Deciding Between a Jhappa or a Nanny: What's Best for Your Family?

Nanny Interviewing & Hiring Guide · November 05, 2023
Deciding Between a Jhappa or a Nanny: What's Best for Your Family?

Bringing a new baby into the world is a momentous occasion filled with joy and excitement. However, it also comes with the need for careful planning, especially when it comes to postpartum care and childcare. In the UAE, many Indian families face a significant decision: should they hire a Jhappa initially and switch to a nanny, or employ a nanny right from the beginning? Let's explore the pros and cons of both options to help you make the best choice for your family.

What is a Jhappa?

"Jhappa" or "Jaapa" is a term used in some South Asian cultures, particularly in India and Nepal, to refer to a traditional postpartum caregiver or confinement nanny. A "jaapa" or "jhappa" provides physical and emotional support to a new mother during the postpartum period, which can last for several weeks to several months after childbirth. Their role typically includes assisting with infant care, cooking special postpartum meals for the mother, and offering guidance on traditional postpartum practices. They are an essential part of the postpartum care system in many South Asian families, helping the new mother recover and adjust to her new role.

The Role of a Jhappa:

  1. Traditional Postpartum Care:

    • A Jhappa is a trained and experienced caregiver in traditional postpartum practices. They provide physical and emotional support to the new mother, assisting her in her postpartum recovery journey. A Jhappa provides specialized postpartum care and practices such as "panchakarma," a traditional Ayurvedic cleansing procedure. This can greatly benefit the new mother's physical and emotional recovery.
  2. Specialized Postpartum Meals:

    • Jhappas are skilled in preparing specific postpartum meals that aid in the mother's recovery and overall well-being. These meals are designed to provide essential nutrients and support milk production. Jhappas prepare nutrient-rich meals like "ladoos" and "methi" (fenugreek) dishes known to support postpartum healing and lactation.
  3. Infant Care:

    • Jhappas are well-versed in traditional baby care practices and help take care of the newborn, giving the new mother much-needed rest. While Jhappas primarily focus on the mother, they also have knowledge of traditional baby care practices, which include massaging the baby with warm oil and ensuring a nurturing environment for the newborn.

Pros of Starting with a Jhappa:

  1. Expertise in Postpartum Care:

    • Jhappas bring specialized knowledge and skills in postpartum care and traditional healing practices, which can be valuable during the initial postpartum period e.g. mommy massage.
  2. Cultural Relevance:

    • For families who value traditional practices, a Jhappa can provide a sense of comfort and cultural relevance during the postpartum phase. It ensures that cultural postpartum customs and dietary requirements are meticulously followed.
  3. Support for the New Mother:

    • Jhappas focus on the new mother's well-being, offering emotional and physical support, and ensuring that the mother feels comforted, understood, and nurtured during this period.

Cons of Starting with a Jhappa:

  1. Limited Childcare Scope:

    • Jhappas are primarily focused on the mother's postpartum recovery and are less experienced in infant and childcare beyond the basics and the traditional methods. They are not well-equipped to handle the growing needs of the child beyond the initial postpartum months.
  2. Short-Term Solution:

    • Jhappas are traditionally engaged for the first few months postpartum, leaving a gap in childcare as the child grows. Jhappas traditionally offer their services for the first few months postpartum. After this period, families need to make alternative childcare arrangements as the baby grows.

The Role of a Nanny:

  1. Childcare Expertise:

    • A nanny is primarily focused on infant and childcare, providing essential support in the baby's early development and care. They have extensive experience in infant and child care and are equipped to provide age-appropriate activities under your guidance.
  2. Household Assistance:

    • Nannies can take care of household duties such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry, allowing parents to focus on work or other responsibilities.
  3. Long-term Care:

    • Nannies offer consistent care beyond the postpartum period, which can be beneficial as the child grows and needs ongoing care. Nannies offer consistent care throughout your child's growth. They become an integral part of your family, ensuring the child's physical, emotional, and developmental needs are met.

Pros of Starting with a Nanny:

  1. Expertise in Childcare:

    • Nannies are experienced in infant and childcare, ensuring the baby's needs are met from day one. They create stimulating activities to support your child's growth and development. For infants, it will be tummy time, singing songs, reading books, etc.
  2. Flexible Long-term Care:

    • Starting with a nanny offers continuity of care as your child grows, building a strong bond between the caregiver and the child.
  3. Household Support:

    • Nannies assist with household tasks, allowing you to achieve a better work-life balance. You can trust them with both childcare and housekeeping responsibilities.

Cons of Starting with a Nanny:

  1. Higher Cost:

    • Nannies come at a higher price point than Jhappas due to their experience, qualifications, and consistent full-time care. This cost might challenge your budget.
  2. Employer Responsibility:

    • Families need to handle legal aspects, including visa sponsorship and labor laws when hiring a nanny.
  3. Structured Hours:

    • Nannies typically work on a structured schedule. This structure offers stability but may be less flexible than some families desire during that time.

Choosing the Best Option:

Deciding between a Jhappa and a nanny is a personal choice that depends on your family's needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Postpartum Care:

    • If you prioritize traditional postpartum care and support for the new mother, starting with a Jhappa may be ideal.
  2. Long-term Childcare:

    • If you're looking for consistent childcare and household support throughout your child's growth, a nanny from the beginning might be the better choice.
  3. Cultural and Personal Preferences:

    • Consider your family's cultural background, beliefs, and individual preferences when making this decision.
  4. Economic Considerations:

    • Review your budget and financial capacity, as costs can significantly differ between the two options.

Ultimately, the choice between a Jhappa and a nanny is a significant one. It's crucial to assess your family's needs, values, and long-term goals to make an informed decision that ensures the best care for your newborn and peace of mind for you.

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About the AuthorShalni
Shalni is the heart and soul behind Find My Nanny. As a devoted mom and with over 10 years of experience in HR and education in Dubai, she knows firsthand the struggles families face in finding reliable childcare. Drawing from her own experiences, Shalni is committed to making the nanny search process simpler, faster, and easier for families and nannies alike.
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