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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently taking a Chinese course, preparing for an upcoming posting to China. Every afternoon we read articles and summarize them in Chinese for practice. My teacher brought this one in today, it is shocking! I can't believe the Chinese medical system is letting this happen!! And my teacher also said there really are no midwives in China, and noone to inform the people that there are other options to this. So so sad. I know we'll be pregnant with our next baby when we are in China (hopefully delivering back in Canada!) - but this makes me terrified!<br><br>
From:<br><br>
The day every Chinese woman wants to give birth<br><br>
Eights are lucky – or so hordes of expectant mothers hope<br>
GEOFFREY YORK<br><br>
From <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080227.wwchinabirth27/BNStory/International/" target="_blank">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...International/</a><br><br>
Wednesday's Globe and Mail<br><br>
February 27, 2008 at 4:52 AM EDT<br><br>
BEIJING — Chinese doctors are bracing for a hectic day on Aug. 8. It's an auspicious day, the long-awaited opening of the Beijing Games, and a day when many of their patients will demand cesarean sections to ensure a lucky birthday for their babies.<br><br>
Hospitals in Beijing are expecting a miniature baby boom on that August day as superstitious parents do everything possible to ensure their infants are born on the opening day of the Olympics, according to doctors quoted yesterday by the Beijing News, a leading newspaper here.<br><br>
Birth rates will peak on Aug. 8, and hospitals are adding new beds and shortening their minimum stays to cope with the anticipated surge.<br><br>
The Olympic baby phenomenon shows the continuing grip that numerology, superstition and other traditions have on Chinese life. Even the precise timing of the opening ceremony, at 8:08 p.m. on the eighth day of the eighth month of 2008, was chosen because eight is considered lucky.<br><br>
A growing number of Chinese women are choosing to accept the medical risks of a cesarean section in order to have their babies born on an auspicious day or year. On the advice of their feng shui masters, some women are opting for cesareans up to two months earlier than their due date in order to give birth on a lucky day.<br><br>
It's among the leading reasons why China now has one of the world's highest rates of C-sections, more than 10 times higher than the rate in the 1970s and far above the 15 per cent rate thought reasonable by the World Health Organization.<br><br>
An astonishing 50 per cent of Chinese births are C-sections, dramatically higher than the average of 5 per cent recorded from the 1950s to the 1970s, according to a report by the Chinese news agency Xinhua.<br><br>
Thousands of Beijing women chose to have cesarean sections in 2004 to ensure that their babies would be born in the Year of the Monkey, considered a lucky year in the Chinese lunar calendar. The birth rate in 2004 was far higher than a typical year. One exhausted obstetrician in Beijing said he did a dozen C-sections on a single night in the fall of 2004.<br><br>
Surgery, of course, is not the only tactic in the struggle for a lucky birthday. Last fall, Xinhua reported that many Chinese couples were trying to conceive a baby in October so that they would have a chance at an Olympic baby.<br><br>
"If my wife is lucky enough to deliver an 'Olympic baby,' the luck means something more than family joy," one husband told Xinhua.<br><br>
To maximize their chances of conceiving a lucky baby, he and his wife chose to "stay at home" instead of joining the crowds of tourists during the October national holiday, the agency said.<br><br>
If they cannot arrange a birth on Aug. 8, many Chinese parents are still determined to have an "Olympic baby" by giving birth some time this year, even if it requires artificial help. "More and more couples are trying artificial insemination to make their Olympic-baby dream come true," the Shanghai Evening News reported yesterday.<br><br>
China is projecting 18 million births this year, which is about 500,000 more than last year, according to media reports.<br><br>
China already has more than 3,000 children who were named Aoyun (Olympic) in the past few years, and another 4,000 children were named after China's five official Olympic mascots.<br><br>
But the expected Olympic baby boom will have a negative side, beyond just the medical risks of cesarean sections.<br><br>
Health experts are warning that the quality of medical treatment will deteriorate during the baby boom because of equipment shortages and overworked staff. And the new wave of children will face increased competition in schools, universities and the labour market.<br><br>
On the positive side, the Chinese media are predicting a big increase in sales of baby products, milk powder and baby clothes this year.
 

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havent read the article yet (about to) but are you studying mandarin or cantonese?
 

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Wow that is really disgusting! I cannot believe that a mother would do that, put her child in danger just to have a freaking "Olympic baby"!!!
 

