Embarking on the journey of motherhood comes with its own set of challenges, joys, and a crucial learning curve. As a FTM, I felt that a confinement nanny would be a great hands-on help for baby care and my post-partum recovery. In this article, I share my honest and unfiltered personal PEM Confinement Nanny review. It’s an experience that is purely mine and in no way influenced or sponsored.
Context: I engaged two nannies for a period of 4 x 28 days in total). Both were from PEM confinement nanny agency.
Why I Chose PEM Confinement Nanny?
My decision to go with a PEM confinement nanny over other agencies or freelancer nannies wasn’t taken lightly. Here are my main considerations that led me towards going with PEM eventually.
|PEM Confinement Agency
|Other Confinement Agencies
|Freelance Confinement Nannies
|Has an established history and I had friends who used their services before.
Engaging an agency would provide me alternatives if (touchwood) anything went wrong with my experience with the nanny.
They offered a “Gold Nanny” option for highly reviewed nannies compared to their normal pool.
|Did not have many friends who engaged from other confinement agencies.
|Had friends who recommended freelance nannies, but was concerned about:
– the lack of alternatives should the choice of nanny fall sick or not suitable for me
– having to deal with the nitty gritty permits and paperwork
First Impressions and Onboarding Process
The initial interaction with PEM was positive. When I reached out to them at week 12 via their website, I received a response within 1 working day. I received a call from their consultant who briefly checked my details (like EDD, type of birth expected, housing type etc.) and arranged for a detailed call at my convenience.
Shortly after, I received an email with more details and a quote to secure a nanny for my EDD. In my case, it was $3850 for one baby (deposit of $1000).
During the next call, both my husband and I clarified our various questions about the contract in detail. Since everything was pretty clearly laid out, I decided to go ahead and book them. I opted for the choice to select a SPECIFIC nanny (paid an additional $250 for this). This is after going through plenty of google reviews of different nannies and picking one that had multiple good reviews. I also managed to confirm that this nanny I picked was of GOLD nanny status too, but I only had to pay the $250 for specifying a nanny and not the +$400 for a gold nanny.
What is a GOLD Nanny?
As I was informed, their GOLD nanny status is accorded to nannies who have had 6 consecutive 5 star reviews from their employers. Should they not receive a 5 star review, they will lose the status. Hence I felt like this was a good reassurance of the nanny’s capabilities since it was verified by multiple couples.
On hindsight, I felt that there was no transparency, because the employers (us) are not able to see their latest consecutive reviews to verify that.
They also will share with you their confinement herb package and postpartum massage packages that they have with their partners. I had other choices for the above based on my research, so I did not go with them.
With that done and dusted, I was proud of myself for check off another item on my checklist before delivery.
The Screw Up Two Weeks Before My EDD
I received a phone call from their customer service informing me that my choice of nanny is no longer available due to personal reasons. As a hormonal pregnant woman who hated last minute changes, I was furious. After all, I spent hours sifting through google reviews to find that specific nanny and put a deposit almost 6 months ahead to book her services.
Because it was so last minute, there was no other GOLD nanny available based on my own researched list that I could choose.
PEM’s response? To ask me to upgrade with an additional $400 to appoint a GOLD nanny since I did not want just a random nanny assigned to me. No service recovery attempted. To me, it was extremely unprofessional, because it was a mess-up on their part. However, because it was just 2 weeks away from my EDD, my husband persuaded me to just top up the additional money to avoid creating more work for ourselves.
They even told me that the nanny’s profile will be sent to me 1 day before my delivery (scheduled c-section). I just told them, do I look like I’m very free to deal with last minute things like this 1 day before delivery and that only prompted them to offer the profile 2 days before delivery. At this point, I was too tired to argue with them further.
Activating My PEM Confinement Nanny
Because they are an established agency, they have good processes in place that are fuss-free. My husband simply made a call on the day I was admitted to hospital, and another on the day I was to be discharged before 12nn. That was all it took to get my PEM confinement nanny activated and ready to meet us at home. No fussing with permits, paperwork and whatnot.
On the day of discharge from Thomson Medical Centre with baby, we arrived home to find that our nanny had already arrived shortly before us.
She sat us down and had a quick chat about expectations, and started her duties promptly.
What My PEM Confinement Nanny Does?
