Are you doing a traditional Chinese confinement for the first month? It’s the month where you consume herbal soups and red dates drinks for nourishment, and shower in herbs to cleanse your post natal bodies. If yes, then regardless if you are going to do a DIY confinement or hire a confinement lady, you have to buy the necessary herbs in advance. This is so that you, the mothers or the confinement lady can readily cook or boil the herbs when the time comes. There are now many convenient choices for you to order these prepacked confinement herbs.
Option 1: Traditional Chinese Herbs Shop
Traditionally, you go to those Chinese herbs shop and get them to prepare approximate quantities of herb that will last you a month. One such shop is Long Ma (龍马) at Albert Centre (Queen Street, #03-50). They will pack wholesale quantities and you will mix and match the herbs yourself when you want to boil or cook them.
This is a sample of confinement ingredients list from Long Ma:
Option 2: Prepacked herbs for confinement
Since we are going on DIY confinement and are not experts when it comes to Chinese herbs, we chose the convenient but more expensive option. We got prepacked herbs for confinement. These herbs are individually packed in daily doses and mixed rightly for you.
Prepacked confinement herbs options we considered:
- ThomsonBaby (by Thomson Medical Center)
- Eu Yang Sang
- Wong Yu Nam (黄耀南) (choose ENG version at the top)
- Lao Ban Niang (老板娘)
Why we didn’t choose them?
I didn’t choose ThomsonBaby because it only has 10 days of pre-packed confinement herbs for purchase. As for their 28 day herbal care, I had to first visit their TCM clinic before I can purchase. The usual price for 28 day is already at S$426, not including consultation fee.
I didn’t choose Eu Yang Sang because their herbs seemed too pre-packed and not fresh as compared to the rest. Moreover, they didn’t have the shower herbs in the package. Later did I know, they actually have shower herbs I can purchase separately. In any case, my hubby aka confinement nanny wasn’t keen to mix the quantities for the Red Dates Tea himself – because the ingredients are packed separately in 300g packs.
I didn’t choose Mummamia because the price is on the higher side. It has a comprehensive package that I like, which include the shower herbs, but they are simply too expensive.
I didn’t choose Wong Yu Nam (黄耀南) because they didn’t have something that our ultimate choice has. It was a tough fight though, because according to my mum, Wong Yu Nam has better quality herbs. And Wong Yu Nam was slightly cheaper than our final choice. So hopefully we made the right choice of not choosing Wong Yu Nam. If I had chosen them, it would be their ‘Full Package’ (but if I’m not wrong, it’s with only 15 packets of soup + 2 sheng hua tang).
Our Choice: Lao Ban Niang
Lao Ban Niang’s baby fair booth and marketing is quite impressive. They are seen at almost every baby fair nowadays. And the lady whom I signed up with actually recognised me subsequently! She has seen my bump grow as I bump into her in the shop and fair now and then. 🙂
Why did we choose Lao Ban Niang (“LBN”)?
- The herbal soups and longan-red dates tea are individually packed and numbered. This makes things quite foolproof and easy for first time parents like us doing DIY confinement. We simply need to tear each sachet or box and follow the instructions to cook/boil them daily. Not much brain work needed.
- LBN has 30 packets of herbal soups, whereas most others only have 14-16 packets.
- Inform LBN upon labour and they will pack and deliver the fresh herbs to you once you reach home.
- LBN has this item in their exquisite package which made me choose them over Wong Yu Nam. That is, 2 boxes of Lance Asiabell Roots (奶参), which supposedly promotes milk secretion, resolves swelling, removes toxicity, and eliminates phlegm.
We signed up for their exquisite package during baby fair at S$518. You only need to pay a deposit of S$50 to secure the price and get the free gifts upon delivery. We got vinegar, sesame oil, dark and light soy sauces – all essential items for confinement cooking.
The exquisite package includes:
- 30 packets herbal soups
- 30 packets longan red dates tea
- 30 packets herbal baths
- 2 packets sheng hua tang
- 2 boxes lance asiabell roots
- 2 boxes baby herbal bath (for babies with jaundice, skin rashes or difficulties sleeping)
If you don’t want the baby herbal bath, you might want to change them to So Hup Yuen. It’s suitable for mothers experiencing bloatedness, abdominal pain after childbirth, mild nausea and vomiting.
Are you ordering confinement tingkat meals?
After I signed for LBN’s exquisite package, I signed up for ThomsonBaby’s 28-day lunch and dinner. And in this confinement meal set, there are 2 soups per day for me to consume. Hence according to the consultant at ThomsonBaby, I will be overly nourished if I drink these prepacked herbal soups with the ones that came with the confinement tingkat meals.
Hence, ThomsonBaby suggested I postpone drinking LBN’s soups to the 2nd month. This is alright because traditionally in China and Taiwan, there are mothers who do confinement from 40 days, 2 months to 100 days. When I informed LBN about it, they were unfazed too, because there are mothers who do drink 2 months’ worth of soup from them. One thing to note, LBN suggested I drink the soup order in reverse in the 2nd month.
Hence, for the herbal soups in the second month, we can either self collect from their shop or pay for their delivery. LBN will still deliver the rest of the package for free in the first month.
So, will you be getting the prepacked confinement herbs? Which one would you go for? Or have you tried any of them? Feel free to share or ask about them below.