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Opinion

Will There Be a Baby Boom or Baby Bust?

a new mother holds her baby
Photo by Dakota Corbin on Unsplash

When the infamous Coronavirus started to really affect the U.S. in early March, many people took to social media and joked about a possible baby boom after the pandemic. People also laughed about possible names that generation would be called. One Twitter user posted, “Are we all agreed that babies born nine months after COVID-19 are going to be called coronials? And in 2033/2034 they’ll all become quaranteens?” Even with these speculations, many believe that the pandemic will have the opposite effect. So, will there be a boom or a bust?

Reasons for a baby boom

It’s understandable why people believe that there will be a baby boom. When couples are stuck inside all day with nothing to do, they have more time to Netflix and chill. Plus with the added stress of a pandemic, couples look to each other for comfort. There is a reason why September is the most popular time of the year that babies are born. Rewind nine months earlier to December, which means everyone is stuck inside because of the cold. Also, research has found that certain catastrophic events like blackouts and storms are correlated to an increase in birth rate. Another key factor is lack of abortions. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, the massive shift of health resources to combat COVID-19 and fear of infection prevent women from going to the clinics. In some states, clinics closed because they weren’t “essential.” So whether or not people were planning to have a baby, there is a possibility there will be an uptick in births come December, January and February.

Reasons for baby bust

If there are babies born in December, January, and February, it would consist of mostly first-borns. That’s because in the months following March, mothers were working overtime to take care of their kids when schools and camps were closed. It’s exhausting to work your job and to entertain bored children. At the same time, people have been nervous. They may lay in bed all night checking their phones on any updated news concerning the virus. And it’s unlikely that unplanned pregnancies will rise due to social distancing guidelines. However, the biggest factor is economics. Studies have shown that during times of financial difficulties, birth rates tend to go down. In the Great Recession in 2008, we saw a drop of around 300,000 births from 2007 to 2010. So, when COVID-19 shut down the entire country, it caused an economic decline, leaving Americans with economic insecurities. It’s tough and expensive to raise a kid, and financial challenges can definitely put a damper on plans to have children.

So, what do you think, will there be a boom or a bust?

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