Finding Local Help with Your Newborn
A lot of you have loved my previous post, "God Save the Confinement Nanny". It is probably one of the posts I get the most inquiries. So I have decided to do a follow-up post on this topic.
With the current Covid-19 situation, finding local help to take care of your newborn has been more sort after than ever. Most expats used to rely on their parents flying over to help out with the newborn, but with quarantine and flying restrictions, this doesn't seem to be a via option anymore. So a lot of people are now looking for alternative local help.
One of the biggest problems expats face when hiring a local confinement nanny is the language barrier. A lot of confinement nannies in Hong Kong are middle-aged women who don't speak English, which is a big problem when this person is at your home every day and taking care of your newborn. So how can one find a confinement nanny who speaks English and what are the alternatives? Thanks to the mums in my mummy group chats and a lot of research, here are the alternatives.
Doula Easy is founded by Emily Ng (吳美蘭, also known as 美蘭姐). She has over 30 years of experience in the childcare industry and is an experienced Confinement Nanny, Lactation consultant, and an ERB lecturer for the Foundation Certificate in Post-natal Care Worker Certificate Course.
Doula Easy is a Confinement Nanny agency and platform. Where confinement nannies can register and post their profiles online for mummy-to-be to see. (Liked Linkedin or Facebook) In order to be registered onto the Doula Easy website, the Confinement Nannies must have a qualified ERB certificate.
They have a wide range of different confinement nannies with various skills and experiences. So you can pick and choose who suits your needs.
They have five different experienced levels of Confinement Nannies:
新手 = Newcomer
入門 = Beginner
標準 = Standard
熟練 = Experienced
資深 = Expert
Usually, the price they charge reflects on the amount of experience they have. However, that is not always the case. As some beginner level confinement nannies have more skills and abilities than the experienced ones. (Such as fluent English or Lactation Consultant certifications.)
Here is How Doula Easy Works
There are two ways of using the Doula Easy platform.
You can go onto their website, look at the Confinement Nannies' profiles, and contact them yourselves. Even though the website is in Chinese, don't worry, if you use Google Chrome, it can translate the website for you. However, expect some of the words might be lost in translation. (Like google translate)
You can Whatsapp them, tell them your requirements (Start date, duration, skill sets, experience, your budget, language, etc.), and they will find a match for you. Hassle-free and quicker for you.
Pros and Cons of Option 1 - Do it yourself option
Pros - If you contact the Confinement nanny directly, you might be able to get a better rate. As she doesn't have to pay the agency a recommendation fee. (Parents do not have to pay for the recommendation fee.) This option is similar to finding a confinement nanny on your own via a friend's recommendations.
Cons - It is time-consuming, as you will have to contact each of them individually. You are also basing your decision on their profiles. The confinement nanny is in charge of providing the contract, and you will have to sort out her insurance yourself.
Pros and Cons of Option 2 - Via Doula Easy Agency
All you have to do is tell them your requirements, and they will find the best match for you. They have an internal rating system of all the confinement nannies on their site. So they will have a higher chance of finding the right confinement nanny for you.
They will provide a detailed contract between you and the confinement nanny, to ensure all your bases are covered.
They will sort out the insurance for you, so that is another thing off your mind.
You can contact them with any questions you may have. If this is your first time hiring a confinement nanny and you are unsure what to expect or what to prepare, you can call them up or WhatsApp them with any queries you may have.
You are guarantee to have someone to help you out at the end of the day. Sometimes life can throw you a curveball, and unforeseen situations may occur. For example: The Confinement nanny you hired suddenly fell ill right before she was about to start. Doula Easy will be able to send you a replacement so you will have someone to help you.
If you are unsatisfied with the Confinement Nannie's performance, you can ask Doula Easy to send you another Confinement Nanny. They will find out what you are unhappy about and see if the problem can be resolved with the present Confinement nanny. If the problem cannot be resolved, they will find you a replacement to suit your need.
Cons - The hourly rate listed on the website is the basic rate that you will have to pay. If you require extra serves such as lactation consultancy or massage therapy or vegetertian meals than the rate will be higher.
What qualifications do Confinement Nannies need to have in order to be on the Doula Easy Platform?
In order to be registered onto the Doula Easy website, the Confinement Nannies must have a Foundation Certificate in Post-natal Care Worker Certificate issued by ERB. This is a 152 hours course, specifically for Confinement Nannies.
Why do they only accept ERB qualified certificates?
The Employees Retraining Board (ERB) is a statutory boady established in 1992 under the Employees Retraining Ordinance. It is the most recognised organisation for Confinement Nanny qualitfications in Hong Kong.
How is Doula Easy different from other agencies and finding a confinement nanny on your own?
With Doula Easy, their Confinement Nannies charges per hour instead of per month. Giving the parents the flexibility to hire the Confinement Nanny for a longer or shorter period of time.
Confinement Nannies usually charge for an 8 hour day or 24 hours. Some will accept a 10 hours day contract but that is not standard practice. With Doula Easy, you have an option to hired a confinement nanny for 6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours or 24 hours a day contracts. If you only require a confinement nanny for 6 hours a day, you can list that as one of your requirements.
How many Confinement Nannies on the Doula Easy Plateform speaks English?
Around 100 with fluent English and around 300 with basic English (ie. No problem communicated with the helper.)
How much do the Confinement Nannies charge per month?
Depending on their skillsets, working hours, and experience levels, the price varies. For a Newcomer, for an 8 hours day Confinement Nanny, it can start from $14K per month. For an Expert Confinement Nanny for a 24 hours day, it can go up to $60K per month.
How much deposit do I have to pay to book the Confinement Nanny?
10 - 20% of their monthly salary.
Is it possible to arrange a trial?
