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Whys and wherefores of who looks after baby

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

09:40, May 03, 2012

An official from a nursery service from Shenzhen shows potential babysitters how to take care of a baby in Xiangyang, Hubei province. Gong Bo / For China Daily

Zuoyuezi, or "recuperating in the first month after giving birth", is a tradition for Chinese women.

Mothers are recommended to have abundant rest, eat nutritious food, always keep warm and avoid strenuous work - so, enter the yuesao, who will care for both mother and baby.

But hiring a yuesao, or postnatal nurse, can cost more than 15,000 yuan ($2,400) a month in Beijing, and the quality of such nurses varies.

A typical service by a postnatal nurse includes helping the mother feed and bathe the baby, checking on the mother's and baby's health, cooking meals high in protein and mild in flavor, and giving massages to aid recovery and sufficient breast milk.

Arguably, new parents should learn to do these things for themselves, but many people prefer to pay professionals.

Wang Yuanyuan, 29, is one who opted for professional care.

"I think it's necessary to have a postnatal nurse," said Wang, who gave birth to her first baby in January. "She has taken care of many newborn babies and new mothers, so she knows how to deal with problems that I have never seen.

Wang hired a postnatal nurse for two months, paying her 12,000 yuan. Her mother also came to help. Wang was satisfied with her nurse's work, especially her attitude and her massages to induce breast milk.

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