What is a Yue Sao? | Having a baby in China | Ayicheng

If you are an expat, having a baby in China can be a daunting prospect. Beyond the lack of familiarity with the Chinese hospital system, there are language and cultural barriers. One such cultural difference is Yue Sao, or Chinese postpartum caregivers. Yue Sao are specialist domestic helpers that care for mothers and their babies in the first month (and sometimes longer) after birth.

Yue Sao most commonly are live-in domestic helpers. They will normally do tasks such as bathing and changing the baby, preparing special meals for the mother and getting up in the middle of the night to feed and sooth a crying baby. Being women that are highly experience with babies, that also have a wealth of knowledge about caring for babies that they can pass on to new parents. They have more specialised skills and knowledge than a normal nanny.

A good yue sao should we well educated in Zuo Yue Zi which is the customs and traditions relating to the month of confinement after giving birth. Zuo Yue Zi has a history of more than 2000 years in China. Your yue sao will know how to make herbal soups, and which foods are recommended to aid recovery  as well as which foods to avoid.

Experienced yue sao are in high demand, and need be booked several months in advance. Salaries vary depending on experience and education and can range from 8000RMB per month up to as high as 20,000RMB per month. Salaries will obviously also vary by city, with Beijing and Shanghai being the most expensive.

When considering hiring a yue sao, we recommend that you meet with the yue sao in person and ask her detailed questions. There are different practices for zue yue zi for people from different parts of China, and you want to make sure that whoever is helping you will align with what you are looking for in domestic staff.  You also want a yue sao that does not follow the superstitions that have been scientifically proven to be false, such as the requirement to not brush your teeth.

As there are no industry standards for training or certification of yue sao, we recommend that you hire a yue sao that has been trained by a reputable training centre.