Saturday 26 May 2012

Confinement Nanny Training Programme: Confinement nannies go professional

WDA-Thomson Medical initiative to ease shortfall
By Poon Chian Hui, The Straits Times, 24 May 2012

CONFINEMENT nannies are so in demand that some couples book their services eight months before the baby is due.

But a first-ever initiative to train confinement nannies - who provide help in the first month after birth - should help ease the supply crunch.

The Confinement Nanny Train-and-Place Programme
was announced by Minister of State for Health Amy Khor at a career fair in Jurong East yesterday.

She noted that this year, being the Dragon Year in the Chinese zodiac, will 'intensify the shortage of confinement nannies by an estimated 30 per cent'.

Many Chinese believe the Dragon Year is auspicious for having babies. The figures bear that out, with some 9,900 babies born in the first three months of the year - an 8 per cent rise from the same period last year.

The confinement nanny training comprises four days of classes and three days spent working at a maternity ward in Thomson Medical Centre (TMC). The private institution that specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology is working with the South West Community Development Council and Workforce Development Agency (WDA) on this initiative.

The centre hopes to train at least 150 nannies by next April. The course is subsidised by the WDA, so participants pay about $150 instead of $1,500. After they are certified, the centre will link them up with interested families.

Earnings per assignment start from $2,000. Most nannies stay with the family for 28 days. Duties range from bathing and feeding the newborn to cooking nourishing food for the mother.

Dr Khor said the course aims to 'professionalise' the industry and give more assurance to parents.

'Through proper training, we also hope that they will be able to handle the babies better, provide better quality service and, of course, safe service,' she added.

The new move is welcomed by mothers like Ms Ho Ching Yun, 34, who thought she and her husband could handle things themselves when they had their first newborn in February.

Two weeks later, she felt overwhelmed. For one, her son had to be fed every two hours, said Ms Ho, a general practitioner. She decided to hire a confinement nanny. She said she will depend on such help again for her next child.

Many nannies for hire do not have any formal training.

Many myths could go unaddressed, for example, the common impression that new mothers should not take baths during the confinement period.

The course is based on medically sound evidence, said lactation consultant Fonnie Lo of TMC, who is one of the course trainers.

Trainees also learn more about traditional Chinese medicine so that they can prepare herbal soups to boost health.

A trainee who attended the first round of the course one month ago is Ms Ivy Lim, 58, who used to work in IT sales.

Set to take up her first job in September, she said: 'I am confident because I know my stuff.'

No comments:

Post a Comment