Early in the pandemic, there were jokes about quarantines prompting a baby boom, but roughly nine months since COVID-19 triggered a national emergency in the U.S., experts are reporting a baby bust.
There will be significantly fewer newborns this winter and in 2021.
Whether social distancing urged romantic partners to meet less, or financial strain and child care uncertainty caused families to hit pause on having kids, the coronavirus pandemic has led to a decline in both planned and unplanned pregnancies, experts said.
Nationwide, a Thursday Brookings Institute report projects around 300,000 fewer births next year. Google trends showed significant decreases in sex and pregnancy-related searches. And in a report published Wednesday, Modern Fertility found that about 30% of people with ovaries are changing their family plans, with most deciding to delay conception.
“Everything about our lives has been turned upside down,” Phillip Levine, an economics professor at Wellesley College and co-author of the Brookings report, told USA TODAY.
And the size of the incoming COVID baby bust, he added, could have “lasting implications for society.”
Not a ‘baby boom,’ unplanned pregnancies drop
When stay-at-home orders first began in the spring, many playfully suggested that there would be a coronavirus baby boom.
Levine explains that the incorrect speculation was likely based on similar myths about birth spikes seen nine months after electricity blackouts or blizzards — when many…