No Baby Boom Coming—Study Says to Expect a Coronavirus Baby Bust

If you thought you’d be buying lots of baby gifts for friends, think again.

By: Amanda Mushro
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656366364

Photo by: Tuan Tran

Tuan Tran

When stay at home orders began across the nation, many joked that we should expect a baby boom in nine months. With couples having so much time at home together this spring, surely there would be plenty of new babies being welcomed in the winter. While a few hilarious quarantine-themed birth announcements have been seen on the internet, research suggests the Covid-19 baby boom will actually be a bust.

If you were hoping for baby showers invites, you may want to hold on. Economists at the Brookings Institute are predicting 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year in the United States as a result of the pandemic. This would be a 13 percent drop from previous years.

From economic uncertainties to the health risks for mom and baby from coronavirus, there are many factors contributing to a baby bust instead of a boom. According to researchers at Indiana University, of the 1,000 adults surveyed, many said that stress associated with the pandemic put the brakes on romance with their partner and family planning.

"If you were quarantined with a partner, you might find comfort in maintaining a sexual connection with that partner," said study co-author Devon Hensel. "The other side of the coin might be that you have a lot going on at home–the loss of childcare, homeschooling, trying to work at home, balancing a lot of new obligations in a very small amount of space–might have made people more stressed and less interested in sex."

Beyond just losing interest in a little quarantine romance, digital health clinic Nurx, who has over 250,000 patients, say they have seen a 50 percent increase in patients asking for birth control.

"Whether to have a child for the first time or another child…that’s something people are feeling it isn't the time to explore," Nurx spokesperson Allison Hoffman said.

So, while there may not be tons of newborn pictures flooding your social media feeds in a few months, couples may be able to find ways to reconnect and have date nights at home for some post-quarantine adult time.