Confinement Centres vs. Confinement Nannies: Which is the Better Option?

The time period right after giving birth is a delicate and important one, as new mothers need to rest and recuperate, on top of adjusting to the new baby. Suffice it to say that moms will need all the help they can get, and popular options nowadays to help them get through confinement include confinement centres and confinement nannies. But which is the better option for you, and what are the differences between both these options. We spoke to new parents who engaged in these services, and here’s what they had to say.

What is Confinement?

First things first, here’s a basic overview of confinement, though most would probably know. Confinement is a traditional post-natal practice for mothers, and it includes care practices relating to traditional health beliefs, taboos, rituals, rules, prohibitions, and proscriptions. Confinement in each culture could have slight variations, as can the duration of the confinement period. Most often, the confinement period is for 30 days, but it could also go up to 100 days. Beginning immediately after birth, confinement is a time period of adjustment and care for both mother and baby. Its purpose is to support new mothers and allow them to recuperate physically and emotionally, and help them transition into motherhood. This practice could be especially helpful for first-time mothers.

What are Confinement Centres? 

A confinement centre is basically a place where you can check yourself into following childbirth. Confinement centres include lodgings, meals, laundry services, 24-hour support staff, and may also have some activities such as parenting classes or massage sessions. Confinement centres could provide different packages and room arrangements, and some even provide the option for fathers to stay in as well. Others only allow fathers to visit instead of living in, and some could have visitation hours in place. At a confinement centre, you may also benefit from a sense of community as you’ll be among new mothers who are in the same place you are as well, allowing you to share conversation, experiences, and possibly, tips.

What are Confinement Nannies?

Confinement nannies, also known as confinement ladies, on the other hand, are individuals who come to your residence to help you through your confinement period. These individuals are usually experienced mothers, or those who have undergone specialised courses on taking care of new mothers and newborns as a profession. Confinement nannies could either live-in with the mothers, or have a different arrangement such as a “daycare”, 9 – 6 situation. They can help with things like bathing newborns, developing a healthy feeding schedule, sharing healthy food practices with new mothers, and proper diaper and clothes changing routines. Most often, confinement nannies also prepare confinement meals, and depending on individual, they may also cook for the whole family.

Benefits of Confinement Centres

  • It’s a convenient, one-stop centre where everything will be taken care of
  • Price is inclusive of everything stated in the chosen package, with no hidden/extra fees (of course, do be careful and it’s always smart to clarify with the confinement centre)
  • Experts such as visiting doctors and certified nurses are available to guide you throughout confinement, and to monitor your baby’s condition as well
  • At the confinement centre, you can be sure that your home remains your own with no third-party present, and your privacy at home remains intact
  • All cleaning including baby laundry is taken care of
  • Technically, you can just focus on resting and recovering after birth, and ensure that you rebuild your immune system thanks to the nutritious meals provided

Cost: Basic packages start around RM14,000, but they can also go up to RM30,000 depending on your preferences and the services provided. 

Benefits of Confinement Nannies

  • Rest well comfortably at home, where it is a familiar environment
  • The new baby can adapt to the home environment better
  • (For those who have other kids) The older kids/toddlers will not feel lost and out of place, and they can also start getting used to the new family member sooner
  • Food preferences are entirely your own as you can decide what you want to eat
  • You have more freedom and control over things as you are at home, and not bound by any rules
  • You can engage the same confinement nanny again if you’re satisfied with her services, instead of having to get used to different people if you have kids again

Cost: The employment of the confinement nanny usually costs about RM6,000, and there are a few other things you need to take into consideration, as each nanny’s services could differ:

  • Herbs and food, as well as possible extra charges if she cooks for the whole family, and/or if she also does the shopping for the ingredients
  • An increase in the electricity bill, especially if the nanny lives in
  • Laundry services, as well as possible extra charges if she also does laundry for the whole family

So… Which Should You Choose?

There isn’t a “right” answer to which you should choose, but we hope that the above provides a clearer picture of what goes on with each option. It all really depends on individual, and what you’re looking for. Speaking to other parents and of course, your partner, will help you decide what’s best for you. Meanwhile, here’s some other info you might find helpful: