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Saturday, April 7, 2018

PEM Confinement Nanny Agency Review


Hi everyone! 

I was so happy that my confinement is finally over~ But at the same time, I do feel a bit sad to end it as well. Mainly because we had a really great relationship with our confinement nanny, Auntie Jing Jie.

Before I go on with my PEM Confinement Nanny review, let me just share why I choose to engage a confinement nanny and why I chose PEM in the end.

Why I choose to engage a confinement nanny

Well, there is really no right or wrong to engage a confinement nanny (CN). In fact, hubby and I were both quite apprehensive of it as we are both not too keen about having to live with a stranger at home. We enjoy having our little nest to ourselves and being in our own world! Haha! Perhaps in some ways, "obey" her because she's here to help me to "recover" from my labour. 

On the other hand, as first time parents, we definitely feel lost with a newborn. Especially so when we don't live with our parents. Hence, all alone. That's why CN would be a great help as you'll be able to learn tips on caring for baby from her. Also, she'll be able to cook nutritional meals for me and do some basic cleaning at home for us while I take all the rest that I can. For mummies who have just delivered, rest is certainly very important. So that extra pair of hands come in handy! 

Hmm.. my mother did volunteer to want to help me with my confinement. But I rejected her. I know for myself that I'll go crazy with her strict rules! Hahaha!

Yup. So after weighing the pros and cons, we deciding to go ahead with engaging a CN and that brings us to the next point. 


To be frank, I never know that there is such thing as a nanny agency! Well, you can think of it like a maid agency? Just that they provide confinement nanny services. In fact, PEM is rather popular among the mummies!  So once I found out that PEM existed, I never look back at engaging private CN again. ^^ 

So I basically summarized into 2 main reasons why I chose PEM Confinement Nanny Agency. 

1. One-stop centre & fuss free

After you have read and found out more about PEM through their website, you can express your interest to engage a nanny from them via their online form or phone call! They are quite prompt in their reply and shortly, a day will be scheduled for their agent to visit you at your place. 

They will explain to you clearly on the responsibilities and duties of their nannies. It is also a good time to raise any concern if you have! Like for me, I expressed my concern over following traditional confinement rules. Hahaha! Sorry, I cannot not bathe. Basically communicate and address as much of your concerns and requirements for the nanny as possible, but please by reasonable too! They will try to match the most desirable one as possible. ^^

Once, you have delivered, give them a call and they will schedule their CN to be with you when you're home! I love how fuss-free they have made it! 

2. Well-trained nanny and flexibility to change

At PEM, every nanny has to undergo an exclusive and stringent training to ensure that they are qualified to take care of not just the newborn baby, but the mother and the family members as well. Head over to PEM's website to find out more about their training areas. On the other hand, I really can't say the same for all private nannies? :/ 

Yes, if for some reason you're just unable to get along with your CN, you can request for a change! This is like the main reason why I had to go with PEM! The sense of security I would say. 

Oh yes, it is an added bonus that PEM is the largest Confinement Nanny Agency in Singapore! This added more assurance for hubby and I. ^^

Now, we move on to the review of the CN that was assigned to me by PEM.

After seeing how my CN works day in day out, I have greater respect for all CN. It's no easy job at all!

My CN, Auntie Jing Jie (PEM #519), I'm really thankful to have her with us! When I was still in hospital, I was so worried that I might not be able to have a CN assigned to me on time because baby came earlier than expected and it was during CNY peak period. But I guess God has it planned out for us. We were blessed that Auntie Jing Jie was able to take up our assignment and we had a great 28 days together.

Summary of what my CN does in a day

Morning:
1. Brew red date tea
2. Prepare and cook breakfast for mumy
3. Prepare confinement herbal bath for mummy
4. Bathe baby
5. Washing and cleaning of dishes
6. Prepare and cook lunch for mummy

Afternoon:
7. Washing and cleaning of dishes
8. Prepare tea for mummy
9. Do laundry
10. Wipe baby
11. Prepare and cook dinner

Evening:
12. Washing and cleaning of dishes
13. Cleaning of kitchen
14. Vacuuming of house (mopping on alternative days)
15. Hand wash baby's clothes, bathe

On top of all these, she has to take care of baby's needs whenever she cries. Even if it's in the middle of the night. Furthermore, my CN doesn't take naps at all! I really don't know where she gets her energy from, she always looks so alert and refresh!

