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.
State health 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.