Traditionally, after giving birth, new mums spend 30 days in confinement at home. It is a time for blissful bonding with your newborn, and for first-time mums, learning how to care for baby. After undergoing pregnancy and childbirth, the confinement period is also crucial for postpartum recovery and reconditioning. Whether you plan to hire a confinement nanny or wing it yourself, here’s what you need to budget for confinement in Singapore 2022/2023.
Hiring a Confinement Nanny
The primary focus of confinement nannies is to provide postpartum care for the mother. Standard tasks include cooking confinement meals and brewing herbal tonics, red date tea, and herbal water for showers. They also help out with newborn-related chores so mum can focus on healing and bonding with her newborn. These generally include changing diapers, feeding, bathing, and doing laundry for mum and bub. Many also bring years of experience and expertise, which can prove invaluable to anxious new parents. Naturally, all this comes at a cost.
A live-in confinement nanny typically costs between $2,800 and $3,800 for a 28-day period. Remember to factor in their sleeping arrangements, which may include purchasing a mattress and bedding — about $150.
If your nanny is coming from Malaysia, additional costs include $35 for work permit, $60 for monthly levy ($300 if baby is not a Singapore citizen), and about $250 on a foreign domestic worker insurance plan. You also cover two-way transportation costs, at upwards of $300, depending on mode of transport.
Some families prefer to engage a part-time or daytime confinement nanny instead. While they only work from 9am to 6pm, you won’t be saving as much as you think. Fees generally range from $2,500 to $3,500. This is because part-time nannies have to settle their own accommodation and daily transport fees.
Agency or Freelance
A successful freelance confinement nanny usually relies on word-of-mouth recommendations. Hence, they also command higher rates. Expect to pay between $3,300 and $4,000 for the 28-day period. Experienced, in-demand Singaporean nannies also tend to cost more than Malaysian ones; some as much as $1,000 more!
Note that if you decide to hire a freelance nanny from Malaysia, you’ll have to handle the paperwork yourself. This is when going the agency route can be useful. Government-regulated agencies handle confinement nanny training, job scope agreements, and assist with placement, guarantees, work permits, and insurance too.
Note that all rates are estimates and the actual cost depends on your needs, for instance, if you have twins. Also, note that supply falls during festive periods such as Chinese New Year, so if you need a confinement nanny during those seasons, be sure to book early and expect to pay a premium.
(See also: Income Tax Reliefs for Parents – Are You Maximising Your Tax Savings?)
In Singapore, tradition dictates you give your confinement nanny two red packets to mark the beginning and end of the confinement period. The ‘first day ang bao’ ranges from $30 to $80, while the ‘last day ang bao’ can be anywhere between $100 and $500, depending on her service.
You’ll need to purchase confinement herbs and nourishing ingredients that the confinement nanny uses to prepare your meals and tonics. These can cost about $200 to $300 or even more. If you don’t already own a suitable slow-cooker, double-boiler, or thermal flasks, expect to fork out around $200 or so for these as well.
Some require the confinement nanny to cook regular meals for hubby or other family members as well. This will naturally cost extra, from $100 per person.
(See also: Confinement Nanny in Singapore: 5 Important Questions to Ask before Hiring One)
If you’re gung-ho enough to DIY your confinement or your agreement with your confinement nanny doesn’t include cooking, confinement caterers are a godsend. Like the usual tingkat delivery, meals are conveniently delivered to your doorstep daily. The difference is that confinement meals are specially designed to nourish the postpartum body and encourage lactation.
Confinement food delivery caterers often pair red date tea and herbal soups with their meals. Prices start from about $1,500 for both lunch and dinner over 28 days. Some, like Tian Wei Signature and Angel Confinement Meals, even offer add-ons such as lactation bakes, birds nest soup, and bento meals for family members.
(See also: 12 Confinement Food Delivery Caterers in Singapore)
Confinement Supplements and Herbal Products
For those who don’t have a confinement nanny to prepare the herbal soups, teas, and baths, options include getting your helper, the hapless new dad, or another family member to boil them for you. This also means buying the herbs and ingredients beforehand, of course. Unless your granduncle owns a TCM store, a good idea is to purchase confinement herbal packages.
These usually include 28 single-use packets of confinement herbs, along with cooking instructions. Some also include what you’ll need to prepare red date tea and herbal baths. Prices start at about $280 for a basic confinement herbal tonic soup package. Some mums also choose to supplement with ready-to-drink tonics such as Huiji Waist Tonic or Tian Yuan Xiang Chicken Essence.
(See also: Super 7: Popular Tonics and Supplements for Pregnancy and Beyond)
While a confinement nanny may prepare herbal baths for you, it usually doesn’t extend to postnatal massages. Many mums swear by Javanese postnatal massages to help them with postpartum healing and getting back to pre-pregnancy shape. It employs techniques that improve blood circulation, speed up womb recovery, and reduce post-delivery swelling.
There are also TCM and traditional Malay jamu massages. A basic five-session package can cost upwards of $380. You may pay a little more for the masseuse to come to your home, complete with mobile massage bed. Noura Sam Mum’s Legacy and Postnatal Massage Singapore are two postnatal massage specialists with great reviews.
(See also: 10 Postnatal Massage services to help you Heal and Slim down after giving Birth)
Truly want to experience hassle-free indulgence during your confinement (or your home is just not a conducive environment)? Consider splurging on one of the premium confinement centres in Singapore and let the experts baby you — and bub. It includes a stay in a luxurious hotel-style suite, complete with all the confinement refinements you need. Popular choices include Momley Loft and Kai Suites.
Of course, such confinement facilities don’t come cheap, nor should they, if you want quality care and food. Expect to pay anything from $8,000 to $28,000 for 14- to 28-day packages. Perks include round-the-clock confinement nanny services, lactation consultations, baby nurseries, postnatal massage treatments, and dietitian-planned meals.
(See also: 5 Tips for Breastfeeding Success after Giving Birth)
Cost of Confinement in Singapore 2022/2023
In summary, the cost of observing your confinement in Singapore 2022/2023 generally ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. That’s on the basis of engaging a confinement nanny at home for a month, of course. Expect to pay up to six times as much if you decide to stay at a dedicated confinement centre.
Whichever you choose, do make your booking with your preferred confinement nanny or facility once you have your EDD. The same is true for confinement caterers and postnatal masseuses. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to explore options, research reviews, and gather recommendations in advance.
(See also: Confinement Practices in Multiracial Singapore)