Caring for baby

For me, nothing is more important than how my baby is being taken care of.

Auntie Jing Jie may appear to be stern but she is actually very friendly and funny! I love to watch the way she plays and "baby-talk" with my baby. ^^ She loves and sayang baby J a lot too, seeing some of their interactions really warm my heart. :') It's a pity that baby J is too young to be able to remember her nanny who have taken such good care of her.

There was one particular incident that I remembered deeply. It was just the 2nd day that Auntie Jing Jie was with us and we had to bring baby J back to check her jaundice level. I couldn't bear seeing the process of my baby being pricked for the blood test. T.T
On the other hand, Auntie Jing Jie swiftly held onto baby J when she was being prickled. She kept talking and sayang-ing her. It was like magic! Baby J only cried when the needle was being poked in, after which she didn't cry at all with Auntie Jing Jie being there with her!

It touched my heart to see Auntie Jing Jie showing so much love to my baby. :') I'm so glad to have her there with us, otherwise baby J would be screaming her lungs out like the other babies who were there to do the test. :'(



I've certainly learnt a lot from observing how Auntie Jing Jie handles baby J. She is also very helpful to share with us tips on how to take care of our baby. Most importantly, she is patient to guide us. Oh yes, Auntie Jing Jie is pro-breastfeeding as well! First few days I was so lost at breastfeeding, but with Auntie Jing Jie's guidance, I got better. She also made me soups that help to boost my breastmilk during the first week. Thereafter, she stopped because I was over supplying. Also, my letdown is very "fast n furious", so Auntie Jing Jie gave me suggestions on how to prevent baby J from choking over my breast milk.  These are some of the things that I wouldn't be able to handle if not for Auntie Jing Jie's help.

Tidiness and cleanliness

Auntie Jing Jie is so neat and organised!


She spent a great amount of time during the first few days to get familiarized with the orientation in the house. Especially the kitchen and baby's room. Also, she seek our permission to reorganize some of stuff in our house, like the refrigerator, cooking condiments, pots and pans and etc. To which we were really glad that she did it that way because the house certainly looks more organised and neater! Haha! 


Baby's room as well. Auntie helped me to fold and reorganise Baby J's clothes, which were overflowing! Haha!


Even though Auntie has left, we are still keeping to the way she has helped us to arrange and tidy up. 

Cooking

Another thing to be thankful about is Auntie Jing Jie's culinary skill! The food that she cooked was AMAZING~

If you are following me on my Instagram, you would have an eye feast of my daily meals prepare by Auntie Jing Jie! Throughout my 28 days of confinement, I never had a single meal which is repeated! I really don't how Auntie Jing Jie does it!

I would wish to post every single food that she has cooked, but I think my page will die from the loading. Haha! So I'm just going to share a few of my favourites of the favouritesss. Haha!


Impressive Taiwanese style mee sua. 


My favourite red glutinous rice wine (红糟鸡)!


Stir fried mee sua (which even my mum asked her for recipe!) and stir fried udon. 


Stir fried mee tai bak and char kway teow. 


Even simple looking soup noodles like these also tasted extraordinary because auntie took the pain to boil her own soup broth!


Tomato chicken, sesame oil chicken. The latter is a confinement must have food!


The bak ku teh that she cooks!! 


 

Another confinement must have is vinegar pork trotter! I drank up the vinegar gravy too.

Auntie's lor bak is so good too! On her last day she made another pot for me to freeze up so that I can enjoy another time too. :')



Pork ribs in different style! Is she not creative or what?

 

I'm not a big fan of fish, but I love every fish dishes that auntie has made!


Never know there are so many ways to cook fish too! 



I miss Auntie Jing Jie's food. :( 

 Really, I didn't know confinement food can be so tasty too! Because the ginger and sesame oil has been well incorporated into the dishes such that I don't get sick of tasting them every single meal.

