Lots have been said about the journey of pregnancy and the process of giving birth\u2014always nail-biting and gripping. Indeed, the pre-and post-delivery period is a time full of uncertainties. There will be bitter and sweet moments, while exciting and disappointing times, too. Confinement at Home Backstep to about 10 years or so, when one finds out about her pregnancy, she will immediately start looking for a confinement lady (CL). Yes, it was that intense and I have sadly lived through those times! For some younger parents who may not be as familiar, a confinement lady is a caregiver who will live with the family for a month. Her job is to cook and do basic house chores for the new mum and take care of the baby. She would also take care of the newborn at night so that mum can have uninterrupted sleep. This, of course, depends on how comfortable the mum is with such arrangements. There are risks involved in this old-school confinement style\u2014for one thing, you are paying a stranger to live with you. We have heard stories that some CLs may be out for a quick buck by taking your deposit and then never show up when the baby arrives. And some may not be experienced enough and cause harm to the baby\u2014there is never a lack of supply of such scary stories! So, when it comes to hiring a CL, it may at times depend on luck. How It Went for Me The doting sisters and their baby brother. Twelve years ago, I was made a mum and it was a joyous milestone as we had lost a pregnancy 3 years before. Through recommendations via friends and family members, I got myself a sweet lady who was in her 70s (at the time). She was a hard worker but due to her age, we didn\u2019t have the heart to let her do heavy chores\u2014like carrying pails of herbal water for showers up the stairs. She also tended to fall asleep on the job and that really made us feel insecure. I mean, what if the baby slipped off her arms, right?! And you know how things are for a first-time mum, everything makes us paranoid! So, I ended up not having the rest everyone was talking about. When the second baby came and the frantic search for a CL began again, we were met with a scammer\u2014I kid you not. The CL (highly recommended by a family member, mind you!) went MIA after getting the deposit she requested for. Later, we found out from her husband after endless calls that she was in hiding from the loan sharks! Yes, money was lost, but imagine if she showed up at work living in our house and along came the loan sharks one day! *shudders* Oh, there\u2019s more in my treasure trove of confinement ladies\u2019 stories! You see, I have had 2 (out of 3) emergency deliveries. And these obviously messed with the confinement timeline. There was once a time I couldn\u2019t get a CL and my stress levels were through the roof, until the mother of one of my friends came to the rescue. But guess what? That didn\u2019t go too well, either! The CL left me, the newborn, and my 2 toddlers halfway to tend to another client who had given birth earlier. Now maybe this was my hormone talking, but I felt really hurt as the aunty just left without so much as bidding goodbyes to the little ones. This was a stark opposite of the loving aunty image she had portrayed during her stay with us. She also reminded me to give her an ang pow (a Chinese confinement tradition includes giving an ang pow as a token of gratitude to the CL) on top of her pay even though she did not complete her service. So much for being friends, huh! So yes, as you can tell by now, I didn\u2019t really enjoy my confinement months very much, save for the confinement food! In hindsight, it would have been less stressful managing the confinement month by myself than with confinement ladies. Alas! If I Can Do It All Over Again Our little family. The childbearing stage in one\u2019s life is seasonal; once it is over, it is over. I realise now that new mums should learn to and be conscious about enjoying each moment of the process\u2014from the time she saw the double lines on the test kit\u00a0to the seemingly endless doctor\u2019s visits, and especially so, the 28-day long confinement month. If I can do it all over again, I\u2019d tell myself not to be afraid to break out from the standard traditions and seek help from the experts. Who says confinement ladies are the only way to go? Of course, if it works for you, then that\u2019s great! And some of us may be blessed to have in-laws or parents who are able to provide confinement care, which is all the better. But if your setting requires a different arrangement, know that there are always ways around it! Thankfully, times have changed. Now, we have the options of catering confinement meals and once-a-week house cleaning services. There's also the offering of confinement centres that have improved and been made so much more convenient in these modern, fast-paced days. Specialised services like these allow the new parents to custom-make the entire confinement month to suit their budget, lifestyle, and principles\u2014all with peace of mind. One such one-stop-centres is Byond28 Confinement Centre at Cheras, Kuala Lumpur! Leave It to the Experts Byond28 Confinement Centre understands that this critical postpartum month requires comprehensive mother\/baby care and support\u2014physically, emotionally, and mentally. With that in mind, it offers a combination of the best traditional Chinese confinement care with modern medical practices. Byond28 provides 24-hour nursing care for newborns and the baby nursery is designed with reference to a hospital setting. It is equipped with an individual ground floor emergency exit, a two-tiered air ventilation system with HEPA filters, and a separate observation and isolation room for your baby. Backed by a team of highly experienced and board-certified medical professionals, Byond28 strives to give the best ante- and postnatal care. Weekly paediatrician check-ups on the newborns will be carried out and in-room consultation will be provided for the mothers. Being a breastfeeding-friendly centre, Byond28 Confinement has NLC (Malaysian National Lactation Centre)-certified in-house counsellors available for private consultations. Its counsellors are ever ready to help new mums to navigate through the journey of breastfeeding. Not forgetting, its team of OB\/GYN and nursing staff are also trained and ready to guide parents through the challenges of postpartum and baby care. The O&G and paediatrics are headed by experienced specialists in their fields, Dr Krishna Kumar S\/O Hari Krishnan and Dr Kenneth Looi, respectively. Hence, parents can be confident that mum and baby are in good hands during this first month after birth. Eating to Health At Byond28, a new mum\u2019s diet is its priority. The meals are carefully designed to ensure maximum nutrition absorption without compromising on the delicious tastes of Chinese confinement cooking for its residents. If you are like me and enjoy a good warm bowl of vinegar pork trotter and yellow wine chicken, you will be pleased to know that these two yummy dishes are available on the menu! Daily herbal tonic soups using premium SWS \u6c38\u751f herbs, bird\u2019s nest, and essence of chicken are provided to hasten the mum\u2019s recovery. And speaking of staying hydrated, the centre offers a variety of free-flow herbal teas (and in-house lactation cookies!) to ensure hydration and boost breastmilk! A Supported Step into Motherhood & Beyond Whether you are still at the crossroad of deciding on what to do with your confinement month or in need of advice on your pre- and antenatal journey, the right step forward is always talking to your loved ones and the specialists. If you have been following our Byond28 series thus far, we hope the one takeaway that speaks to you amongst others is that you don\u2019t need to walk this pregnancy journey alone. Reach out today and make an appointment with qualified help at Byond28 by calling +6017 362 8548. Or you may visit their official website,\u00a0Facebook,\u00a0and\u00a0Instagram\u00a0pages for more updates and fellow mothers\u2019 reviews of their stay with the centre. Note: Byond28 serves pork-free meals upon request, schedule a meeting to find out more today. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to\u00a0Motherhood Story!