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China to embrace baby boom in Year of the Monkey

(People's Daily Online)    16:14, February 16, 2016
China to embrace baby boom in Year of the Monkey

As the Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey, many regions in China are expected to embrace a baby boom, chinanews.com reported Tuesday.

The boom can, on the one hand, be attributed to the recently-launched two-child policy, and on the other hand, boils down to a preference for the zodiac sign of the monkey as it is seen as one of the luckier zodiac animals in China.

Those born in the year of monkey are said to be crafty, clever and charming.

Beijing, for example, had about 250,000 to 260,000 new born babies each year previously, but in 2016, the number is anticipated to amount to 300,000. Local hospitals are under pressure due to a shortage of beds and staff.

The increasing number of newborns greatly boosted the demand for maternity matrons.

According to Xu Yamin, staff from a Beijing-based maternity matron company, expectant mothers used to reserve maternity matrons 3 to 4 months in advance. This year, however, the clients signed contracts more than half a year ahead.

Besides Beijing, Hangzhou, Changchun and some other cities also face a shortage of maternity matrons.

The increasing demand also resulted in a wage rise. Starting from January, provinces including Guangdong, Sichuan and Jilin saw a rise in the income of maternity matrons, with some seeing an increase of as much as 20 percent.

In Beijing, some senior matrons with plenty of experience can earn as much as 30,000 yuan each month. But some agencies said that they have not adjusted the price yet. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Hongyu,Bianji)

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