Pregnant mothers seeking C-sections filled hospitals in Guangdong last weekend as the August 31 cut-off date for children enrolling in mainland primary schools neared, Nanfang Daily reported on Monday.
Children who turn six years old on September 1 or later must wait another year to matriculate, according to the policy.
Delivery rooms and maternity wards in most Shenzhen hospitals were struggling to cope with the influx of pregnant women in the last week of August, as beds filled up the maternity wards and extra beds lined the corridors.
Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital reported that about 100 Caeserean section births were performed on both Saturday and Sunday, about 60 per cent higher than average. According to hospital statistics, 97 babies were born on Friday, with 65 of them delivered via C-sections. The number exceeded 100 on Saturday, with about 90 by C-sections.
Other Shenzhen maternity hospitals reported the same situation. Dr Zhao Kun of Shenzhen Far-East Women’s and Children’s Hospital said about 500 mothers had delivered babies there in July, an average of 16-17 per day, with about 45 per cent opting for C-sections. However, the number increased by 60 per cent in the last week of August.
“Some mothers were requesting premature C-sections even at 37 weeks,” Zhao said.
“Today is a crazy day. To make it in for the September 1 school admission deadline, this is a crazy period every year. There are more than 100 deliveries every day, reaching the peak of the craziest period ever,” an unidentified obstetrician at the Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital said on Sunday.
“The operating theatre is like a battlefield. As of 5pm, there were already 88 C-sections scheduled. Patients are going crazy, their family members are going crazy, doctors, even the nurses, too …” one doctor said.
Nanfang Daily interviewed a new father on the 11th floor whose wife was expected to deliver around the end of August or early September.
“My wife was admitted on Thursday when she went into labour,” he said. “But I found out many families requested C-sections to enable their children to be born before September 1 so they don’t need to wait for another year to go to school. So after discussing it with my wife, we went ahead with a C-section, as well.”
Also, Guangzhou Daily reported on Sunday that a new pilot policy has taken effect in Guangdong this school year that allows gifted children to skip grades.