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Shenzhen Documentary “Come On, Baby” Criticized for its “Painful” Childbirth

Posted: 05/12/2014 8:54 pm

childbirth come on baby labor documentaryThe Shenzhen Satellite Television Network has been airing a documentary series called Come On, Baby that documents the complete procedure of giving birth, which has been attracting a lot of attention recently.

The show follows three ordinary mothers as they go through all the various steps of labor: from before the water breaks, through each of the many contractions and right at the moment the baby is finally born.

However, for documenting the miracle of life, Come On, Baby has incurred online controversy and been criticized for having content that is “too strong”. Mothers are shown in varying moments of pain as they cry out in anguish and wince in pain amid blood and sweat.

For being a documentary about childbirth, people have complained that Come On, Baby is too forthcoming in its depiction of childbirth.

Various Weibo comments are as follows, many grouped under the hashtag #Are you brave enough to watch a mother give birth?:childbirth shenzhen documentary come on baby labor

Watched a bit of the Shenzhen documentary Come On, Baby and was a bit horrified by it. I don’t suggest anyone to watch it. Everyone’s situation is different, but to watch this show is only to add to your psychological trauma, and it won’t match the perfect, happy way you imagine it to be.

#Come On, Baby# I will never have the courage to watch this show about having babies. It’s too terrifying; I feel as though a shadow has cast over my heart. [pitiful face] It’s too difficult to be a woman. Men, you should treat the woman by your side nicer. Are you able to endure the pain that women go through during pregnancy? [disappointed face]

After watching the episode “Male OB-GYN Doctor”, are you brave enough to give birth to a baby? It’s just too terrifying. It’s even more horrifying than a horror movie. There’s a splatter of blood; seeing that knife cut into the abdomen scared me half to death. [pitiful face] Really, to be a mother is the greatest role of all; Mother’s Day is the most meaningful festival ever.

childbirth come on baby labor documentary鄭碧華-Becky:
Come On, Baby: After watching this, I felt like I could never give birth to a baby of my own [ill face]. Simultaneously, I feel that motherhood is so wondrous and great. Today is Mother’s Day, I wish my mother a happy Mother’s Day! [heart] [heart] Now I feel bad for my past behavior of being rebellious and contradictory towards my mother. Mother, I love you! At the same time, I also wish happiness to mothers everywhere, not just today, but happiness everyday.

After watching a bit of the childbirth documentary, I didn’t dare to watch anymore of it, I simply couldn’t bear it. For one thing, it was difficult to face such physical pain, and for another, I felt shame at what my parents (have done for me).

After watching Come On, Baby, I really don’t dare to give birth to a baby of my own. I feel that motherhood is too great a role for me. I must dutifully love and honor my mother [love you] [love you]

After watching the documentary on childbirth, I really don’t want to give birth to a baby of my own, it’s too horrifying. However, motherhood is really a great thing. Husbands that don’t treat their wives well should be drowned in a pig basket!!!

#Come On, Baby# After watching the show I wasn’t able to go to sleep, and now I don’t dare to give birth to a baby of my own. All I want to say is: mother, you’ve had it tough. [heart]

childbirth shenzhen documentary come on baby labor张小花小同学:
Watched “Male OB-GYN Doctor”. I really don’t have the courage to give birth to a baby. This morning, I overheard two female colleagues chatting in the elevator who said their children had wished them a happy mother’s day, and I was suddenly very moved by hearing it, really. These women were just 45 years-old.

#Come On, Baby# The first time I saw such a documentary, I didn’t want to have a baby anymore after watching it. Watching this show one time is enough. [tears]

Some co-workers saw Come On, Baby and directly stated that they’re “not willing to give birth to a baby, and are even a bit scared by it.” What does everyone else think?

Watched Come On, Baby; afterwards, I’m too afraid to have a baby of my own, it’s really too painful [goofy face] [goofy face]

Finally: China’s overpopulation problem solved by a show that could be aired on the Discovery Channel, and it isn’t even Mythbusters! However, there’s more to these statements than first meets the eye.childbirth come on baby labor documentary

This documentary exposes another side of Chinese culture: the influence of Traditional Chinese Medicine on pregnancy. The mother is a conduit for the unborn baby, and Chinese parents have been known to have overzealous displays of protection towards the fetus, even disabling the internet to an entire building because “WiFi is radioactive“. It is common knowledge in China that a shock from falling into a lake is enough to cause a miscarriage in a pregnant woman, as seen on countless serial dramas.

As such, contrary to practices in Western medicine, drugs are not commonly administered during labor for Chinese mothers for fear that they too may impact the baby. The screams and pained looks of this documentary are of women who are giving birth while bareback, so to speak.

