Breast is best - and good for making money too!

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Guangdong,
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In China, every misfortune is an opportunity for someone to make money.

My friends were involved in a bus crash. Some people came along - not to help - but to offer them jewellery and clothing for sale.

There's stories that after the quake in Sichuan earlier this year, people rushed to the scene, to sell bottles of water at 50 yuan each - that's about $7 - and many times what you can buy it for normally.

And the latest is the wet nurse thing in the wake of the milk contamination scandal.

A couple of years ago Guangdong got its first known paid wet nurse - though this has probably been going on for centuries. So China Daily ran a story with this line, talking about the business opportunities in this area:

There is great potential for the development of this profession in this prosperous province, where many new mothers refuse to breast-feed their infant babies in order to keep a slender figure.

This is the full story:

New mum becomes first wet nurse

A 24-year-old woman surnamed Xia has recently become the first wet nurse in Guangdong Province after she was employed by a local family in Shenzhen, Guangzhou Daily reported.

In addition to breast-feeding the baby, Xia, who comes from East China's Jiangxi Province, will also help to take care of it and cook for the family.

Xia, herself the mother of a 4-month-old daughter, will earn about 5,000 yuan (US$625) a month.

There is great potential for the development of this profession in this prosperous province, where many new mothers refuse to breast-feed their infant babies in order to keep a slender figure.

And now Shenzhen Daily have this story, this week, about pay rates rising ( a few years ago a survey found there was low demand, because of concerns about the feeding mother's health status, and the poor image of bad mothers - both the feeder and the one who was paying someone else to feed:

Wet nurse pay in SZ skyrockets
2008年09月22日 08:21 Shenzhen Daily

DEMAND for wet nurses has surged in Shenzhen with the monthly wage for the service more than tripling in the wake of the baby milk formula scandal that swept the nation.

Saturday's Daily Sunshine quoted a domestic service provider saying that some Shenzhen families had Friday offered a monthly salary of 18,000 yuan (US$2,572) for a wet nurse.

The company received more than 100 phone inquiries about wet nurses Thursday and Friday. "We had only one or two such inquiries a year in the past," said Ai Xiaoxiong, manager of a large domestic service company in the city.

Ai said a woman, whose child was only a few months old, told him that she had zero confidence in Chinese brands of baby milk powder after a nationwide inspection of dairy products disclosed more than 20 brands of domestic milk powders were contaminated, the Daily said. She also had no trust in imported milk powder available here.

"I don't have enough breast milk to feed my baby. I am willing to pay 18,000 yuan for a qualified wet nurse," said the woman, who refused to be named. Salaries for wet nurses before the scandal stood at 5,000 to 6,000 yuan per month, Ai said.

He said the salary was usually negotiated between an employer and the wet nurse herself. A woman, surnamed Wang, who has practiced wet nursing, said she was contacted by a number of Shenzhen families over the past few days and was offered 12,000 yuan a month.

The high salaries offered to wet nurses have also attracted the attention of many young mothers in other mainland cities, who want to come to the city to work.

"Honestly, I want to do it (to be a wet nurse) because of the money offered," said a woman surnamed Liu from Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Liu was a saleswoman at a Chengdu department store before she quit to have a child which she delivered Aug. 26. "I have plenty of breast milk. Why not? It is a very good offer, as I made only 2,000 yuan," said Liu.

A housewife surnamed Zhu in Guangzhou said she wanted to financially help her husband a little. "He is under a great deal of pressure as the family's only breadwinner, earning 3,000 yuan a month," said Zhu, 28, adding that more than 10,000 yuan a month was a lot to her family. "I have sufficient breast milk anyway," said Zhu, who stopped breast-feeding her 9-month-old child a week ago.
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