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Chinese Mothers Give Up Traditional Childbearing Beliefs

In the mind of the older generation of Chinese, teeth brushing, showers, exposure to wind and certain diets are all taboos during the one-month confinement after a woman gives birth.

Today, however, more young mothers in coastal Zhejiang Province, east China, are putting aside these misconceptions and spending their puerperium month in hospital.

Many hospitals in Zhejiang have set up puerperium services to provide professional, scientific and personalized instructions to the young mothers during their period of "confinement", which is much more enjoyable than that of their own mothers and grandmothers.

The rooms at most puerperium services are equipped with air-conditioners, TVs and disinfecting facilities. The young mothers are served with delicious diets tailored by nutritionists and can be ordered at any time.

Under the doctors' instructions, exercises help young mothers resume their former slim figures at an earlier date.

"Young couples always find themselves facing dilemmas, as modern medical science sometimes contradicts traditional concepts," said a doctor at a puerperium service center in this provincial capital.

Puerperium centers, therefore, also provide early-stage intelligent development and health-care services for the infants and teach young parents to train their babies in a more scientific manner.

With the rise in people's living standards, more and more Chinese women will choose to spend their puerperium month in hospital to ensure health for themselves and their babies, said an insider. "Puerperium services therefore enjoy bright prospects in China," he said.

(People's Daily November 7, 2001)

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