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Lindsay, thanks for sharing that article. I'm going to have to read it when I get home from work.<br><br>
I've got so many friends (non-Chinese) living in China, and several of them have had their babies there. One of them even had her mom, a midwife from Oregon, fly in to deliver her son. These women have had good experiences, both in big cities and remote ones, and I think it comes in part from being better informed. Plus, most of us will seek out special hospitals with English-speaking staff... in Chengdu we had an international hospital that offered special "gold-level" services.<br><br>
All this to say that you won't receive the standard care given to the majority of Chinese women (good for you, bad for them!). If you want to be in touch with anyone who's given birth in China, let me know, though I'm sure you're very well-connected.<br><br>
I'm a little jealous that you're moving to China! Are you going to do EC? I really miss my life in Chengdu, and have it as my back-up plan in case I can't afford life in the US with twin babies (I'm single, <i>by choice</i>!). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>triple07</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10796061"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow that is really disgusting! I cannot believe that a mother would do that, put her child in danger just to have a freaking "Olympic baby"!!!</div>
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Whilst I totally agree with you and it isn't something your or I would do, I think it must be hard to completely understand exactly how important the "luck" and "Joy" is to the Chinese if they have been brought up in this culture. I am not condoning elective c-sections, but I wonder, much like other religions and cultures, if something has been ingrained into you from birth, such as not accepting blood transfusions, refusing life saving medications, the desperate need for an auspicious birthdate or whatever, perhaps we are only understanding this as nuttiness from a "Western" POV?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: Just my thoughts.<br><br>
Have any of you read "The Spirit Catches you and You fall down"? Kind of a similar vein.
 

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No I understand how some of these things go. One of my Mandarin teachers didnt take an AWESOME apartment in Monterey for a great price because it had the number 4 in the address. Instead she paid like $200 more for a less than desirable place IMO. But that is how the cookie crumbles I guess. I just cannot fathom women inducing babies (or c/s them) up to 2 months early. OR that a doc in their right mind would actually do that. But, you are right, I understand but I really DON'T understand to that extent!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>triple07</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10796483"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No I understand how some of these things go. One of my Mandarin teachers didnt take an AWESOME apartment in Monterey for a great price because it had the number 4 in the address. Instead she paid like $200 more for a less than desirable place IMO. But that is how the cookie crumbles I guess. I just cannot fathom women inducing babies (or c/s them) up to 2 months early. OR that a doc in their right mind would actually do that. But, you are right, I understand but I really DON'T understand to that extent!</div>
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You and me both<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I have no problem with trying to have a baby on a certain day or time of year, provided the baby won't suffer for it. But to plan a C section up to two months before the baby is due just seems a bit overboard to me. They must really believe with their entire being that it will actually benefit that baby more than any risks of prematurity would. It's hard to grab hold of, especially since we work so hard to keep our babies inside until much closer to their due dates. whew... (shaking head in puzzlement)
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>triple07</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10796061"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow that is really disgusting! I cannot believe that a mother would do that, put her child in danger just to have a freaking "Olympic baby"!!!</div>
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The article reads that way, but it's actually only a coincidence that it coincides with the Olympics. I mean, it is pretty horrifying - definitely! I'm just saying it is about the numerology and superstition - the Olympics was planned in its timing for the same reason.<br><br>
If you start paying attention, you'll see that many Chinese restaurants (and individuals, for that matter) have as many 8s as they can have in their phone number.... the word for 8 in some Chinese dialects is pronounced the same as the word for "blessing" "luck" "fortune"...<br><br>
Mainland Chinese culture can be very superstitious, and with the sheer size of the population, a trend like this can certainly be dangerous and very disturbing.<br><br>
Just to be clear, I'm not defending this practice in any way. I lived in China for a good while, and have been in 2 long term relationships with Chinese men, so I just wanted to elucidate a little more for those who might be interested.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>triple07</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10796483"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No I understand how some of these things go. One of my Mandarin teachers didnt take an AWESOME apartment in Monterey for a great price because it had the number 4 in the address.</div>
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EXACTLY!! It's pretty astonishing when you're on the outside looking in, isn't it? BTW, 4 is a homophone for "death" in Chinese, which is why...<br><br>
Oh, and just to give a very minor (and harmless?) example of the opposite, my Chinese friends always thought it was *very* weird that we dress our boy and girl children in blue vs. pink... they never could figure that one out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'll stop jabbering now... it's just rare that I get to talk with others about the paradoxes of Chinese culture, so I get a little chatty about it...
 

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Strange, huh? It is absolutely ingrained in the culture, and although I can understand why it is so important to mainland Chinese people, I feel that putting babies at risk for life-long issues that accompany prematurity, vs them having a 'lucky' birthdate is a huge trade off. I also can't believe doctors would do that, but I guess I also can't understand elective C-section for first babies born to moms who are "scared" of labor. I'm scared of brain cancer, but I'm not having my brain electively removed... right?<br><br>
Celeste - what did you do in Chengdu? I'm studying Mandarin, its a full time job for me right now, I'm in the Canadian Foreign Service, and for two years I do full time Mandarin. Then in summer, 2009 (hopefully) we'll be moving to Shanghai to work at the Consulate there. We plan to get pregnant around our 2nd or 3rd year in Shanghai, but have the baby in the US or Canada. Regardless, I would love to find a western-style midwife in Shanghai, hopefully in a few years there will be more.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">On the advice of their feng shui masters, some women are opting for cesareans up to two months earlier than their due date in order to give birth on a lucky day.</td>
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this is the part that upset me the most...how lucky is a baby born two months premature???
 
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