Jamie Yeo: (shotgun?) wedding & pregnancy

While the news is quite specific that Jamie Yeo is 14 weeks pregnant, it doesn't really say when the exact wedding was. Only 'recently' it vaguely mentioned as well as the hint of 'surprise' as the initial plan was the wedding with an Englishman Thorsten Nolte to be held this December.

Go figure (if you're that kaypoh). Whether it was a shotgun wedding or not, Jamie Yeo ought to be congratulated. After all, she has defied the 'historic low' fertility rate!

Television host Jamie Yeo is 14 weeks pregnant with a baby girl, reported The New Paper.

Yeo's ex-husband, MediaCorp deejay Glenn Ong, confirmed the pregnancy, saying the ESPN Star Sports presenter had sent him an SMS him on Monday to apologise for hurting him as well as to share the news of her pregnancy.

Yeo, 33, may be in for a high-risk pregnancy as she suffers from renal agenesis, a condition that caused her to be born with only one kidney and had affected her reproductive system.

Mr and Mrs Nolte

Yeo recently married Englishman Thorsten Nolte after accepting his proposal in April. They had originally planned to tie the knot in December.

She had revealed in blog entry earlier this year that Nolte, whom she met at The Prodigy concert in February 2009, had whisked her away to Japan in May, and proposed to her on her birthday with a 1.5-carat diamond he had specially prepared for the occasion.

Yeo was previously married to Ong, 39, until their high-profile separation in 2009. They were married for five years.

She was Ong's second wife after his first marriage to radio deejay Kate Reyes ended in 2003. Ong is currently seeing fellow Class 95FM deejay Jean Danker.

Incidentally, Yeo will also be Nolte's second wife. Nolte separated from his American spouse of two years just before he was posted to Singapore two and a half years ago.

From Channel NewsAsia, "TV host Jamie Yeo pregnant with baby girl". (14/07/10)

Did the uncertain economy last year diminish Singaporeans' desire to have babies?

This could be a factor in the total fertility rate dipping from 1.28 in 2008, to a "historic low" of 1.22 last year, said the authorities in a population report released yesterday. The official number is even lower than the estimate of 1.23 cited by Government officials in recent months.

"The global recession in late 2008 could have contributed to the decline in births in 2009, although the impact was smaller compared to the past economic downturns," stated the Population in Brief 2010 report, jointly produced by government bodies that included the National Population Secretariat and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

Last year, 39,570 babies were born here, of which 31,842 had at least one parent who was a citizen - a dip of 1.8 per cent compared to 2008. Observers like Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng said the sharp dip could be an aberration. "A lot of statistics - economic and sociological - last year will throw up anomalies, because it was a year of anomalies," he said.

Mr Cheng, who has spoken about marriage in Parliament, said once the economy recovers, more people will be financially able to have babies.

Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Community Development Youth and Sports Seah Kian Peng said the fertility decline is probably due to multiple factors, of which the economy could be one.

But as Singapore recorded more marriages last year, he is hopeful that birth numbers will rise this year.

Mr Seah, who has requested for legally mandated paternity leave in Parliament, said "The incentives the government has been introducing … some will take a while before kicking in."

Should Singapore try adopting more measures found in Sweden - a developed country with a fertility rate of 1.94 last year?

Sociologist Eric Thompson said that policies like parental leave would be very helpful. But it is "unlikely" that they would cause an increase in the fertility rates. This is because fertility rates are related to "bigger issues" like the nature of one's economy, and highly competitive countries all face dipping birth rates, he said.

The population report also showed that while more Singaporeans are having their first babies, fewer are having more than one child compared with five years ago.

First births went up from 14,048 in 2004 to 14,628 in 2009, while second births decreased from 11,136 to 10,991, for instance. Mr Seah said this showed the importance of providing ample child care facilities, which the government is already working on.

From Today, "Fertility rates at 'historic low'".


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