Young mothers are being hired by agencies to breastfeed rich adults in the south China city of Shenzhen, earning from 8,000 yuan (US$1,303) to 15,000 yuan a month for the service.
Customers at present range from the parents of babies who have lost faith in Chinese baby formula to adults who believe breast milk would boost their health, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
Lin Jun, a Henan Province native, told the newspaper he was aiming to develop the breastfeeding business among China's rich adults.
His job is to find young mothers for his customers, charging the customer 6,000 yuan and the mothers 2,000 yuan.
The mother and customer then work out a fee between themselves. Lin said some mothers could earn up to 120,000 yuan over an eight-month period.
"Breast milk is the best tonic, especially for those people who have just undergone major surgeries," said Lin. "If it is necessary, the customers may directly feed from the young mothers' breasts," he added.
Lin said many of the young mothers he hired were from rural areas and very likely living in poverty.
He said the mothers would seldom object to customer requirements as long as they paid enough money.
He Mei, the 25-year-old mother of a two-month-old son, said she had decided to provide a breastfeeding service to earn money for her son's future education.
She said her husband worked for a factory in Shenzhen and earned just 2,000 yuan a month, which was not enough to support the family.
She leaves the baby in the care of her mother-in-law to work for the agency earning 8,500 yuan a month.
Lin told the newspaper that he was planning to travel around the country, hiring more mothers for his service via local agencies.
According to the resumes he had seen, all were from poor families and with children just a few months old.
Lin said he would be interviewing the women and checking their health before giving them jobs.
Once hired, the mothers don't have to do anything but feed and take care of customers though their labor contract would describe them as babysitters, cooks or cleaners and make no mention of breastfeeding, he told the newspaper.
Each mother would work for a six to eight-month period, Lin said.
His customers, both worried parents and adults who felt in need of a health boost, would also interview the mothers.
Customers cared most about the mothers' health status and then their character, Lin said. But it was the mother who could afford to be choosy as at present there were not many offering such services, he said.
However, Zhang Maoxiang, director of the nutrition department of the Shenzhen No.2 People's Hospital, warned of health risks if feeding mothers became ill.