The coronavirus baby boom? Maybe don’t try to conceive in quarantine


At first glance, you might think that couples with a little extra time could do things that could lead to a stork visit in nine months.

But for couples who are going through this storm together, is this a time when many will choose to add to their brood?

Baby boomers can keep up with smaller storms

Why these experts don't think we'll see a coronavirus baby boom

“I don’t expect a baby boom in nine months,” Dr. Renee Wellenstein, an obstetrician / gynecologist and functional medicine specialist in northern New York, told CNN.

In a less severe context, like a snowstorm, of course – it is quite common to see a rebound in births nine months later.

She noted that couples spend more time indoors in late fall and winter. Therefore, “in the northeast, we see more babies in the late summer and fall,” she said.

Studies confirm his clinical observations.

A 2007 article by scientists at the University of Texas and Johns Hopkins University argued that the relatively minor storm warning events that caused power outages had slight positive effects on the increased birth rate. However, the “highest severity” storms causing death and destruction have had a demonstrable negative impact, reducing the birth rate.

But larger disasters can lower birth rates

“Illness, quarantine and death can all have a major impact on conception, pregnancy and birth,” wrote researcher Lyman Stone in an article published in March by the Institute for Family Studies.

“The previous academic literature has shown that events of high mortality as diverse as famines, earthquakes, heat waves and disease all have very predictable effects on the reduction of births nine months later”, a- he declared.

Stone examined trends in births following recent disasters, including Hurricanes Maria and Katrina in the United States, and the 2015 Ebola outbreaks in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. All of these factors have led to a sharp drop in birth rates.

In a pandemic, to baby or not to baby?

A major progression is emerging: “The events that cause a sharp increase in deaths tend to cause a sharp decline in births nine months later,” writes Stone.

On the other hand, events such as the Cuban missile crisis and the Oklahoma City bombing may have led to higher birth rates, in part due to their effect on the American psyche, which has caused couples to hang on more tightly.

It can be difficult to get pregnant right now

While being snowy can be a little fun and lead to romance, the pandemic is stressful for couples: ” [The] libido is down and menstrual cycles can be cut, “said Wellenstein. It may not be possible to conceive because of this. “

But for couples who still have the urge, Wellenstein said she would “absolutely not” advise anyone to get pregnant now, due to the uncertainty swirling around Covid-19. “You can postpone conception and get pregnant,” she said.

Meghan McCain is pregnant and self-quarantines

There are a number of risk factors, starting with the fact that there is simply less care available in many areas, as hospitals prioritize more resources to help increase Covid patients -19 admitted.

And for women who are already pregnant, every trip to the hospital during the pandemic carries an additional risk.

“It is never ideal to have an infectious disease during pregnancy due to the unknown impact on the child, “said Wellenstein. Entering a hospital puts her in danger. “

No matter where science ends up landing on the new coronavirus in the placenta, it’s a risk not worth taking, says Wellenstein. Once the baby is born, we know for sure that he is at risk of transmitting the virus with which he could come into contact.

There is a lot of uncertainty around the coronavirus

Although we do not yet know for certain, the preliminary studies available so far seem to argue against the transmission of the coronavirus during pregnancy.

When social isolation extends to the birth of your own child

A recent study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics involved 33 pregnant women infected with a coronavirus. He showed that in the first week of their lives, only three of the newborns tested positive.

But experts believe babies have contracted the virus once they’ve been around the world – not in their mother’s womb.

“Since all infants have been tested for Covid-19 with amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood, this proves that the virus is transmitted from mother to fetus via the placenta,” said Dr. Andrew Whitelaw, professor emeritus of neonatal medicine at the University. from Bristol, told the Science Media Center in the UK.

However, doctors are wondering if a mother could expose her child to the virus after birth.

Dr. Leana Wen, former health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that she feared being infected at a critical time in her life – and that of her baby.

“I am almost 39 weeks pregnant at the time of our speaking,” she said. “I mean, I myself have a recurring nightmare of contracting Covid-19 and having a delivery where I have to wear a mask.” “

Pregnant during a pandemic: podcast by Dr Sanjay Gupta on the coronavirus for March 30

“What if my newborn baby gets sick,” Wen continued, “she would become extremely sick because she has no immunity and small babies are so fragile. And I know so many other pregnant women who have their own anxieties in this Because Covid-19 is a respiratory virus, if mom coughs then coughs on her hand and her hand touches the baby, she could infect her newborn this way. ”

CDC recommendations include safeguards to separate mom and newborn.

Wait for things to return to normal

It is still too early to make any substantive birth rate forecast. We do not know how long this year’s pandemic will remain vicious, what the long-term effects on young people will be, or how far an ever deeper global economic recession could reach.

History has examples of rising birth rates after the tragedy: the historic baby boom generation is made up of people born in the American post-World War II years between 1946 and 1964.

Researchers point to many causes, but generally agree that after the turmoil of the Great Depression and World War II, couples found it more realistic to raise children in the relative calm and economic prosperity that followed the war .

The birth rate goes up and down. And with any baby boom linked to the coronavirus, it could manifest itself once things feel safe again.

Although Stone claims that the coronavirus could lead to a short-term collapse, his analysis shows that birth rates could rebound again in the next one to five years.

“A few months after this situation is resolved, you may start to see more pregnancies,” said Wellenstein.


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