After an initial surge, pregnancy and birth rates fell this year

After a surge of pregnant women and child delivery last year, local hospitals reported a 10 to 20 percent decrease of service quantity in the first half of this year.

Dr Lang Jinghe, a leading obstetric specialist, gives a speech about pregnancy and tumors at the seminar.

After a surge of pregnant women and child delivery last year, local hospitals reported a 10 to 20 percent decrease in service quantity in the first half of this year, hospital officials told a seminar on maternity health and serious obstetric disease in the city yesterday.

Though the nation reported a 7.8 percent increase in births in the first five months of this year, since the government has allowed all couples to have a second child, Shanghai saw a drop in registered pregnant women this year. 

About 230,000 babies were delivered in Shanghai last year, and many hospitals set a record. The delivery figure is about 190,000 this year.

“The reason is many couples who were born after the 1970s got pregnant and delivered their second child soon after the [two-child] policy was announced, so the demand of child delivery from that group was already met last year,” said Dr Zhao Deqiang, president of Putuo District Maternity and Child Health Hospitals. 

“The majority of local couples in their 20s and 30s have at least one spouse from a one-child family and they could have a second child under previous policies. Demand for child delivery among these people is stable.”

With the rise of older pregnant women, the city also saw a rise in caesarean operations since last year. The overall caesarean operation rate increased from 30 percent to 40 percent, because of the rise in pregnant women with complications due to their age and previous delivery.

“The good thing is that more women with their first pregnancy want to have a natural birth, because they have already planned to have a second child,” said Dr Xu Congjian, president of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital of Fudan University. “We also encourage women to have children at the proper age. Delivering children too late is not only risky for both child and mother, but also a challenge for child raising in the future.”


Dr Zhao Deqiang, president of Putuo District Maternity and Child Health Hospital, talks at the seminar.

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