Baby boom or baby bust?
Will the year of COVID isolation-hell yield the same type of baby boom as did World War II and 9-11? Denver hospital Rose Medical Center is reporting an "impressive increase" in their labor and delivery ward, which has resulted in hiring additional delivery nurses and expanding the labor and delivery unit to another floor in the hospital. So does this baby trend go beyond Rose Medical Center?
As the statistics roll in, the numbers tell a different story—not one of a baby boom but one of a baby bust.
The Brookings Institute predicted there would be 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in 2021 and noted both economic and social anxiety would be the driving factors for this decline. And it looks like they may have nailed it. According to the Bloomberg report, several states noted a large decline in births right around nine months after COVID-19 was coined a worldwide pandemic.
Perhaps the numbers tell us another story of just how great the impact of the pandemic has had on our mental health wellbeing, and how it may have been minimized or at best, misunderstood. According to a February 2021 KFF COVID report, it notes the following:
"During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019 (Figure 1). A KFF Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 also found that many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus."
According to the Washington Post, the United States saw an uptick in birth control and contraceptives during the pandemic. Women were deliberately putting off having a family during this time.
COVID-19 has brought with it loss and uncertainty, but with the new year and the easing up of COVID regulations nationwide, perhaps a new era post-2020 will bring a baby boom sooner than we think.
Did you give birth during the pandemic or are you expecting? Let us know in the comments.