Contrary to what was initially thought, the pandemic has affected birth rates in unexpected ways.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Having children during this delicate time has become a risk and a luxury that not all couples can cope with emotionally and financially. The pandemic causes many people to rethink their plans to have children, including putting off having children and some even choosing not to.
While others move forward regardless of current circumstances and seek alternative birth plans that they have never considered before; a question arises: how has the pandemic affected birth rates?
With all the shelters in place and couples being confined indoors, will this cause a coronavirus baby boom or baby drop?
Sarah Lavonne, a nurse, and birthing coach spoke with doctors about this concern. Due to the quarantine, people have not been able to follow the routine they were used to. Sarah says that most of the time, after a snowstorm or natural disaster, it is very common to see a baby boom. However, research shows that this is not the case for the covid-19 pandemic.
According to Sarah, the US has reported between 300,000 and 500,000 fewer births by 2021. As we are at a time that poses an uncertain future, couples are concerned about the possible economic impact of the pandemic on their work and their plans for a lifetime.
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The nurse also points out the perceived risk of having a baby during a pandemic and pregnancy care during COVID-19. Many people do not want to have a baby at this time when there is so much uncertainty and prenatal care can be unsatisfactory compared to what they were used to.
Because of all the unknown, people want to hold onto the known and some element of control. With that, people search for more information, including online childbirth preparation classes, as they read and research. Some expectant mothers are preparing with their partners to find out what to expect during this time of a pandemic.
El Espectador reports that countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany, and France revealed that 40% of women changed their plans to have a baby due to the pandemic. In fact, a third of them have preferred to postpone their pregnancy.
Additionally, due to stress, anxiety, confinement, and the economic impact of the pandemic, many couples have experienced a decrease in sexual desire.
Economists at the Brookings Institution say that richer countries such as Norway and New Zealand kept their birth rates stable thanks to the efficiency of their health services and the effective management of the pandemic.
Another problem is the high fertility rates in developing countries where women do not have access to contraception. This problem can be seen in Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Uganda, and some nations in Latin America and Africa.
As this generation continues their fight against the coronavirus, concerns about the next generation are mounting. Some medical workers remain on the front line despite being pregnant, while others are putting off their dreams of parenting until treatment can be found.
Although some had predicted a baby boom during the lockdown, research from the Brookings Institute suggests that birth rates in the United States have fallen. Images vary around the world. However, the uncertainty and slow reaction to the coronavirus crisis presents a challenge for all young couples whose plans to have a family have been postponed.