Olympic baby boom

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Information Times
August 1, 2008

Today’s Information Times, a Guangzhou based newspaper, reported that some expectant mothers in Guangzhou are asking their doctors to rearrange the delivery date for their babies to coincide with the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games on August 8.

One couple, Mr and Mrs Liu, told the Information Times that when planning to get pregnant last year, they consulted doctors and calculated the length of their babies gestation in hopes that their baby would be born during the Olympics. Unfortunately, things did not turn out as planed; Mrs Liu began to show symptom of premature labor, and after an examination, doctors suggested she allow them to deliver the baby early. On July 25, Mrs Liu gave birth 14 days ahead of schedule.

There are many couples like the Lius who want to have Olympic babies. Recently, the number of baby birth per day have risen abruptly in Guangzhou’s major hospitals. According to the hospital, this surge is due to the substantial number of couples who were hoping to give birth on August 8.

Hou Hongying, a obstetrician of the Sun Yat-sen University’s Third Affiliated Hospital in Guanzhou said there was an expectant mother pregnant for only 36 weeks who requested a cesarean section on August 8. Hou said that doctors can only deliver babies – and schedule cesareans – based on what is best for the health of the mother and child, not the families scheduling wishes.

A woman surnamed Zhang said that though her baby is due August 10, she and her family hope that she can deliver 2 days early so they can have a Olympic baby. Zhang hopes that more physical exercise might help her give birth early, so she exercises by climbing the stairs in her apartment building.

While some mothers are making every effort to give birth on this auspicious day, others who did not attempt to schedule their babies birth worry whether there will be enough beds in the hospital. Some mothers who were due on August 8 have even decided to give birth two days early to avoid the crowd.

Another newspaper, the Yanzhao Evening News has a report today on a similar phenomena in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei Province.

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