It’s easy to inflate the hype over this controversy when these female commentators seem to be refuting basic human truths, whereas in fact are basically advocating female ideals.

And after all, it did just air on Mother’s Day.

Guangdong’s New Two-Child Policy Off to a Rocky Start

Photos: Sina blog, CNR via Weibo, Csxww, Mop


Guangzhou Mothers Rushing Pregnancy to Avoid Unlucky Year of the Ram

Posted: 04/22/2014 4:25 pm

Now that China reformed its one-child population control policy last December, and with Guangdong officially having carried out the policy on March 27, many eligible mothers are gearing up to take advantage of the two-child policy.

Mrs Liu from Guangzhou has been urged to have a second child by her mother-in-law. But upon hearing it’s bad luck to have a baby during the Year of the Ram, due to start next year on February 19, 2015, the mother-in-law tries to persuade Liu to conceive and bear a child during this calendar year, according to Nanfang Metropolis Daily.

The reason why babies born in the Year of the Ram are unlucky is because they are “fated to suffer”. A folklore saying goes: Nine rams out of ten are not completed; this means people born during the year of ram will have bad luck. Considering what type of future is in store for her child, Mrs Liu hesitates to have another baby.

RELATED: Guangdong’s New “Two-Child Policy” Off to a Rocky Start

Ye Chunsheng, Vice-President of the China Folklore Society and the Chinese department Professor of Sun Yat-sen University says the opinion doesn’t hold water at all. “I think people born in the year are very nice though,” he said.

Mrs Du, Director of Liwan District People’s Hospital, disagrees with superstitions regarding luck. “Based on the statistics we have now, the number of babies born next year doesn’t much difference.” In regards to women who may try to give birth prematurely to avoid giving birth to a child born during the Year of the Ram, Du said, “It’s very harmful to have a Caesarean one month earlier than the date of expectancy. It will not only cause massive bleeding, but also amniotic embolism; either case will be dangerous for mothers and babies.”

Hongn Kong fengshui expert Mak Lingling reassures people not to worry about babies born in the Year of the Ram. Mak said, “Rams stand for auspiciousness. Baby rams born in the morning are passive and conservative, but have good people skills. Afternoon baby rams are more active, while evening rams are too conservative and conventional but don’t like new environments.”

Photo: TX News

Scanner at Guangzhou Airport Finds Passenger Trying to Transport Human Leg
Foshan Woman Believes Baby is Cursed, Gives It Away


Guangdong’s New “Two-Child Policy” Off to a Rocky Start

Posted: 04/4/2014 6:03 pm

Everything sounds great on paper. In theory, ideas are as perfect as the solid intentions behind them. However, the recent reform of the one-child policy on December 28 last year to allow families in which one parent is a single child to have two children has led to outright confusion and anger.

Some applicants are finding it difficult to prove that they are the single child of a family in a process said to often reject submitted documents. In other cases, applicants complain that different government bureaucracies require different certificates, leading to frayed nerves. One of the biggest problems is that the new policy was introduced on a national level three months before Guangdong province passed the new law. So which one applies?

Expectant parents are left with a myriad of questions, including:

There has been a lapse of time between the implementation of the new childbirth policy on a national scale and here in Guangdong province. If I have a child within this period of time, will I be fined?

Applicants to raise a second child require parents to provide a certificate of being a single child, but is there a specific format for these requirements?

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed this resolution at the end of December of last year, while the law came into practice in Guangdong at the end of March of this year. If I have a [second] child in the time from January to March, will I be fined?

It seems like parents are keen to cash in on this “promotion”. The news headline on the first baby born in Guangdong under the new policy on March 28 simply said, “A Discount of RMB 300K”. (link broken, cache here)

The excitement behind the change is why it’s great to have experts on hand to help explain things to the layperson. There is also particular confusion in Guangdong because we’re three months behind the rest of the country in passing the law. Under the title “Problems Leave Many with a Headache”, this article tries to solve the mystery by interviewing two experts, which seems to be one too many.

Li Ruzhang, Department head of the provincial division of the standing committee for administrative law of the national People’s Congress, says:

According to my understanding of the law, any briths to have occurred after the passing of the resolution of the Standing Committee should be considered legal. Although the passing of this law in Guangdong was late by three months, but the resolution of the National People’s Congress affects every citizen throughout the entire country.

Zheng Zizhen disagrees. The sociologist and former director for the demographic research institute of the Academy of Social Sciences says that each case must be evaluated separately:

In the eyes of the law, it makes sense to consider that a national policy would go into effect around the country as a whole; however, we should still try to specifically try to determine when is the proper transition period…(Even if the cut-off time was Dec 28 of last year,) what if someone was off by this date by three days? Then what do you do? How do you deal with this situation? That’s why I think it’s best to act in accordance with the law.

