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在线翻译:
szdaily -> In depth -> 
Luxury maternity care centers expecting baby boom in 2012
    2012-02-28  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    JUST one month old, the Year of the Dragon already is causing rising demand for confinement nurses (yuesao), who are responsible for taking care of new mothers and babies, especially the first month after birth.

    “One of our clients even called to make a reservation for a confinement nurse in September,” said Li Lin, a communications officer at Baby Care & Education Co., a maternity business.

    A confinement nurse is much more than a babysitter. She regulates the diet of mother and child, oversees the mother’s physical recovery and monitors the baby’s physical and mental health.

    Established in 2000, the company now has branches in more than 40 cities. Among Baby Care & Education’s clients, 10 percent are expatriates living in Beijing and 20 percent are having their second baby.

    “The foreign couples speak very fluent Chinese and have absolutely no trouble in communicating with our confinement nurses,” Cui said.

    Most confinement nurses are affiliated with household service agencies but have not signed official labor contracts. Only a small portion are officially employed by such companies, which has led to a high turnover of workers in the industry.

    “The operating costs of agencies would significantly rise if they employ these female workers because they will have to pay employee insurance fees. Further, rural women entered the industry simply in the hope of making money and don’t want to end up living in the city,” said a staff member surnamed Xu, from China Home Service Association, who preferred not to give his full name. He added: “That’s why 90 percent of enterprises in the industry are intermediary agencies.”

    The cost of confinement nurses has been pushed increasingly high by competition between household service agencies amid a growing demand for caregivers between 35 and 50 years old.

    The monthly pay of a confinement nurse was, at most, just 3,500 yuan (US$556) in 2007. Last year the pay more than doubled, propelling the figure to between 6,000 and 9,000 yuan a month, Cui said, adding that some nurses can receive more than 10,000 yuan.(SD-Agencies)

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