5-star baby centre charges $74k per month

PHOTO: 5-star baby centre charges $74k per month

Post-partum recovering centres catering to the Chinese tradition of "Zuo Yue Zi" are doing a roaring business in China, with one charging as much as US$60,000 (S$74,716) a month.

"Zuo Yue Zi" literally translates to "sitting out the month".

According to Chinese superstition, the first month after a woman gives birth is the most critical, and she has to follow a strict set of rules to restore the natural balance of her 'yin' and 'yang' energies in her body.

These rules can be as debilitating as pregnancy or imprisonment, and includes remaining indoors, keeping warm, not eating raw fruit or vegetables and not bathing.

That's not all.

For 30 days, the new mother cannot brush her teeth, enjoy cool air, sew, cry, climb ladders or even read books, among dozens of other rules.

To make this process more bearable, China's new moms are increasingly turning towards the post-partum recovery centres springing up in cities such as Shanghai, The Ministry of Toufu reported.

These centres cash in on China's newly rich and offer super luxurious confinement abodes that buys the families a peace of mind.

The centres typically offer 24/7 supervision from trained nurses, nutritionists, doctors on call, meals provided and various other services.

Not cheap

Not cheap

But they do not come cheap.

Care Bay, one of the most luxurious of the recovery centres, charges a whopping US$60,300 for its most expensive package.

The centre boasts of facilities and amenities that are comparable to a five-star hotel.

Each room is equipped with a fax machine, desktop, safe and office supplies.

That's not all. The mother is waited on hand and foot by a team of experts which includes obstetricians, pediatricians, health consultants, beauticians, dietitians, nutritionists and psychiatrists.

Special diets taking into consideration Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) practices are designed, and regular check-ups are scheduled for medical attention such as immunisation shots.

Acknowledging the string of food scares that has plagued the nation, the centre even imports most of their products from overseas. From the baby formula to the king-sized mattresses and cradles, only the best is used.

Every last detail is taken care off, from the moment the new mother steps off the Mercedes-Benz SUV dispatched to transport her from the hospital, to when she finally gains her freedom

All the mother needs to pack is her own clothing. Baby diapers, clothing and other necessities are all provided for.

If the mother is bored, there are a range of lessons and activities she can participate in, such as yoga lessons, swimming lessons for the baby, and regular massages.

For China's rich, the price is a small sum to pay for the service, with some justifying the price by saying "it wouldn't cost us any less if we lived in a five-star hotel".

The centre, staffed by about 120 employees, says they are able to accommodate around 30 mothers.