As with all bureaucracies, these two people are completely correct.

This new policy is expected to bring an additional 1.5 to 2 million births to Guangdong province, and is already starting speculation as to how this new demographic will affect the economy and which specific industry.

Despite waiving the penalty for extra births outside the traditional one-child policy, 60% of Guangdong respondents to an online poll state that they would not choose to have a second child due to its high cost.

Photo: Yesky


“Marriage test” the first time many newlyweds deal with sex education in China

Posted: 04/17/2013 4:27 pm

Guangzhou resident Lora Deng, 24, recently passed her marriage test in order to receive her marriage certificate. It’s a policy designed to remind new married couples about the one-child policy in a country that already has a population of about 1.3 billion.

The online test requires soon-to-be wives to receive a score of 80 percent or higher, and includes a section on sex education. For some, this is the first time they’ve ever been taught about sex.

“In China, you need certificates for everything,” says Deng. “Even for deaths.”

Last month, Deng and her long-time boyfriend, Paul Yeung, tied the knot at the Guangzhou City Hall. The process took about three hours from the registration to the photo-op in light of several other couples getting married that day.

Sex education is practically unheard of in China, unlike in North America where the subject is integrated into the school curriculum as early as grade 5. Deng says there are children’s books in which the word ‘hug’ is used when referring to how babies are made.

Still, traditional values are ingrained at the core of Chinese culture. This means passing on the bloodline remains paramount for many couples.

“If they can’t have children by themselves, they will try very hard to get a baby by all means,” says Tolly Tu, who works at a laboratory at a local Guangzhou hospital that helps couples have children through artificial insemination. “Even if they don’t have money, they will sell their houses. Some clients even come from the countryside,” he says.

Everyday, Tu prepares dishes where eggs are cultivated and then inseminated with sperm. This procedure is complete by noon. He says some women in their 40s are willing to undergo this procedure three or four times.

Having a child is important because of the pressure from their partner, their parents and their in-laws that could, if not resolved properly, lead to a divorce.

The choice of the child’s sex is possible with specific techniques, says Tu. But to the naked eye, it’s impossible. According to Tu, the Chinese law prohibits telling the soon-to-be mother of her child’s sex unless it’s medically related. While the younger generation is mostly indifferent towards the sex of their child, the older generation still prefers a boy. Learning that the child is a girl sometimes leads to an abortion.

Tu recalls his university days when he often heard clinics advertising painless abortions. Those who decide to have abortions face the possibility of dire consequences once they do decide to have a child in the future. “It’s not good for the uterus so it’s important to have safe sex to avoid complications,” says Tu.

Deng is off to Indonesia by the end of the month so she can spend quality time with her husband and to relax at the beach. Asked if she prefers a girl or a boy, she says that she is indifferent. But, like many Chinese going back generations, her husband says he prefers a boy.



Father sells his son, police find the toddler months later and reunite him with mom

Posted: 03/12/2013 10:49 am

Police in Guangzhou have reunited a three-year-old boy with his mother after his father sold him six months earlier, earning a handsome 25,000 yuan ($4,019).

It has been an agonizing wait as the police team from Panyu district finally tracked Xiang Xiang down in neighbouring Hunan province.

The father, Deng, 25, a migrant worker from Guizhou province, finally found his conscience, and on January 5 confessed what he did to police, four months after he had gone through with the transaction.

Boys are highly sought after in China. They sell for as much as 10,000 yuan ($1,607) because they continue to carry the family name. Beijing’s One-Child policy is blamed for driving up the price.

No doubt, both parents will be relieved and overjoyed. With Xiang now safely with his mother Hu, police have arrested Deng along with two of the buyers. Police are continuing with their efforts in searching for the third.

This case echoes a similar story from October 21 when a couple from Huizhou cashed in all three of their children in exchange for more money to play online games at the internet café.

Source: Guangzhou Daily via China Daily


Guy keeps mistress in Shenzhen for 10 years, fathers 5 kids in addition to 5 he already had

Posted: 01/15/2013 7:00 am

It’s no secret that Shenzhen has a large number of kept women, but one man managed to keep a secret mistress for over a decade, having five babies with the woman to add to the five he had with his wife, Shenzhen Satellite Television reported yesterday.

The man’s wife, Mrs. Li, who lives in Shenzhen’s Buji Subdistrict, told reporters that she was shocked when she learned of the story, saying she had no idea that her husband wasn’t satisfied with their seemingly perfect family.

