Shanghai Baby Boom Expected in Year of the Dragon

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Doctors in Shanghai are expecting a baby boom this year in the auspicious Year of the Dragon. While mothers welcome the good luck they believe it will bring, doctors foresee the likely strain in hospital resources.

Some 180,000 babies are expected to be born in Shanghai in 2012, the Chinese Year of the Dragon, making it the highest number of births in 11 years.

The obstetrics department of Shanghai's maternal and childcare service center has been crowded with pregnant women and their families.

[Xue Huina, Expectant Mother]:
"I would like to give birth to a baby in the Year of Dragon, and it is for good luck."

According to local hospital figures, the fertility rate has been increasing since 2000, and a baby boom is expected in the auspicious Year of the Dragon.

[Zhang Xiaozhuang, Obstetrician]:
"It is a traditional concept that it's lucky to have children in the Year of Dragon, and 2012 will be a peak year of fertility as couples born in the 1980s have come of child-bearing age. So newborns will be relatively more than in previous years."

Doctors caution that the birth peak will lead to strained hospital resources, as well as difficulties in schooling and employment.

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