Women aren’t having as many children as they used to. The number of births in the US has been falling about 1% each year for the past five years and recently reached the lowest birth rate in 35 years, CDC statistics revealed. Some speculate that the coronavirus pandemic might even further this trend.
Wondering why the birth rate is falling these days?
The reasons vary, but here are a few possibilities:
- The birth rate for teenagers dropped 5% in 2019. Overall, the birth rate among teenagers has dropped 60% since 2007 and 73% since 1991.
- Women seem to be waiting longer to have children. The birth rate among women in their early 40s rose 2% in 2019, but dropped for almost all age groups of women under 35.
- Many women are choosing to have fewer children than in the past, or none at all. This is frequently driven by concerns over money, the high costs of childcare and insurance, political turmoil, lack of solid parental leave policies, and the overall outlook for the future.
Will the coronavirus outbreak have any impact on birth rate in the US?
There’s been a lot of joking over the past few months that with all this time at home, we’re bound to see a baby boom in the coming year. But experts say this isn’t likely. It’s easy to see why when you take a closer look at the situation. Many people have lost their jobs, and others have kept their jobs but are still concerned about money and job security. These fears and concerns may keep some people from adding to their family.
The pandemic has created numerous challenges for pregnant women in terms of physical and mental health, too. In some outbreak hotspots, hospital systems were strained with high numbers of COVID-19 patients and were consistently revising policies around childbirth. For a short period of time, women at some New York City hospitals had to give birth without the support of a loved one due to strict hospital restrictions. Anxious about these policies and worried about the possibility of COVID-19 transmission in hospitals, some women are considering giving birth at home or deciding not to get pregnant right now. Additionally, some women have struggled to receive infertility care when medical practices were forced to close down for social distancing.
The coronavirus pandemic is a substantial concern and should not be ignored, but it doesn’t need to stand in the way of having a child. If you’re feeling stressed or confused by the multitude of ways the coronavirus is affecting our lives, or have any questions or concerns about childbirth, consider speaking with a healthcare professional who can answer your questions and provide support.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.