Women in China must make appointments months in advance to ensure they receive maternity care. Photo / Getty Images
Chinese women are rushing to have a second baby after the country's government allowed all families to have two children this year.
One expectant mother said her maternity Hospital
was so busy she was forced to bring two family members along to help her queue in order to finish all necessary checks in one day.
Authorities estimated that three million more babies will be born each year in the next five years during the 'second-child baby boom', according to a report on state-run People's Daily Online.
Yang Xin, an expectant mother from southern China's Shenzhen city, said she had to make appointments three to four months in advance, according to the report.
She added: "The hospital has been crowded with expectant mothers every day since February.
"Thus I have to bring two family members along to wait in line for me, otherwise I won't finish all the necessary checks in a day.""People began to queue up in early morning and I have to wait at least 30 minutes for each check.
Obstetricians across China have been overwhelmed by the number of patients.
Liu Lihua, the deputy head of obstetrics at the Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, told Chinese media: 'We have 45 beds in the fifth section of obstetrics and we added 30 extra beds today.
"Such situation started in April, while the peak season usually came in August or September in the past."
Other cities, including Xiamen and Guilin, have also witnessed a shortage of hospital beds, obstetricians and postpartum nannies.
A doctor from the Xiamen Maternal and Child Health-care Hospital told Xinhua News Agency: "Last year, our obstetrical department received 800-900 patients every year.
"But now, it receives more than 1,000 daily. The number could reach 1,200 at busiest."
Chinese family-planning authorities predict that an extra three million babies will be born annually in the next five years, pushing the annual number of births to 21 million.
On January 1, 2016, the Chinese central government launched the so-called 'universal two-child policy' as a way to tackle the country's aging population.
This means, all Chinese families who wish to have a second child no longer have to worry about hefty fines, mandatory sterilisations and barbaric forced abortions.
After the ruthless and mandatory one-child policy was enforced for more than three decades, many couples in China yearn to have a second child.
Xia Shanshan, who grew up as a single child in Shouguang city, Shandong Province, is also a proud mother-of-two.
The 33-year-old digital marketing specialist and her husband have a five-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.
Xia told Mailonline: "We decided to have a second child because we wanted our daughter to have a companion rather than hundreds of toys.
She said: "My husband and I both love an active life. We feel our child will be lonely, so we hope to have a second baby to accompany her throughout her life."
"When we are old and sick, they can share the responsibility in taking care of us. And after we pass away, they can look after each other."
Sun Lin, from Shanghai, also has two children.
The 36-year-old, who also grew up as a single child, told MailOnline: "Whenever I came across families with two children, whether in books or on the streets, I always felt jealous."
She said: 'The previous policy didn't bring obvious changes because it takes time for people to digest a new rule.
"But from now on, I think two children will be the normal family structure in China."
Sun was referring to the special rule in the one-child policy.
The special rule meant that for couples that were both only children, they were allowed to have another baby.
Not only is the two-child policy creating a baby boom, it's also set to be a booster in China's economy.
With endless new toys and clothes, Chinese parents are never shy of splurging on their children and don't have the concept of hand-me-downs.
As such, the ongoing baby-boom is expected to generate a yearly increase of up to 50 billion yuan (NZ$0 billion) in the consumption related to infants, reported Chinese media.