61-year-old Liu Hongmei has become the second-oldest mother in China after seeking IVF treatment following the death of her 30-year-old daughter.
Liu Hongmei was able to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and delivered the baby on June 27 through C-section at the Women’s Hospital Affiliated with the School of Medicine of Zhejiang University.
Both mother and child seem to be in good condition according to hospital spokeswoman Sun Meiyan, reports China Daily.
Despite the smooth delivery, Liu still faced plenty of hardships during her pregnancy. She suffered from bleeding and other complications post delivery.
The hospital was weary at first to publicize that Liu broke a provincial record, not wishing to encourage middle-aged of older women to risk their health with a high-risk pregnancy.
“The quality and quantity of eggs of women 35 or older have declined, so they will face a lower success rate of pregnancy and higher risks of miscarriage and birth defects,” said Zhu Yimin, director of the hospital’s reproductive and endocrine department.
“During the prime time of the child’s development, the parents are in their 70s,” Zhu added. “How can they spare efforts to accompany their children?”
This trend does not come as a surprise. According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, there are an estimated 1 million families nationwide where the parents have lost their only child, a number that is increasing by about 76,000 a year.
China ended the one-child policy as of last October, and there are roughly 1 million Chinese families that have lost their only child.
While medical professionals would like to prevent the widespread adoption of IVF among those above what is a considered healthy child-bearing age, many aging couples are campaigning for authorities to fund the treatment.
By Robin Winship
[Images via The Telegraph // China Daily]