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Main Topic: Chinese Postpartum Maternity Care Center

Hosts: Clyde Warden , Joe Cooperman

Joe is back from his last show ( show 42 ) where he told us about his marriage experience in a Chinese cultural context. The next logical step is a growing family, and that is exactly what we look at in this show--having a baby. Clyde's wife gave birth in the early 1990s in Taiwan. At that time the birth and recovery was at a normal hospital inside the maternity ward. Women typically stay for a week or two, and receive very friendly and personalized service. After leaving the hospital, women have at least a month leave from work. This is linked to the traditional one month recuperation for mothers in Chinese culture. At that time, there was very little in the way of retail offers that related to the one month convalescence. That has all changed, as services have developed around this recovery month called 坐月子中心ƒ zhuo ye zi (in English: Post natal care, lying-in, doing the month, or sitting the month).

Zhuo ye zi is highly tied to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The month includes many guidelines, which mothers can normally pick and choose. Some practices include no bathing (sponge bath only), special formulated water that includes ginger, no hair washing, and special meals. Traditionally, mom stays at her family home. This updated service changes that a bit and has become a central selling point for OBGYN clinics. Taiwan's national insurance covers the delivery, while post recovery care is not covered. Clinics have become skilled at transitioning mothers from the public side to the private side of the service .

Incorporating outsiders in the whole process is not unusual as mothers often have traditionally hired a bao mu (保姆) to come to the home to help the new mother out and/or care for the baby.

Joe's baby, in 2009, came at a time when the service industry had grown to serve this sector. His wife received two months maternity leave and wanted to have the traditional month convalescence. Checking out about five services, Joe and his wife choose one. Like a hotel, there are different room sizes, service levels, food options, etc. Services differentiate themselves along lines of price, location, service levels, TCM integration, and room comfort.

The basic package includes one month, rooms with double bed, TV, CD player, AC, clean, fridge, nice view, nurses, medial support staff on call. Babies are kept in a nursery. The meal menus are based on the traditional recovery recipes. A TCM doctor consults with the mother. Herbal medicine is prescribed and continues after leaving the hospital.

The service Joe used, from China Medical, was more expensive than most others. At about 30,000 NTD a week, about 900 USD, this is the luxury end. At the lower end are services for 3,000 NTD a day, or about 630 USD a week.

It is like walking into a five star hotel. Three hundred days out of the year, my wife would not consider TCM, but for this, she did.

The Show:

Length: 46 minutes. Download MP3 21.74MB (Right click->Save As).

Consumer CamConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) A news story about the industry.
Vid. 2) Here is a new mother doing month.
Vid. 3) Experiencing the recovery month.
Category: Podcasts

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