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China’s Maternity Matrons Prepare for Mini-baby Boom

Now that China has abandoned its one-child policy, the demand for maternity services is expected to grow as many women take advantage of the chance to have a second child. Some of those women will be older than average mother and are likely to have special health needs.

It is common practice in China for women to spend a month in bed after giving birth. During this time, middle- and upper-class families often use maternity matrons to help out, caring for both mother and baby and arranging meals up to six times a day.

A maternity service company’s general manager says an experienced maternity matron can earn up to 15,000 yuan (about $2,300) a month.

For 35 years, China’s family planning policy was a limitation to most urban couples as they were forced to have one child and rural couples to two if their first was a girl. The policy was eventually relaxed in October to allow parents to have two children.

Due to that change, demographics experts say China may see more than 2 million extra births next year.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

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