Photo courtesy of www.jaynestars.com
By SUMMER CHIANG, New
But as hospitals in Hong Kong approach capacity, and as disgruntled locals gripe about the influx of mainlanders, many soon-to-be mothers in
According to a report in the Chinese-language World Journal, local “birthing centers” are sprouting up in cities like
The cost: anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000.
“The Dragon is fortune,” says Taiwanese-native Marvis Lin, a recent graduate of San Francisco Academy of Art University. Two months pregnant, she had planned to return home but recently applied for an OPT (Occupational Practical Training) visa allowing her to remain in the country.
“My husband and I chose this year as the best year to have a baby,” she says, adding she’s eager for her child to have
Lin says she looked into local birthing centers, which offer everything from midwife and nanny services to traditional foods thought beneficial for pregnant or new mothers.
“I contacted one place in
Birthing centers first emerged in the
The Los Angeles Times reported in March 2011 on the closure of several such centers in
The industry has indeed gotten a boost from Chinese eager for so-called “Dragon babies” believed to have lifelong good fortune. One of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is a symbol of royalty and is widely viewed as the harbinger of wealth, wisdom, courage and power.
China’s state run Xinhua News Agency reported recently that such beliefs have led officials there to predict the number of births this year will climb by 5 percent from 2011, when the rate stood at just over 12 births per 1,000 people.
Couples are thought to have until about May 2 to conceive in order for their child to be born before the Year of the Dragon ends next February.
For those who can make the trip, giving birth outside the mainland also allows mothers pregnant with a second or third child to avoid the now 30-year-old One Child Policy restriction. Such factors, according to the Sing Tao Daily, have prompted authorities in
The report also cited the growing frustration of local
A woman identified only as Mrs. Wang is four months’ pregnant. While she lives in
That’s why she says she’s spent the past several weeks looking into birthing centers here in the
“I’m coming to the