VIETNAM - No-one in Huu Nghi Hospital in Ha Noi knew that nurse Nguyen Anh Lan was pregnant until she gave birth to her third child early this year.
Lan knew of the Government's policy of two children per family but because she hadn't produced a son, her husband and parents in-law pressured her to have a third child.
"It meant I had violated the government's policy and that my department and I would be fined by hospital leaders so I tried to tighten my pregnancy belt while I was at work so that no-one would know about my situation," said Lan.
As it happened, Lan gave birth to a boy. Her entire family was happy, though she personally had lost her monthly bonus and had her salary capped for two years.
"I'm happy to have my son but I'm also sad because my department, including my boss, has been fined due to my 'fault'," said Lan.
Lan is among many women in Viet Nam trying to have a third child, said Nguyen Thanh Binh, of the Ha Noi Centre for Population and Family Planning.
He said research showed the rate of women giving birth to a third child has been increasing in provinces in the midland, north and north-western regions and the Central Highlands.
"The country should have solutions to deal with the situation in these regions while maintaining the trend of having two children in other regions if we are going to have a reduction of women giving birth to their third child," said Binh.