During social distancing and sheltering in place, lots of couples have a lot of extra time together, and few entertainment options beyond Netflix and . . . chilling. And that’s led to speculation that we’ll see a baby boom in nine months. Some of our patients even took to social media advising their friends to use Nurx to prevent a “pandemic baby.”
Baby Boom . . or Bust?
Jokes aside, will maternity wards be packed in January, filled with babies made by couples sheltering-in-place together? That’s looking pretty unlikely. There are well-known legends of baby booms after blackouts and hurricanes, but not much data supporting the phenomenon A study of baby booms after hurricanes found that minor weather events like tropical storm advisories do lead to a slight increase in pregnancies, but that more serious hurricanes had the opposite effect. It’s definitely not a perfect analogy, but in terms of crises this pandemic feels like a category 5.
Unlike a hurricane, the coronavirus pandemic comes with historic levels of unemployment and economic uncertainty, and it seems likely that couples won’t let caution slide and conceive a shelter-in-place baby when they’re stressed about having jobs once restrictions lift. As part of their recent report The Modern State of Fertility 2020: Career and Money Modern Fertility and SoFi surveyed people with ovaries to gauge how the COVID crisis has impacted their reproductive plans. 61% reported that the COVID crisis has them more worried and anxious about their ability to have kids and family planning in general, and 31% said that the pandemic has totally changed their fertility plans. Of that group, 46% said they would delay having kids because they worry that prenatal care will be hard to access at this time, and 41% said they’re delaying kids because of money concerns specific to COVID-19 disruptions.
COVID Means Fewer Choices For Some
While we’re talking about the decision of whether and when to have a child, it’s important to remember that for many people it’s not as easy as simply ditching birth control and getting frisky. For people experiencing infertility, same-sex couples, and anybody who needs medical interventions to become a parent, the coronavirus pandemic may be putting their plans on ice. In March the American Society for Reproductive Medicine announced that healthcare providers should suspend most fertility-related services and procedures. Indeed, 18% of the Modern Fertility/SoFi respondents delaying kids because of COVID cited their fertility clinics pausing treatment as a reason.
Positive Signs for Future Parents
It’s still a little early to say anything good about the pandemic, but some of the changes it’s brought about could bode well for people thinking of becoming parents. Companies discovering that remote work actually works pretty well may allow parents more flexibility to work from home after the pandemic passes. People juggling Zoom meetings with homeschooling kids are normalizing some of the struggles that working parents (especially moms) usually try to hide. Senator Tammy Duckworth admitted that she told her young daughter to “go potty and wash your hands” while accidentally unmuted during an important call with other Senators.
However the pandemic is influencing your future plans, remember that the Nurx medical team is here to prescribe birth control, and answer questions about your birth control prescription, to make sure you feel in control of your health and body at this time (and any time).
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.