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Chinese Women from Only-child Families Afraid of Childbirth
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A growing number of pregnant women in China, especially those from only-child families, are trying to avoid the pain of childbirth because of excessive anxiety and fear, experts said in Beijing on Monday.


Lu Yuanqing, an experienced obstetrician from the Nanjing Health Center for Women and Children (HCWC), said that more cases of "labor and delivery difficulties" had emerged and that many women prefer a caesarean to a natural birth.


Though prenatal reports indicated no abnormality of uterine action, fetal presentation, birth canal or fetal size, meaning that a natural delivery was possible, "these women gave up at the last stage" and sought medically-assisted deliveries, Lu said.


Lu attributed the increase to the difficulty of the only-child generation in dealing with pain. "If they were indulged by their parents, only daughters may lack psychological maturity."


The majority of "timid" pregnant women are those born in the late 1970s or the early 1980s, the first generation born following the implementation of the one-child policy in China in the late 1970s.


"China will see the birth rate surge between 2005 and 2020 when these girls from single-child families reach procreation age," an expert from the Qingdao HCWC noted.


"Nowadays, despite better delivery facilities and improved obstetric care, pregnant women are more afraid of giving birth than in our day," said Zhang Guifang, the mother of an only child.


"My daughter was so worried about the pain of delivery that in the end she opted for a caesarean which ended up causing her even more pain," Zhang said with a sigh.


(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2006)

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