Now that China has abandoned its decades-long one-child policy, demand for maternity services is expected to grow as women take advantage of the chance to have a second child. Some of those women will be older than average and will have special health needs.
A school in Beijing, the Li Ming Maternity Service Company, is anticipating this trend by offering new training for high-end maternity matron services.
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.
The maternity service company's general manager, Cui Jingwen, 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 limited most urban couples to one child and rural couples to two if their first was a girl — until the policy was relaxed in October to allow parents to have two children.
Due to that change, demographics expert Huang Wenzheng says China may see more than 2 million extra births next year.
Text from the AP news story, AP PHOTOS: China's maternity matrons gird for mini-baby boom, by Ng Han Guan. Associated Press videojournalist Thomas Suen contributed to this report.
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Nat Castañeda is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. A California native, Castañeda works primarily in video and collage, with an emphasis on tactile intimacy with her materials remaining an important aspect of all her projects. Common issues in Castañeda’s work are the conflating of iconography and pornography, the questioning of traditional gender binaries, and the role of technology within personal narratives. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and has shown at venues such as El Museo del Barrio and Electronic Arts Intermix. In addition to her art practice, Castañeda currently works at The Associated Press where she leads a team that curates AP's online archive of historic and contemporary photojournalism. Castañeda’s photography has appeared in the New York Times,U.S. News & World Report and USA Today.