Chinese Mothers-to-be Opt for "Lucky Days"
Instead of a natural birth, many Chinese mothers-to-be opt for a caesarean
section on a "lucky day".
"Eight minutes past eight, Aug. 18, 2006,
that's the lucky time my mother has chosen for my caesarean section," said
Zhang, a mother-to-be, before her delivery. "I hope the doctor will let the baby
be born at the exact time."
So-called lucky days are often related to
the Chinese number "eight", whose pronunciation is close to a word meaning
"getting rich", and to other lucky numbers.
and websites are all "reliable guides" for young pregnant women.
to choose a good star sign for my child, so I'll plan the time I get pregnant,"
said Yang, a girl who's crazy about astrology.
Some mothers-to-be expect
doctors to perform caesarean sections before August 31, which is a key date for
admission to primary school in China.
"I was born on September 3, two
days later than the cutoff date, so I wasn't able to go to school until I was
eight, one year later than many kids my age," said Li Jia, who's expecting. "I
certainly don't want my child to face the same problem in the future."
Experts, however, warn that having a caesarean section on a planned date
can be detrimental to the health of both mother and baby. Some babies may catch
lung diseases as well as other illnesses while mothers may face uterine
Even if a pregnant woman opts for a caesarean, the date
should respect nature and be close to the expected birth date, experts said.
The urge to control birth dates can lead to social problems. A lot of
"millennium babies" were born in 2000, which is also considered a lucky year.
Three years later, kindergartens did not have sufficient facilities to
meet the demand from "millennium babies". Seven years on, a similar situation
has occurred in elementary schools.