The couple had been married since the 1980s. According to Li, they pretty much stopped having sex around 2000.  “As a woman, to be without something so important made life itself meaningless,” she tearfully told reporters.

Her husband gave the excuse that he was ill. Li offered to take him to hospital but he refused.

After learning about the secret family from a tip off, Li was shown footage that showed a woman younger than herself and from her own hometown. Of the four children present, one was singing the folk song “Mother Is The Only Good Thing,” but swapped the word “mother” for “father.” While watching the footage, an exasperated Li cried out: “What’s this woman got that I haven’t got?”

After filing for divorce on June 20 last year, the man promised to give Li her share of the five houses and one piece of farmland that they owned. However, she has still not formally received any property.

In his letter of guarantee, the man explained that all of his kids, regardless of who he had them with, would receive all of his care and attention. He has had four children with his mistress and the fifth is on the way. Journalists were unable to reach him for comment.

Some respondents called for a basketball game between the children of the different mothers to decide who gets the properties. But if the information we currently have is accurate, it’s hardly debatable as to whose fault the divorce is.

This news report, currently a story with only one source, raises all kinds of questions. Surely the man has breached China’s family planning laws? If so, how on earth does he get hukou for all his children? How did Li not figure out earlier that something was going on?

This blog, Divorce in China, comes recommended by China Law Blog. Despite the Chinglish, there is a lot of good stuff, such as the urging of readers to do due diligence before marrying (advice that Li could have heeded all those years ago).

Even more pertinently, this comes from the post Fault in the Divorce:

Pursuant to Chinese Marriage Law, article 46 Article 46 where one of the following circumstances leads to divorce, the unerring party shall have the right to claim mental compensation:
1. bigamy is committed;
2. one party who has a spouse cohabits with another person of the opposite sex;
3. family violence is committed; or
4. a family member is maltreated or abandoned.

If her claims are true, then Li can get a very hefty fee indeed.


Zhaoqing couple faces heavy fine after trying to sidestep family planning laws

Posted: 12/17/2012 7:00 am

A couple in Zhaoqing in Guangdong may have to pay more than 10 million yuan in social fostering fees after having eight babies in October 2010, according to Jiangxi Satellite Television.

After trying unsuccessfully to have babies for years, the unnamed couple tried IV treatment. Eight embryos were placed in the uterus of the wife and two surrogate mothers.

The woman herself had triplets in Hong Kong and the other two women had five between them, giving the couple four boys and four girls. China’s one child policy does not apply to twins or triplets, but having the five children by the surrogate mothers is considered a breach of China’s family planning laws, according to Guangdong Planning Commission.

China has banned surrogacy since 2003. As well as conducting a lengthy investigation into the couple’s activities, authorities have also been investigating agencies that offer surrogacy services.

The couple is said to have earning power of over 1 million yuan a year and spent around 1 million yuan on the test tube procedure. It already costs the couple around 100,000 yuan a month to raise the kids.

The size of the fine is calculated according to how much a family earns. Being high earners, this couple could face a 5-10 million yuan fine.


Mainlanders found violating the one-child policy in Hong Kong should be fined, says Guangdong Family Planning commissioner

Posted: 02/8/2012 7:30 am

Following the extensive amount of attention paid recently to the issue of large numbers of pregnant women from mainland China who travel to Hong Kong to deliver their child—often in an attempt to evade China’s one-child policy, but one which includes residency in the city and places severe strain on Hong Kong’s healthcare system. And this is all before the arrival of the dragon babies.

Thus, demands have grown prevalent in Hong Kong for a cap on the number of women from mainland China allowed to give birth there. From the mainland perspective, people are worried that giving birth in Hong Kong will gradually become a privilege of the fuerdai—second generation rich—and their counterparts, guanerdai, the offspring of officials.

In response, Zhang Feng, the Family Planning commissioner of Guangdong, has said that he agrees with calls for Hong Kong to limit the number of mainland births in the SAR. Speaking to New Express over the weekend, Zhang added that violations of the one-child policy involving births in Hong Kong should be fined, if such cases can be verified, the same as if they had taken place within mainland China.

Meanwhile, RTHK has reported that violations in Hong Kong of China’s one-child policy will result in a fine “up to six times the per capita disposable income of residents’ hometowns.”

Both Macau and Hong Kong are exempt from China’s one-child policy.

Seeing as how many families in China now just pay the fine for birthing beyond their quota, would such a move make any difference in freeing up maternity ward beds in Hong Kong hospitals?

Miss Yu, a mainland mother residing in Guangzhou, told New Express that she just had a daughter this year and plans to have a son born in Hong Kong sometime in the near future, but adds that the introduction of entry caps on the Hong Kong side would leave her a bit helpless.

