What to Expect during Confinement

As a first-time expectant mother, I made the decision to engage PEM Confinement Agency quite early in my first trimester to secure their prices and services for my confinement month. After some consideration, I opted for a confinement agency instead of freelancers for several reasons. In this review, I will share my experiences with PEM Confinement Agency and the nanny they provided and how their services made my confinement month enjoyable and stress-free.

Note: This is not an ad or sponsored post, just sharing my experience with PEM and my nanny.

Choosing to use a Confinement Agency:

Trained nannies:

Their nannies have gone through proper training and has reasonable knowledge of how to care for newborns, not just based on traditional methods or myths passed down for decades.

Free Replacement and Backup Nanny:

PEM Confinement Agency provided an added sense of security with their promise of free replacement in case I was not satisfied with the nanny they initially assigned. Additionally, knowing that they could provide a backup nanny in case of unforeseen circumstances put my mind at ease.

Support and Feedback:

By engaging an agency, I had the assurance that I could provide feedback and seek help if any issues arose during my confinement month. This level of support was comforting for a first-time mother like me.

Choosing a Nanny:

At first, I considered letting PEM Confinement Agency assign any available nanny to me. However, after hearing some negative feedback from a friend who had a less than satisfactory experience, I decided to take matters into my own hands and appoint a specific nanny. This required a top-up of ~$250 if I recalled correctly (only payable if the appointed nanny arrives).

The language barrier was a significant factor as the agency only offered Mandarin-speaking nannies by default, and English was not even an option they provided. After conducting thorough research and reviewing customer testimonials of nannies on PEM's social media pages, I shortlisted a few nannies who could communicate in basic English or Cantonese based on the customers' feedback. Out of the five names I selected, only two were available on my desired dates, and without hesitation, I promptly booked one with the agent.

Tip: If you are looking for English speaking nannies, you can consider Confinement Angels or NannySOS. My friends used their service and were pretty satisfied.

Things to prepare before her arrival

  • Nanny's bed, pillow, blanket, basic toiletries, hairdryer
  • Kitchenware - at least a frying pan, some pots for boiling soup and knife to chop ingredients. We got the Carote 5 pieces set which was really handy and had everything we need.   
  • Cooking Ingredients - prepare some before she arrives, I usually ordered from Redmart so I didn't need to carry heavy groceries back.
  • A pail to put in the herbal bath water
  • Inform PEM of your delivery date and hospital discharge date

Day of Arrival:

My nanny arrived after lunch, and we followed the terms of the contract by providing her with angpow. She wasted no time, quickly settling in, and started discussing our daily routine and preferences. This initial conversation proved vital in establishing a smooth and harmonious working relationship. Set your house rules clearly to avoid any misunderstanding and issues later down the road. I was also super glad that she was fluent in English, Cantonese and Malay so communication was not an issue.

Daily Routine:

Throughout the confinement month, our nanny efficiently managed the daily routine, ensuring everything ran smoothly. From boiling herbal soups, red date tea, and herbal baths to preparing meals, laundry, and taking care of baby, she handled it all with skill and care. Her attentiveness to our needs and baby's well-being was impressive.


When engaging PEM, they would also try to sell you the PNSG massage packages and Hock Hua Tonic's 28 days herbal set + herbal bath. We took it there was some slight discount if we purchased them together. The PNSG masseuse was really good and came to our home for 7 days. She also ended the massage with a tight cloth binder to help tighten the tummy muscles. You can only start after the 3rd week if you are a c-sec mummy.


Initially, there were some repetitions in the dishes, but upon expressing my preferences, the nanny proved herself to be a skilled and versatile cook. She even surprised us with delicious Western dishes like black pepper chicken chop with potato wedges, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I've shared my list of dishes at the end of the post below if you need some ideas. 😉

Learning from the Nanny:

As first-time parents, the presence of a knowledgeable and experienced nanny was invaluable. She patiently taught us how to bathe, feed, burp, and put the baby to sleep, imparting practical skills and advice that we would have otherwise struggled to learn on our own. Her guidance made us feel more equipped and confident in our new roles as parents.

Last Day:

The month flew by, and it was time to bid farewell to our nanny. We were grateful for her dedication in caring for our family and appreciated the opportunity to rest and recover during the confinement period. Thanks to her, we felt more self-assured as parents, ready to embark on this new chapter with greater confidence.


Getting a good or compatible nanny would really depend on your luck, so I'd suggest appointing a specific one from the agency if you can. Otherwise you may be assigned random nannies that are possibly sub-standard. I've heard mixed reviews of nannies from PEM, so do some due diligence. All the best mamas!


Dishes that I suggested to my Nanny

Meat dishes

1) Steamed Wolf-berries Pork Ribs With Black Bean Sauce And Red Dates

2) Red Fermented Wine Chicken

3) steamed fish

4) Braised Pork Trotter in Black Vinegar

5) Stir Fried Black Pepper Udon

6) Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

7) Ginger Honey Chicken

8) HK Lime Steam Salmon

9) Steamed White Pepper Tofu with Minced Meat and Chinese Yam

10) Braised Chicken with Turmeric

11) Braised Fish Fillet

12) Seared Salmon with Cauliflower Cream label

13) Hakka Yellow Wine Chicken

14) Steamed Fish with Ginger

15) Pork Patties in Sweet Bean Sauce

16) Thai Lemongrass Fish

17) Fried noodles (bfast)

18) Fried rice

19) Tomyum fried beehoon (bfast)

20) Pesto sauce pasta

21) Black Sesame Pan-Seared Salmon (alrdy hv black sesame at home)

22) Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Funghi 

23) Thai Lemongrass Chicken

24) Steamed Chicken with Danggui

25) Steamed Threadfin With Ginger In Superior Soya Sauce

26) Creamy Black Pepper Chicken

27) Braised Fish Maw with Soft Ribs and Shiitake Mushrooms

28) Black Pepper Fish Fillet With Basil

29) Garlic and Cumin Meatballs with Tofu

30) King Oyster Mushroom with Fish Fillet

Vegetable dishes

1) Silky Egg With Amaranth in Superior Broth

2) Stir Fried Okra with Scallops

3) Stir Fried Cauliflower with Mushrooms

4) Shanghai Green With Shiitake Mushroom

5) Broccoli With Tofu Parcels

6) Broccoli With Mix Mushroom

7) Stir Fried Long Beans With Egg & Tomato

8) Stir Fried Cauliflower with Ikan Bilis

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