What is going to happen to me over the next nine months? What is it like to be pregnant in Taiwan? Pregnancy questions, birth stories and other topics relevant to this special time in your life.
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Hi everyone! I'm not sure if this post is in the right place, but oh well. I'm going to give birth to my first child around March 21st, and unfortunately my family can't come out until June. We're not sure how much time my husband can get off work, so my family is insisting on hiring someone to come and help me out for the first few weeks. I'm very grateful to them for doing this, but I'm not sure how this works. Should I have someone come every day for a few hours or just a few times a week? In any case, my grandma (she's had 4 kids so I guess I should taker her word for it) is telling me that I'm going to want someone to come and do light housework, maybe a little cooking, and she says they need to be able to know how to take care of the baby so I can get a few hours of sleep. If they could give ME some advice on how to take care of the baby that would be great since I'll probably have NO IDEA what I'm doing. So does anyone know of anyone that I could hire for this sort of job? I live in Yonghe right by Dingxi station, so they'd have to be willing to come out here. They'd also have to be okay to just sort of be prepared to start working around the time my little one comes, since I obviously can't give them an exact date for when I'd need them to start. Thanks!
In fact it is a profession in Taiwan a helper for a woman after delivery. There are women who do only this job in their lives. If you speak Chinese there shouldn't be any obstacle.
Here is the number to the company that helps to find such help:
02-258 18 306.
I agree that you should have help every day, at least the days when your husband is at work. Good luck!
Thank you so much! I should have known that there would be some sort of professional thing set up for this here, with the zuo yezi (sp?) and stuff. As long as I can find someone who's informed about and supportive of breastfeeding, won't make me eat any weird food, and won't stop me from taking a shower then I'm good. My husband speaks Chinese so I'll have him call for me.
Take your time finding someone you like before you commit! New moms are under enough stress without having a stranger nag them.
That's for sure! I'm actually wondering if I want to go this route or just hire a housekeeper to come for a little each day. Here's the info I got from calling that number: If I want them to just come during the day it's 1,600 NT for 9 hours. This includes cooking, cleaning, and taking care of mom and baby. I get to go over a menu with the lady ahead of time. The only thing is that I'm really wondering what she could possibly do over here for 9 hours. For one thing, I don't want her to do very much for the baby. I want her to do everything else so I can focus solely on breastfeeding and bonding with my baby. I also have no interest in the typical zuo yuezi food, and I don't want anyone bugging me about getting my hair wet or stuff like that. It seems like a real bargain, but I'm wondering if hiring a housekeeper just to clean would be better.
That is great that your family wants to help out by hiring you some help after your baby is born. In my opinion (I also had my two kids while living far from family), I would hire the specific post partum helper BUT do not have her start until the baby is about 2 weeks old. That will give you & your husband a chance to get to know the little guy a bit better and figure out what works for him or what you need some 'expert' advice on. Plus, the house will not fall apart in two weeks of you just spending all your time nursing (& sleeping) but it will ensure that there are plenty of things her to do (besides baby care) once she is at your house. The helper may not prefer your start date - but what can they do if you conveniently 'forget' to call them until the babe is a few weeks old? I also remember a good friend in Texas telling me before I had my first that she thought that things got the hardest around 5 weeks post partum. By that time the sleep deprivation is setting in and the baby has also realized that they are not going back to their previous warm & cozy world. If you only have help for one month - I personally would pick weeks 2 to 6.
Good luck with your decision! Also, many of us here have breastfed our babies so do not hesitate to ask any questions or even vent if you feel that you need some support. And make sure you start using lanolin right away (but be aware that it will stain clothes).
I went to a postpartum center and really enjoyed my stay - in fact, I credit it with helping me to breastfeed my child. Before he was born, I thought that he would room in with me so that we could bond and breastfeed. What I didn't foresee was him unable to latch on for the first three weeks of his life. Our days would be spent skin-to-skin, him crying as he tried in vain to latch on for hours, and then me feeding him expressed bmilk from a cup because I was afraid of nipple confusion. After he choked one day drinking from the cup I switched to a bottle.
Miraculously (to me at the time), he decided or was finally able to latch on after 3 weeks. Even then it was touch and go - I remember my husband stopping by one day after work and asked what I did that day, and I remember replying, trying to get him to nurse. I spent 8 hours just trying to get him to latch on that day - not including feeding time.
Having 24 hour room service; clean spit-up free clothes to wear every day; and capable, trained nurses (the head nurses all shared a similar parenting philosophy to me) was a God-send. To answer your question regarding what someone could fill 9 hours of a day with, it's amazing how much laundry a little baby generates.
