Does everyone have a Confinement Lady? Sometimes I wonder if other races or civilizations have confinement ladies to help with the post-partum affairs. In fact, I'm not even sure if anyone else has confinements at all. But to the Chinese, that time after birth is all-important.
Every Chinese will tell you that Confinement Ladies are a must. Basically, her role is to take care of the mother and her new baby in adherence to the tips and taboos outlined by our forefathers. And boy, we Chinese have a heckuva lot of taboos!
Anyway, last month, we engaged the services of Aunty Mooi. She's a superwoman. She takes care of Mae's needs - her food, her herbal supplements, her medicinal baths, etc. On top of that, she also takes care of Baby Jesse. To make sure Mae gets a good night's rest, Jesse sleeps with her for the entire month. This ensures that all his late night activities of feeding and poo-ing are well taken care of.
As a Confinement Lady, Auntie Mooi is pretty progressive - given that she's attended quite a few... erm... training sessions with some Pediatricians. (Actually, she's always gone along for all doctor visits so that she could keep up with the latest in child care) That's helped a lot. Believe me. At least we didn't have to contend with a whole bunch of superstitions! Still, in many instances, she can be pretty old-school.
But what makes Aunty Mooi a really good Confinement Lady is the fact that the old girl can cook. Boy, can she ever! Every meal is a treat in our household these days. She rotates the menu well, and her cooking is more contemporary - which simply means she holds back on the ginger and the herbs! Aside from the customary Drunken Chicken Soup and Pork Trotter Vinegar Stew, we've had quite a good spread.
When Pip and Estella were doing their confinement, poor Pip was subjected to a daily torture of "heavily-gingered" dishes. So much so the poor chap plotted an amazing jailbreak to enjoy a nice plate on Wantan Noodles. And that was only after one week. Hehheh!
Meanwhile, in the Tan household, tonight will be yet another night of fine dining. Ahhhh... who said confinement had to be bad?
UPDATED 23 AUG 06: I have received quite a few email and comments asking for Auntie Mooi's contact number. I'm sorry to inform that Auntie Mooi is no longer in the confinement business. She has officially retired since a year or so back and it doesn't look like she'll be back. Sorry, folks.