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September 7, 2010

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Young mothers opting for breast massage

WITH some new mothers preferring breast-feeding following the baby formula melamine scandal, a special service, lactagogue breast massage, has surfaced in the city and is gaining popularity thanks to claims by masseuses that they can boost milk secretion of nursing mothers. However, doctors suggest mothers stay away from this "dubious service."

Doctors at major public hospitals told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the massage centers were taking advantage of parents' fears over the tainted baby formula.

They accused the centers of hiring unqualified staff and charging unreasonable rates.

Although the service hasn't gained doctors' trust and is steep at up to 300 yuan (US$44.20) for one hour, it has still proved popular with young mothers, so much so that customers have to make an appointment with masseuses one week in advance.

Masseuses believe the flow of breast milk may be withheld by breast congestion and engorgement in nursing mothers, but the flow can be boosted by massaging the breasts, according to a female worker at the Bao'erhao Postpartum Breast Care Center.

"The massage might help but it is not that effective," said Hou Yanwen, a doctor at the Shanghai No. 1 Maternity and Child's Health Hospital.

She said it was not necessary for young mothers to hire masseuses as the flow of breast milk can be boosted by the mothers themselves by constantly feeding their infants.


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