaya Soup

I thought it was an abalone at first. I must have had been too sleepy. 

Black Pepper Pork Steak
Pan Fried Egg w Long Bean
Raw Di Huang Pork Rib Soup

Vinegar Pork Rib
Stir Fried Sweet & Sour Sliced Sheng Yu w Capsicum
Hashima Black Chicken Soup
I LOVED the vinegar pork ribs so much that I finished everything. 

2. Confinement Herbal Bath

I bought confinement bath herbs from Daifongai, which my father has been dutifully boiling for my shower. For the first few days, I showered off with hot water after the herbs but now I can’t be bothered. Besides, it does feel quite nice showering with hot herbal water. Makes you feel like…a herbal chicken? It does make you feel better, I have to admit.

3. Confinement Herb Package

I purchased the 28 day confinement package from Eu Yan Sang at $268.
It consists of some pills, herbal soups as well as the standard longan and red dates tea. 
It’s not too sweet and very palatable as a substitute to water. 

My father again has been following the helpful chart provided to aid in my recovery (although I feel totally fine already…)

4. Post-natal Jamu Massage

This was something high up on my priority list. I’ve never really bothered about the appearance of my post-pregnancy body because it gave me my little princess, so the ugly stretchmarks are not something I would cry over. Most importantly, my husband reassured me every single time I asked him if my body was ugly to him that it didn’t matter. 

Post-natal Jamu massage, apart from regaining a better figure, also helps to put the internal organs that have been shifted due to pregnancy back in its original position. 

I secured my masseuse after quite a bit of research and am on my second day now. 

5. A good pro-breastfeeding support system

I’ve heard of confinement nannies who throw away breast milk due to claims that it is “dirty” or “unusable”. My breast milk never goes to waste. It either goes straight to the baby or into her milk bath. If I have excess supply, I may consider making breast milk soap or pendants. 

My husband, father and relatives are all pro-breastfeeding. Nobody shamed me for breast feeding and I’ve latched my baby in front of my husband, father and female relatives.

If people around you are not supportive of breastfeeding, try to block out their negative comments and believe in your body. Do not let anybody throw away your milk, especially without your knowledge. If it has to be thrown out, let that person be you. 

Having expressed breast milk or infant formula on stand by does help you to get a bit of sleep, but do try to latch your infant as much as possible. 


If I could, I would scrap all the confinement rules and create my own.

1. Happy mommy, happy baby

This is my number 1 rule. Block out all negative influences and naysayers. People can try to stress you, but you determine if you want to let yourself crumble under these people’s thoughts. You are your own person. Even if you might end up offending others, you know what is best for yourself and your baby.

Happy mommy

A new mother requires adequate sleep in order for her hormones to not go out of whack. I’ve experienced it recently and almost lost my baby. From then on, I’ve made sure to alternate night duties with my father.

Happy baby

Newborn babies at this age honestly don’t require a lot:

1. Milk

If the mother is breastfeeding exclusively, babies do not require water. Not even a “little bit” of water to “make the baby feel hydrated”. From the article below, healthy newborns enter the world well hydrated and remain so if breastfed exclusively, day and night, even in the hottest, driest climates. 

Exclusive Breastfeeding: The Only Water Source Young Infants Need

2. Comfort

Do you like sitting or lying down in your pee and poo for 4 hours? Neither does your baby.
When your baby is clean and dry, he feels contented.
3. Cuddles

Sometimes, they just need to be held close. Some old folks advise against “spoiling” the baby by picking him or her up the instant the infant cries, but it has been shown that newborns are unable to manipulate their parents (yet).

Besides, once your kid learns how to run around, you might be the one begging for a cuddle.

4. Burping

There are a few methods to burp your infant, but I’ve found that the easiest way to get her to burp is to hold her by her side vertically facing you (so the both of you make a ‘T’ shape). Patting her back when she is in this position elicits a burp pretty quickly.

2. Don’t be insistent on direct-latching/exclusive breastfeeding
If you feel stressed and produce a “low” supply, don’t feel bad if you have to turn to infant formula. It is definitely not poison and if it saves your sanity for you to get a few more hours of sleep, do it.

3. Have a healthy diet

It does not have to be strictly confinement food, but junk food does make you feel bloated and doesn’t provide your body with nutrition. A meal or two during your cheat day is fine but having a relatively healthy diet does make you feel more alert and happy.4. Post Natal Massage

Rather than just to reduce tummy flab and gain a nicer body figure, a good post-natal masseuse will be able to adjust the internal organs back into its own place and assist in better recovery as well as to prepare the body for possible future pregnancies. 

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