Yes, if you want to try out the Confinement Nanny for a day to see her cooking skills etc, that is possible. You just need to pay her the daily rate. (Which will be slightly higher than her monthly rate.) Please noted, not all Confinement Nannies are willing to do a trial. So if that is one of your criteria, please let Doula Easy know.
The Confinement Nanny has started, but I am not satisfied with her work, can I back out of the contract?
There is a probation period of 3 - 5 days after the Confinement Nanny starts. During this period, either party has the right to terminate the contract without giving 7 days noticed. The employer will need to pay the number of days worked, no matter who breaks the contract.
If either party breaks the contract after the probation period, the party breaking the contract will have to pay a broken contract fee to the other party.
Depending on who breaks the contracts and the situation the deposit will be settled differently. Please contact Doula Easy for further information.
When is the best time to contact Doula Easy to find you a Confinement Nanny?
When your pregnancy test turns positive! (No joke!) Experienced and sort after Confinement Nannies are high in demand, and get snapped up really quickly. So the earlier you contact them the better chance you will be able to find the perfect Confinement Nanny for you. You will also have more choices, as more of them will be available.
I am giving birth next month, can Doula Easy still find my a Confinement Nanny in time?
Yes, even if you want a Confinement Nanny to start tomorrow, they will be able to find you one. With their wide database of Confinement Nanny, they will be able to find someone to help you last minute. The last-minute Confinement Nanny might not tick all your criteria, but they will find you the best possible match available.
I delivered earlier than expected, and the Confinement Nanny I have hired is not available yet. Can Doula Easy send someone to help out for a short period of time?
Yes, even if you just need someone for a week to cover the time until your Confinement Nanny can start, they can find someone to help you. You just need to pay them a daily rate.
Important Tip - No matter if you are finding a confinement nanny on your own or through an agency. ALWAYS meet them in person before signing the contract, no matter how highly recommend they are. Meeting someone face to face always gives you a much better idea of what their personality is like. Make sure you discuss your expectation and her duties during your meeting to avoid any future conflicts.
Personal thoughts - Even though I haven't used them myself personally, after my interview with Doula Easy, I found them very professional, understanding, and thorough. If I haven't already found a Confinement Nanny, I would be happy to give them a try.
Contact information: WhatsApp: 69236636, www.doulaeasy.com
For some mums, their biggest challenge isn't about taking care of the baby, but with breastfeeding or Mastitis (Blocked milk ducts in your breast, which is very painful!) Breastfeeding a problem many mothers face, this is not just with new mums, sometimes it happens with second-time mothers too, as every baby is different.
There are lots of independent lactation consultants you can hire. Different lactation consultants offer different services, depending on their background. Some are purely lactation consultants, however, some can also offer help with taking care of your newborn too. The Family Zone is one of those companies that offer more than just lactation consultant services.
The Family Zone
The Family Zone offers a wide range of services, from lactation and postnatal consultations, helper's first aid & CPR training for babies and kids, helper assesment to home safety. (Pretty much everything to do with your kid from 0 - 5 years old, they are able to help you.)
Founded by Yvonne Heavyside, a British trained Health Visitor (maternal & child health specialist), UK Registered General Nurse, Community Nurse, a Hong Kong-registered nurse, Lactation Consultant, Further Education Teacher, and First Aid & CPR Instructor. She has over 35 years of experience working in many different districts in the UK and 18 years in Hong Kong including work with the Matilda International Hospital.
The Family Zone was established because of demand from clients Yvonne was already working with at The Matilda. Many of these mothers were familiar with the British health visiting service and sought a similar service in Hong Kong.
What are home visits?
In the UK, health visitors visit all mums and babies at home once the mum leaves the hospital. The health visitor is there to offer support and advice on breastfeeding, care of the postnatal mother and of the newborn, and to help deal with any family issues. The health visitor monitors the physical and mental development of the baby until the baby is 5 years old.
Here are all the different courses and services The Family Zone offers:
Baby Basics - practical training and guidance on handling your newborn.
Consultation and Servies
Helper Assessment - on-the-job assessments, reviewing your helper’s understanding of vital knowledge on childcare.
Home Safety - A review of your home's safety according to the age(s) of your children. A report will be given to you with recommendations on actions that need to be taken to rectify any problems.
The Employees Retraining Board (ERB) is a statutory body established in 1992 under the Employees Retraining Ordinance. It is the most recognised organisation for Confinement Nanny qualifications in Hong Kong.gher. to find the perfect Confinement Nanny for you. You will also have more choices, as more of them will be available.
Contact Information - 9887 3235,www.thefamilyzone.hk
There are plenty of other lactation consultants around, however, I haven't used them personally or know someone who has, so I can't vouch for them. (Hence why I didn't write about them.) Although, during my research, I did come across a company called Melinda Maternity, which does sound interesting. As it offers services from helping busy parents to shop for baby items, postnatal care, various classes, to night nurse services.
I heard about The Family Zone via a friend who has used their services. She highly recommends them and says that they are a good alternative for those who do not want to hire a confinement nanny.
Hire a second helper
They might not know how to cook all the nutritious food to replenish you, the new mama, but at least you know you have an extra pair of hands to help with your newborn. s. I found most Philippino helpers are great with kids, and a lot of them do have newborn experience.
They might not know how to cook all the nutritious food to replenish you, the new mama, but at least you know you have an extra pair of hands to help with your newborn. Although some helpers, who have worked with a confinement nanny before might have picked up a thing or two. So that is something you can also ask during your interview.
I hope you find this blog post useful and helpful. Whichever route you choose, just make sure it is the right choice for you. Everyone is different, and you know yourself better than anyone else.
I wish you smooth and easy delivery, and happy postnatal experience.
Sending you love & positive thoughts,