PEM’s HQ screw ups aside, I’m very thankful for both my PEM confinement nannies. They were a great help during the most important early months of baby’s life and my post-partum recovery from c-section. For mummies who are wondering what does a confinement nanny do to help? Here’s what mine did:
- Feed baby 2-3 hourly (including night feeds)
- Look after baby’s well-being throughout the day
- Keep track of all baby feeds, diaper change, and temperature (this gets crazy as baby was pooping up to 10-12 times a day)
- Wash, sterilize, and put together my pumping equipment – sometimes helped by my helper
- Wash and sterilize baby bottles – sometimes helped by my helper
- Cook confinement meals up to 5 times a day – helper assists with food prep and clean up at times
- Cook confinement herbal soups (once or twice a day)
- Top up red date tea throughout the day
- Assist me in toilet trips and shower (when my husband isn’t around) – first month only
- Keep a ready supply of hot herbal water for handwashing
- Boil herbal water for shower
- Sun tan baby in the morning
- Shower baby (morning)
- Wipe down baby (late afternoon)
- Accompany us on baby doctor appointment
- Gave me moral support for my tough breastfeeding journey
- Do baby laundry – usually done by my helper
My Review Of The Two PEM Confinement Nannies
Just to be clear, both my PEM confinement nannies are of GOLD nanny status.
The first confinement nanny was in her 50s, worked for 10+ years and knew what she was doing. She was a great help in all aspects and super on the ball in taking care of me and my baby. Her confinement food was also super yummy, and I was eating up to 5 full meals a day while breastfeeding. She also gave me a lot of moral support when my baby was struggling with latching and I was facing crazy bouts of engorgement and more.
However, my husband had a disagreement on her way of taking care of my baby (which resulted in butt sores for baby) and she was dismissed at the end of her 28 day term.
PEM promptly provided us with a replacement who arrived at 2pm the same day my first nanny left. This I would say was the best thing about the experience with PEM.
My second PEM confinement nanny was in her 60s, worked for 20+ years, and was an amazing help all around. She was so good we extended her for 3 X 28 day periods. Honestly by the end of her term with us, she felt like a part of the family. I was so scared of losing her support, but it turned out she trained us really well. We are still in close contact with her now.
She was polite, meticulous, hygienic, and always went the extra mile in whatever she was doing. If my first nanny was a GOLD nanny, I would say my second nanny is a GOLD STAR nanny! Some of the highlights from her time with us included:
- Helping to resolve my baby’s diaper sore issues
- Cooking amazing zichar stall worthy dishes and teaching my helper all her recipes without gatekeeping
- Teaching us (parents and helper) step by step how to care for baby with so much patience and initiative
- Recommending lots of amazing gadgets and products that we are still using today
- Mari-kondoed my house – clearing my kitchen of expired food, repurposing lots of things I have, organizing everything less cluttered
- Sending me funny baby videos to motivate me during my night pumps
- Dressing up and celebrating baby every month
- Helping prepare us for baby’s 100th day celebration
- Not taking any off days despite us offering her because she said it’s not safe because she doesn’t wanna risk getting covid
- and many more…
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
After experiencing the highs and lows of postpartum life with the assistance of PEM Confinement Nannies, I’ve gained invaluable insights and a few lessons worth sharing.
Reflections on PEM’s Services
PEM’s services, despite the initial hiccup, were generally alright. The professionalism and skill set of both GOLD status confinement nannies were great. And they assisted with a swift replacement when required.
However, the incident of the last-minute change of nanny and the lack of transparency regarding the GOLD status were something that really affected their reputation in my mind and makes it hard for me to genuinely recommend them to others. Also, I expected a lot more from their service based on the premium that I paid.
Recommendations for Prospective Parents:
- Research Thoroughly: Spend time researching various agencies and their reviews. Personal recommendations are valuable, but your specific needs might differ.
- Clarify Expectations: Clearly discuss your expectations and any specific requirements with the agency and the nanny.
- Plan for Contingencies: Be prepared for unforeseen changes. Ask the agency about their backup plans in case of emergencies.
- Be Open to Learning: Your confinement nanny can be a wealth of knowledge. Be open to their suggestions and willing to learn.
- Communicate Regularly: Maintain open lines of communication with both the nanny and the agency to ensure a smooth experience.
This review, candid and unsponsored, is shared in the hope that it will assist other parents in making an informed decision. The journey of parenthood is unique for everyone, and the choice of a confinement nanny should align with your personal needs and expectations.
Remember, the postpartum period is not just about the baby’s care but also about the mother’s recovery. Prioritize your well-being and choose a support system that aligns with your values and needs. And for those considering PEM or any other confinement nanny service, I hope my experience offers some guidance and assurance in your decision-making process.