How is Auntie Jing Jie not a super nanny?
In fact, I have greater respect for all confinement nannies after this. It is really not easy job at all!

All in all, hubby and I are glad that we engaged PEM for a confinement nanny in the end. We would be so lost if we did not! I've been caring for baby J for a month by myself now. It really wasn't that difficult with Auntie Jing Jie setting the right foundation for us and the tips that she has shared with us.

We'll not hesitate to engage Auntie Jing Jie again if we have a second child. We may have more experience now with the first one, but I believe that to rest and recuperate is very important!



Now, let me share on the confinement herbal package that I had from PEM. :) 

Yes, you're right. You saw HockHua Tonic's logo over there. PEM has recently collaborated with HockHua for their confinement herbal package. 

The entire complete herbal package was delivered to my doorstep when my confinement nanny arrived. Making it very convenient for me as I don't have to go out and buy it on my own or pull my hair over what herbs to get for my confinement! 


This is how the week 3 herbal package is like. :) 

Chinese confinement is 28 days, so naturally there are 28 boxes of unique packed herbs for your tonic soup. 

Week 1's tonic soups focus on clearing blood clot of uterine and helps the mother to replenish energy. 

Week 2 focuses on increasing blood circulation and replenish energy.

Week 3 helps to nourish the blood and improve blood circulation. 

Week 4 helps to boost recovery, calm the mind and improve vision. 

I really love the taste of every single soup that my confinement nanny made using the herbal package, because I love herbal soup in general. ^^ 

Well. Except that confinement must have, Sheng Hua Soup, 生化汤, which aids in the expulsion of toxins, discharge of lochia and the revitalization of Qi and blood. The taste is rather weird, but please be good and drink it because it's good for the body! 


My confinement nanny usually make the herbal soup for me during lunch. So that hubby can drink another soup with me during dinner time. 


Yes, this is a typical lunch for me. xD



Always a huge bowl of herbal soup and I have no problem finishing them because they are so nice to drink! Haha! 


I like that each of the herbal soup pack comes with specific cooking instruction and additional ingredients that are suitable to be added into the soup for cooking. Like chicken, pork or fish. In case you are wondering, the instruction comes in both English and Chinese! ^^ 


Besides the confinement tonic soups, another must have during confinement is red dates tea. 

I didn't drink a single sip of plain water during my confinement other than soups and this red dates tea that my confinement nanny boiled every morning using Hockhu Codonopsis Astragalus Red Date Tea. 

Well, it is a belief that drinking plain water will cause abdominal swelling! While on the other hand, red dates are known to be rich in iron and vitamins. Hence, when mixed with the other herbs, it can strengthen the spleen and stomach, to nourish and produce blood and tranquilize the mind. ^^ 


How a typical breakfast is like. ^^

Initially the thought of drinking red dates tea only for 28 days killed me a little bit. But after taking the tea, I was surprised that it wasn't as bad as I thought? I had the notion that the tea would be super super sweet! But no, the sweetness was very subtle and well balanced with a bit of herbal taste in it. In fact, my confinement nanny has to cook extra portion of the tea every day because I drink too much! Haha! 

Now, the next question that you might have is, "did I bathe over the 28 days?"

Yes, I did. Every single day I washed my hair and showered my body too. 

How is it possible to not bathe in Singapore's hot and humid weather? 

I cannot. :O


Thanks to Ban Kah Chai Confinement herbal bath (mom series), I can bathe every single day! ^^

This is another tie up that PEM has with their partners.

Basically the herbal bath consists of natural herbs that are traditionally used in helping mothers to expel wind, improve blood circulation and reduce after birth pain. 


My confinement nanny will boil the herbal bath herbs first then pour into a tub and mixed with boiled water for me to bathe with. 

No, I don't feel like I smelled like herbs after bathing. Can't complain too much as long as I can bathe right? ^^

Overall, PEM Confinement Herbal Package has helped to ease me through my 28 days of confinement. I think since my confinement nanny is from PEM, it's logical that I get the complete herbal package from PEM as well. So that she will be familiar with it and if she has any doubt, she can always check back with her company. :) 

Love,
Lirong

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