Home » A Guinness World Record; Highlights on the reproductive burden on women in China

A Guinness World Record; Highlights on the reproductive burden on women in China

by Narges Mohammadi

A 37-year-old woman from central China who had 26 miscarriages before giving birth to a healthy baby recently has triggered a heated debate on women and childbearing among the Chinese public.

The new mother, whose identity was not revealed due to privacy concerns, became the centre of controversy soon after her story was made public on Tuesday as a positive story by the hospital where she was last treated and had a successful birth.

It’s unknown over how long a period the miscarriages have occurred, but the last one was in 2019 when she was 34, according to a press release from the Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital in Changsha.

The story, highlighting her “dream to be a mother coming true”, backfired as soon as it was published on various online platforms, with many people criticising her experience for “letting motherhood override life”.

The woman, who gave birth to a baby girl via a C-section last week, has “always dreamed of having a child of her own” despite repeated miscarriages, light periods and intrauterine adhesion, the hospital press release said.

The release further revealed that she “almost lost hope” after experiencing a pregnancy loss in 2019, for the 26th time, but after surgical intervention from the hospital she found herself pregnant again in February and eventually gave birth.

“We intended to focus on the efforts and skills of our medical workers, but the readers apparently saw it from another perspective, which has caused disturbance to the patient,” a staff member from the hospital told the South China Morning Post, declining to comment further.

On Weibo many people who saw the story said they were horrified by the couple’s obsession with having a child and the price the woman paid. “I don’t see why this is worth promoting. Everyone should respect their own life on top of everything else,” one of the most popular comments read.

“This is big news. It probably broke Guinness World Records. Can the government offer her a ‘Touching China’ award for being so great?” Another user said mockingly, referring to an annual award initiated by state television since 2002 to recognise the most inspiring role models in the country.

The infertility rate among Chinese women at childbearing age has surged in recent years, climbing from 11.9 per cent in 2007 to 17.6 per cent in 2020, Chinese researchers said in a study published in medical journal Lancet Global Health in May.

Source: South China Morning Post

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