Pandemic baby boom? State health departments say births dropped in December compared to prior year
As COVID-19 lockdown orders were
enforced, many made jokes about a post-pandemic baby boom - but experts say
that nationally, birth rates have actually fallen.
departments across the country reported fewer births in December 2020 than
there were in December 2019. Local experts say economic downturns scared off
some potential parents.
Dr. Melissa Whitson, a community
psychologist with the University of New Haven, says
the pandemic also puts special pressures on parents that may make families
reluctant to expand.
Local OB/GYNs say
they've definitely been seeing fewer pregnant patients. Dr. Audrey Merriam, an
OB/GYN and maternal fetal specialist at Yale Medicine, stresses that pregnancy
and childbirth are safe despite the pandemic.
The Brookings Institute predicted
last June that the pandemic would lead to 300,000 less births in the U.S.