Single mom shares how a neglectful yaya gave her baby pneumonia and UTI

"Her lungs were filled with phlegm and if I didn't bring her to the hospital soon it could have been fatal..."

Being a mom is challenging enough. But if you have to raise your child without a partner, it can be even more difficult. So single mothers seek the help of relatives and trusted friends. It takes a village, as they say.

But what if one person in your “village,” who’s supposed to protect your child is the one who puts them at risk? 31-year-old Jenny Young learned the value of a trustworthy support system after her baby’s yaya harmed her otherwise healthy baby.

Here’s her story.

Neglectful smoking nanny gives baby pneumonia by smoking while caring for her

In an interview with theAsianparent, Jenny laments that her 16-month-old baby once contracted pneumonia at six months old from her nanny (yaya).

The yaya, who was already in her late 50s, had apparently been smoking while caring for the baby.

“I already heard from my stepmom that she caught her smoking and already told the yaya not to,” Jenny confides, recalling how her little one started to get sick — from the common cold to cough. 

However, she says that “the yaya did promise not to smoke.”

“I caught the yaya hiding a cigarette behind her back as she carried my baby with one hand…”

smoking nanny

Photo courtesy of Jenny Young

But the smoking nanny had a hard time kicking the habit. 

“Even though my child already had cough and colds at the time, I caught the yaya hiding a cigarette behind her back as she carried my baby with one hand,” recounts Jenny. “After a day, my child’s cough was making it hard for her to breathe and that time my yaya strongly advised against taking her to the doctor.”

The child’s yaya instead insisted she knew how to perform baby massages (or hilot), which could help relieve the symptoms, but this seemed to only put the baby in pain.

Jenny persisted in bringing her child to the doctor, and it was a good thing she did. While at the doctor’s clinic, she found out her baby’s breathing was no longer normal.

“If I didn’t bring her to the hospital soon it could have been fatal…”

smoking nanny

Photo courtesy of Jenny Young

Since the child was vomiting up medicine, the doctor thought it best to refer them to a hospital. While there, several tests confirmed the baby had pneumonia.

“Her lungs were filled with phlegm and if I didn’t bring her to the hospital soon it could have been fatal,” Jenny relates.

Doctors also diagnosed her baby with a urinary tract infection (UTI). She later found out from neighbors that the yaya had given the child soda to drink.

Jenny eventually terminated the employment of the problematic yaya.

Through her experience, she’s learned a lot. And she has this advice: “Parents should make sure yayas aren’t smokers and have no vices like gambling because that would be the reason why they will neglect the child when you are not around.”

How to handle problems with your child’s yaya based on Jenny’s story

  • Confront them. “Sometimes it is hard to talk back to older people but we shouldn’t be afraid to stand for ourselves when our child is at risk,” says Jenny. If you sense something is off, you can still confront them without being disrespectful. You are still their employer despite the age gap. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth.
  • Give them the benefit of the doubt. When faced with an issue, allow them to explain themselves. Listen to them with an open mind. This encourages a mutually beneficial conversation.
  • Give them a chance to prove themselves. Do not jump to conclusions based on a person’s background. Jenny assumed the smoking nanny would be a good caregiver since she’s an older mom. You can only really tell how good a caregiver they will be once they’re on the job.
  • Be firm but fair. There has to be a balance between being a kind employer and one that keeps employees in line. Jenny confides that it was her fault for being too lenient, “I felt like she abused her freedom and thought she was irreplaceable.”
  • Strive to find the best replacement, if needed. There are still good helpers out there! After all that her family has been through, Jenny happily reports that she’s found a more suitable helper in caring for her child — a kind, caring woman, who she calls her “angel.”

“My baby is not as sickly as she was with her old yaya,” she says in closing. “I am at peace with the new yaya in taking care of her.”

READ THIS ALSO: The 5 questions you MUST ask in a yaya interview