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Wet nurse plan dumped in its infancy
By Bao Xinyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-21 06:08

YANGZHOU: Plans to provide wet nurses have aroused strong public opposition and been shelved.

The Bang Bang Household Service Company in Yangzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, is the target of the criticism.

A member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said the company had planned to begin providing wet nurses after the holiday period for babies who need human milk. The first batch of 13 wet nurses, aged 25-30, were ready to provide milk for the babies of their clients, and the daily payment was set - 50 yuan (US$6). Most of the customers were expected to be white-collar women afraid they might lose their jobs if they took time off to breastfeed, or worried about changes to their body shape if they fed their babies themselves. However, as there was a growing wave of opinion against the idea, the company decided to nip it in the bud.

A recent survey in some of the city's newspapers showed 80 per cent of women were against the idea.

Twenty-six-year-old woman Chen Jun thought feeding your own baby is a duty which can improve communication and the bond between mother and child.

Zhu Jun, a young mother in Nanjing, the provincial capital, said mothers should not let others provide milk for their babies just because they do not want to lose their jobs or good shape.

Experts were also worried about the planned service on health grounds.

Milk is a secretion from the human body, through which many diseases can be transmitted including hepatitis and HIV, said Gao Huilan, a doctor from Yangzhou's Women and Children's Health Centre.

She emphasized that if the wet nurses did not have a thorough health examination beforehand, there could be dire health consequences.

On the other hand, many people approved of the service.

A female doctor at Yangzhou University surnamed Zhou said that as long as there was a market, the wet nurses were healthy and the service legal, the company should go ahead with its plans.

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Wet nurse plan dumped in its infancy


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