129 S'porean babies born on National Day

Ms Angeline Lim, 35, gave birth to her second child and jubilee baby boy Ryker Jedd Ng at the stroke of midnight on Aug 9 in KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The maternity wards of hospitals in Singapore were kept extra busy on National Day.

A total of 129 Singaporean babies were born on Aug 9, up from 91 who were born on National Day last year.

The number of babies was announced by a happy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu yesterday.

"Congrats to all the parents," wrote Ms Fu on Facebook.

The minister, who oversees population matters, also posted on Facebook a video on the SG50 babies and their parents.

On Sunday, Ms Fu visited two newborns who were born at the stroke of midnight on Aug 9 and their parents at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

She presented the SG50 Baby Jubilee Gift to them.

The gift set comprises eight items: a medallion, shawl, baby sling, set of baby clothes, diaper bag, scrapbook, family photo frame and set of baby books.

All Singaporean babies born this year will get the set.

Some 33,000 babies were born to Singaporeans last year, up from 31,000 the year before.

The increase pushed Singapore's total fertility rate (TFR) up to 1.25, from 1.19 in 2013.

In 2012, Singapore's TFR - which is the average number of children born to a woman who completes her child-bearing years - was 1.29.

Singapore's TFR declined steadily from 2.11 in 1976 and it has remained well below the 2.1 replacement level since, hitting a record low of 1.15 in 2010.

Over the years, the Government has pulled out all the stops to encourage the stork among Singaporeans. It introduced financial incentives as well as social media campaigns such as heybaby.sg to coax parents to have more babies.

This article was first published on Aug 11, 2015. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.