Sun, Jul 05, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese women having babies later in life: doctors

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of gynecologists yesterday expressed concern that the average age of pregnant women in Taiwan was rising.

Mackay Memorial Hospital Gynecologist Huang Min-chao (黃閔照) cited statistics from the Ministry of the Interior that showed that 190,000 babies were born in Taiwan last year, a record low in the nation’s history.

The same statistics showed that 13 percent of pregnant women, or about 26,000, were “older pregnant women,” defined as women older than 35.

“Many young couples do not want to have kids, and when they do, they usually are too old and have to rely on medical help. The older a pregnant woman is, the more danger there will be for her and for the baby,” said Tsai Hong-te (蔡鴻德), chairman for the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“Being pregnant should be something joyful, but these potential dangers can become something that makes a couple and their families worry,” he said.

The gynecologists, meanwhile, called on celebrities not to share information about their pregnancies on TV, because it is often inaccurate and misleading.

“Many pregnant women follow [incorrect] information shared by entertainers or celebrities on TV. Only after that do they turn to professionals, which makes our jobs more difficult,” said Hsu Chin-yuan (徐金源), another gynecologist at Mackay Memorial Hospital.

Kang Ning General Hospital President Yin Chang-sheng (尹長生) said that while pregnant women should obtain as much information as possible, they should allow gynecologists to do their job.

“Both sides want to make the pregnancy easy and successful,” Yin said.

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