If you are a mom or an expecting mom in Hong Kong, you might have heard of the term confinement nanny or Pui Yuet – which literally translates to “companion for the month”.
But what is a confinement nanny? What does she do? How much does she cost? Where can you find one? Here are the basic need-to-know’s!
What is a confinement nanny?
In traditional Chinese culture, new mothers observe one month of postpartum confinement, a time for them to rest, recover and bond with their newborn. Despite the name, confinement nannies are not here to enforce confinement rules. Rather, they are trained professionals that provide professional postpartum and newborn care.
What does a confinement nanny do?
Here are some things a confinement nanny can help with:
How do they work?
Depending on the needs of the family, confinement nannies are hired on 1-2 month contracts. They provide full-time (8-10 hours per day) or round-the-clock (24 hours) support at their employers’ home. Some are also hired to work night shifts only so new parents can get some well-deserved rest.
Will they try to force old-fashioned rules on me?
You may have heard the myth that confinement nannies won’t let you wash your hair, and that scared you off hiring one – worry not! One the biggest benefits of having a confinement nanny is their deep knowledge of traditional Chinese healthcare methods, they have also evolved to adapt to modern times. For example, the no-shower-rule was insisted upon back in the day when there was no heating or hot water, so postpartum women were more susceptible to catching cold. Nowadays, showering is not only allowed but encouraged for good hygiene. Upon request, confinement nannies can also boil ginger water with herbs for showering, a remedy that is believed to warm up the body and speed up postpartum recovery.
Furthermore, in modern postpartum practices, going out and getting some light exercises is recommended for physical and mental health. Your confinement nanny will remind you to cover up and keep warm in the winter, and avoid overheating in the summer.
How much do they cost?
Currently, salaries vary a lot depending on the confinement nannies’ experience level. Here's a rough guide
Can’t I just get a helper who is a great cook and has newborn care experiences?
Of course you can! Here is a side-by-side comparison showing how their responsibilities and expertise differ, so you can make the best decision for your family.
When should I start the hiring process?
Most families in Hong Kong begin to look for a confinement nanny right after the first trimester. The earlier you start looking, the more options you will have.
What should I look out for when hiring a confinement nanny?
In Hong Kong, there is no regulation on who can practice as a confinement nanny. The qualification you want to look for is the 152-hour Foundation Certificate for Postnatal Care Worker by ERB. This is a rigorous training that covers everything from newborn care, infant CPR, postpartum care for moms, breastfeeding and postpartum nourishment.
Many families want to hire experienced confinement nannies, but I always recommend prioritizing the personal fit over experience. For example, if you are a modern mom who doesn’t wish to observe confinement restrictions, a traditional nanny could become a source of stress, regardless of the years of experience she has. Another example is if you are taking a responsive parenting approach, you don’t want to hire someone who claims picking up the baby every time he/she cries will spoil the baby. Always interview either in person or online to get a feel of how well this nanny will fit in your family.
How can I hire one in Hong Kong?
As with many things in Hong Kong, finding a good confinement nanny relies largely on personal referrals. Many expecting moms ask your friends, families and colleagues for trusted recommendations.
If you struggle with your search, check out Parachute’s database of qualified confinement nannies where you can directly reach out to candidates you’re interested in. Parachute’s team is also reachable by Whatsapp (852-5978 3897) and can assist in your personalized search
Rosalind’s Favorite Petit Tippi Finds
- Both of my girls loved sleeping in the Cocoonababy
- I have taken business calls while bouncing my baby with one toe, this bouncer is a godsend
- My babies and I went on many walks together using this carrier
By Rosalind Bei, Mom of Two Little Girls and Founder of Parachute