My wife just gave birth to baby domo (that’s her nickname) and we eagerly look forwarded to having our confinement nanny from PEM agency.
Upon her arrival at 2pm, she pass me a slip of paper from the agency which had some instructions for me (giving a red packet when she arrive and depart and giving her the payment for the service). No introduction of herself and did not ask us how we like to be addressed. (a warning sign)
She asked my wife if we have bought any ingredients for cooking. My wife said no but asked her to take a look inside the fridge first. (We do have spices and herbs)
She quickly changed her clothes and asked me to bring her to the wet market. At the wet market, she asked about our diet preferences (I am the carnivore at home 😅) as she was purchasing the food. She mentioned that she
Back at home, I gave her a quick rundown on the cooking appliances we had at home. (One induction, rice cooker and pressure cooker). She said that she know how to use all of them before. “Fantastic,this agency really did manage to find someone who fits my request” I thought to myself.
My wife told me later at night that she was shocked by the steam venting out of the pressure cooker when she first use it. Based on my own personal experience, someone who have used it before will know about the steam venting and would not be frightened by it.
The dinner was lacklustre and the only thing that I could taste was hua diao jiu and ginger. Yes I know confinement food sucks but I guess that is how it is going to be for the remaining 28 days.
The nanny told my wife that her milk production was too low and rushed me to purchase formula milk to supplement. (Fair enough, baby Domo was fed formula during her stay in KKH also she did not pee enough after only consuming breast milk). My wife did mentioned to her that she feels that there is no need to but the nanny insists it will be good as a standby. I gave in and purchased a tub of formula milk 😑.
First red flag, she did not bother to wake my wife up to let baby Domo to latch but instead make formula milk for her the whole night.
I guess it is normal but the next morning we decided to take a peek at her records. (It consists of feeding time and amount of breast/formula milk, diaper changing, temperature taking). I was quite surprised that the feeding time was irregular. I mean back at KKH, the nurses will force baby domo to wake up to eat every 3 hours. Here I am seeing intervals of 4-5 hours. You can let my wife have a good night rest without latching, that is fine but you cannot overfeed the baby so that she can sleep longer.
The next day, the nanny helped to prepare the herbal bath but my wife told her to only make half a tub before hand. Instructions for the herbs were printed out for her to read but I guess she did not bothered to follow through .
My wife told the nanny to not put any the ginger when she is preparing the red dates tea. The next thing that happened was that she found the nanny putting ginger in the herbal soup. (The prepared herbal soup did not request any extra ginger in the recipe). I understand her good intentions but she should avoid messing with the recipe. One such incident was when she added black beans to the soup and it resulted in my wife having headaches, we came to realise that my wife is not able to take black beans.
During the week, I had to bring baby Domo with me to the polyclinic to check on her
Second red flag, I noticed she is sleeping both in the afternoon and at night.
It does not really irks me but I find myself washing the bottles myself and sterilizing them quite often..while she will be in the room resting. The frequency went up much higher after I gave her the Wifi password on the Third day. I was initially under the impression she will watch videos to stay up through the night but…
..I caught her dozing off with her earplugs on at night while watching her drama.
All these I tried to turn a blind eye to it, as I understand that the job is tough. But after seeing the feeding records and that baby Domo’s jaundice is not going down, we know she had to be fed more. She is also not latching well as the nanny is using a spoon to feed her. (Yes, nipple confusion is a big thing to some but making the baby used to have a fast feeding speed is definitely not good). Baby Domo will panic (LOL) when she cannot get the milk fast enough from my wife and she had some difficulty trying to get used to sucking.
We decided to enforce two things
1) she must be fed every 3 hours.
2) she must use the Medela Calma tits (this actually emulate how a baby must suck when latching quite well)
Lo and behold, over the next few days, the nanny keep complaining about the Calma tits leaking.
I remember she mentioned this to me, “cannot use this to feed the baby, tried to feed 50ml but 20ml leak out”
But after all this instructions we caught her overfeeding again and again. I suspect that is because that way she can sleep longer. She even gets to snore during her sleep and my wife jokingly said that she get to rest much more than us. I do not feel that the truth is too far away.
Personally, I was getting quite annoyed with how every dish tastes the same especially the meat and fish dishes. My wife was so affected by the constant taste of ginger in the mouth (from the herbal soup) that she requested to her to put less ginger in her cooking.
After many rounds of mini-discussions with my wife, we finally decided to send her back. She was displeased with the care for baby Domo and her attitude towards her.
Personally, I was able to tolerate her
I called up the agency and told them I would want a replacement and cited the reason that she was not listening to instructions from my wife.
I broke the news to her in the morning at 8.30. the conversation as follows..
Me: “You can go off at 9.30” (there was a polyclinic appointment for baby
Nanny: “Huh, you are sending me back? Why do you want to send me back?” (obviously acting and faking it, as I believe the agency will have already notified her to go back since her work permit have been terminated)
Me: “You are not able to communicate well with my wife, so I am sending you back”
Nanny: “I have done all that your wife asked me to do, what more do you want me to do” (this truly shows she is unprofessional, she should accept the decision of her employers)
Me:”I have already requested for a replacement.”
Nanny: “You can still cancel it away” (LOL you think I want to keep you after you know I once tried to send you away ?)
Me: *kept quiet and turn back to my computer*
Nanny: “Even if you change to someone else, it will still be the same”
This is one of the most disgusting thing I have ever heard from anyone. Not only does it make herself look stupid for bringing people down with her, but it also affect the reputation of the agency as though this is the kind of standard that they produce. Finally, it dawned on me the reason why she does not have much reviews on her. I guess it is partly due to her attitude and lack of knowledge.
It was a pretty terrible experience