“I’d rather see Hong Kong just totally shut the door to mainland mothers,” Yu said, “than see so many people fighting so hard over just one spot. Brokerage fees will soar and in the end it will just become an exclusive privilege available only to the rich and powerful.”

Zhang also supports the notion of limiting the number of mainland China parents allowed to give birth in Hong Kong: “I think Hong Kong should have applied a limit to mainland births long ago.”

“People think having excess babies in Hong Kong won’t result in a fine, but as long as the one-child policy is violated, a fine will always be applied.”


Pills promising twins a hot seller in Guangdong

Posted: 07/25/2011 11:32 am

Pills in Guangdong that promise twins

We told you earlier that the Chinese government is looking at allowing parents to have more than one child in Guangdong Province, the first large-scale easing of the official one child policy in China. Even though it appears this policy may be coming down the pike, eager parents in our region are unwilling to wait.

The Guangzhou Daily has learned that “medicine” being sold online and at hospitals is promising parents that it will greatly enhance their chances of conceiving twins, which is one way to get around the one child policy. The newspaper sent a reporter into one of the hospitals undercover to learn more about the drug.

Partial translation courtesy of @MissXQ.


The Chinese government has chosen Guangdong Province as the pilot province to allow parents to have two children, yet young couples in Guangdong can’t wait for final approval from the government to have more kids. Thus, a medicine has surfaced called “Duo Zai Wan” (多仔丸 – Multiple Kids Drug) which is a hot seller online and in some hospitals in Guangdong Province. Netizens can purchase the drug without a prescription.

A Chinese reporter hid his identity and investigated the case in a local hospital.

Reporter: Is there any way to make sure I have twins?

Hospital Customer Service Representative (CS): Medically speaking, there isn’t any solution. But we’ve helped six couples in the past 15 years successfully have twins. It is common to have twins, but ordinary hospitals just won’t help you.

Reporter: How can you do it ?

CS: Just take our medicine, you won’t feel anything different.

Reporter: How much does it cost?

CS: If you had a body check already, you just need to take the medicine. A couple hundred will cover it.

Reporter: How many times do I need to go to the hospital?

CS: After you come and meet our experts, we will give you the medicine to take. You need to come back three times afterwards.

Reporter: How many people are like me who wants twins? How many people have called to ask about it ?

CS: Many, many people. So many. I don’t have concrete statistics. It is confidential.

Reporter: Are there any side effects?

CS: Don’t you worry. We are professionals and we know how to monitor the whole process so there won’t be any side effects.

There are several online stores selling this kind of medicine for RMB 60-70 per package. They advertise the produce by saying it will help ensure the couple will have twins and appear to be welcomed by those online. The reporter saw one online store sell 210 packages in a month.

The number of twins conceived with human help has been increasing in recent years. More than 200 twins were born in five hospitals in Jiangxi Province, according to provincial statistics.


Guangdong wants to ditch the one child policy (sort of)

Posted: 07/12/2011 9:14 am

Since the One Child Policy was introduced in 1979, it has been a lightening rod for criticism from people outside of China. It is, in effect, the state controlling one’s reproductive rights (making American concerns on the same seem quaint by comparison). Nonetheless, with a soaring population and limited food supplies, some have argued that the policy may have helped China reach the stage of development it’s at today.

The problem lies in the fact that China now has an army of single children, each with two aging parents. It doesn’t take long to see where this is headed: an expensive and large elderly population with a relatively smaller tax-paying base to support them. That’s why Guangdong Province is asking Beijing to relax the One Child Policy.

Currently, many jurisdictions in China allow two only-children who are married to have more than one child. What Guangdong wants to do is allow a couple to have more than one child if only one of the spouses is an only child. As the South China Morning Post reports (behind a paywall), this would make Guangdong the first province to permit this arrangement and also curb the number of pregnant women who are flocking to Hong Kong in increasing numbers to deliver their babies:

Voices calling on the central government to rethink its population policy have been growing. Many economists are worried that China’s phenomenal economic growth could be slowed down by a rapidly ageing society, a dwindling labour pool and mounting pressure on the social security system.

In an interview published by the province’s official newspaper, Nanfang Daily, Guangdong family planning chief Zhang Feng said the province had tendered an official application to Beijing to run a pilot version of an adjusted one-child policy.

Guangdong’s population reached 104 million last year, surpassing Henan as the nation’s most populous province.

The SCMP also points out that with rising living costs (and soaring inflation), many parents might not choose to have a second child anyway. That would mimic developed countries, where higher education rates and increasing wealth has resulted in a decline in birth rates.


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