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WVU Health Expert: no signs of a Coronavirus Baby Boom

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:12 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - It has been 42 weeks since Governor Jim Justice issued a stay-at-home order. Back then, nobody knew what 2021 would looks like, and some did not realize they would now be called “Mom and Dad.”

“We are seeing an increase in the number of births,” said Dr. Leo Brancazio, professor and chairman of the WVU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

But the uptick is nowhere close to a generation-defining baby boom like the post-WWII birthing rate.

“The situation of the baby boom is actually couples getting back together as opposed to being stuck together,” said Dr. Brancazio.

The economy is another major factor. Following World War II, soldiers returned to a prosperous economy. But the world is in economic turmoil amid the coronavirus pandemic. The current state of the economy can be likened to the 2008 financial crisis in which University of New Hampshire researched found birthing rates to drop by over two-million in the span of five years.

While the current bump in the birthing rate comes nine months after the lockdown, Dr. Brancazio is wary to attribute it squarely to the lockdown. He says, historically, large scale crises are shown to not change birthing rates on a major scale. Instead, studies show that increases are more likely to come from small crises like power outages that last for days.

WVU Medicine patients have voiced concern over becoming pregnant during the pandemic and are wary to begin their families under the current conditions.

Dr. Brancazio says if you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, talk with your medical team about getting the vaccine as soon as possible. He says there have been no health concerns about pregnant women getting the vaccine, but the health effects of contracting coronavirus during a pregnancy could be long-lasting.

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