In the end, my baby did not room in with me the entire time we were there because for those first few weeks, I'd be at the end of my rope by the end of a day and having someone else to take over enabled me to take a breather, recharge myself mentally and emotionally, and pump.
Anyways, I definitely recommend getting help of some kind, because you never know exactly what situation you'll find yourself in. And for what it's worth, my baby and I now have a great nursing relationship, although it took about 5 weeks to establish.
The postpartum center that I stayed at is Yono, it's affiliated with the Hsinchuang water birth center. They also do the special meals, which is a blend of tradition and Western dietary guidelines, which I really enjoyed eating. Everything was nutritious and well-balanced, so no hemmorhoids and no dry toast!
Thanks for all the advice, everyone! It would be so much easier if I could just predict how I'm going to feel ahead of time. I know some women who say to get all the help you can get, and I know others who absolutely do not want to be disturbed by anyone during those first few weeks of getting to know their newborn. As a first time mom I'm sure I'll need some help, so I'm just going to try and go with my gut on this one. The actual zuo yue zi center affiliated with a hospital sounds nice (especially because you actually have nurses with a medical background helping you), but unfortunately is out of our price range. So I either have to hire a traditional zuo yue zi lady or a housekeeper to come over and help me every day. I decided to just completely bypass any potential "cultural friction" and get a housekeeper to come over every evening for two weeks to make dinner, do laundry, clean, and generally help me. My husband will be home to help me during the day, and after the two weeks are over my in-laws will be here, so I think I'm good. I'll let you all know how it goes!
Here is an agency that will match your needs with a post partum helper. It costs about $58,000NT for 30 days. The helper comes for 9 hours a day and does all the cooking, cleaning,and takes care of the baby. Apparently all of the helpers are well trained and have certification in nannying and have passed background checks. Unfortunately they are Chinese speaking only. Here is their website
After hiring a postpartum helper from the place I posted earlier, I have the following advice:
1.Make sure the helper you choose is the one who comes to your home. 2.Make sure the helper's baby care-taking style matches yours. 3. Make sure you have help training the helper where things go and how to clean certain things, etc. once you get home with the baby.
We had a helper that I was not that happy with. She was not the one we chose because my baby came early and the helper we chose was still with another family. The one who came to help was not supportive of breastfeeding. She was constantly coming in to my room and wanting to take the baby while I was feeding her so I could sleep. It was a nice gesture but I would tell her the baby needed to be fed. She'd get visibly upset and say things like, "She can't possibly still be hungry. She's just using you as a pacifier!" She'd tell me it was obvious I needed to supplement with formula, and that the baby would grow faster on formula. The cultural view on post partum rest here is that moms need to REST up because mom's health in old age completely depends on how well she is taken care of during these 30 days. This means you put mom's need to rest over the baby's need for milk. I believe this may be why so many Taiwanese women I've met have told me they did not have enough milk. It very well could be that they did not nurse enough because they were told to rest rather than get up every 2 hours to feed the baby.
Anyway, I was constantly at odds with the helper because I wanted to bond with the baby and have the helper do the rest. She, however, wanted to take the baby away as much as possible lest I develop arthritis or back aches from bathing or holding the baby.
Last thing was more of a pet peeve. The helper was not as good a housekeeper as I am. She made a huge mess of the kitchen and put scratches onto the counter and stains on the walls from cooking the postpartum food. My husband was too busy with work to tell her to keep things clean and I was too busy with the baby to realize these things until much later. She also destroyed one of our pots. The worst thing was she lost all of the fleece washcloths I made for the baby. I sewed these while I was pregnant so they are one of a kind. Now they are lost forever. No one can find them. I can always sew more but I have no time anymore.
In all, I did not have as good an experience as I would have liked. I went through with it because I am supposed to be a good Taiwanese daughter and if I didn't my family would blame whatever ailments I have in my old age on the fact that I didn't do a good "zuo yue zi". Now thankfully that is done and over with. I do no't recommend the agency I went with. I hope other have better luck hiring a postpartum helper
I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. The company I recommended didn't find right away a person that I was satisfied with. It took me around two months of trials with different nannies they were sending to me. Almost every week was someone new.
At the end we found a perfect match.
I think the problem with agencies here is that they can't really match the needs of their clients. They match the first layer, which is timetable, but other than that the client must test the nanny or a helper by himself/herself.
I can imagine you must be disappointed. We had an issue of "disappearing" things, too. The same as in your case: no one knew where it was.
I just wanted to say that (as you said, too) it is important to test the helper or nanny by yourself and then decide. An agency can't really match people in this regard.
Thanks for the honest feedback about a post-partum helper!
We're exploring our options, but we are thinking of getting a helper too when we have our new baby...but will try to find someone we know if possible!
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