By Anna Phillips | January 1, 2021 at 4:34 PM EST – Updated January 1 at 7:22 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, lighthearted jokes from early on during stay-at-home orders haven’t held up.
While “Mom and Dad didn’t socially distance” baby onesies may have flooded social media, doctors say there is no expectation of a 2021 baby boom across the country.
Wilmington Health OB-GYN Dr. Nicole Carroll says projections for 2021 births are on par with years past and follow a trend of declining overall birth numbers.
“The CDC collects data every year about U.S. births and over the last five years we’ve seen that the trend is going down,” she said. “The number of births has been going down and some of that is because there’s about a 73% drop in teen births. We’re seeing some differences in different age groups. So, the group of women that’s in their 40s has gone up….and the 20s and 30s has gone down… but not quite as much as we’ve seen for those teenagers.”
Dr. Carroll believes part of the reason we are not seeing a boom is because more women are choosing to use long-term methods of birth control like IUDs and implants for family planning which have largely been unaffected by the pandemic.
“With long term methods, you don’t have to worry about losing your insurance and then not being able to get your birth control pill because if you have that IUD…that’s good for five years or six years or ten years…you’re covered,” she said.
While the pandemic is not sending more expectant mothers into the doors of Wilmington Health offices, it is affecting patients in other ways.
“You look at things like postpartum depression. Already, one in seven women is going to have postpartum depression, and now you add to that women that are stuck in their homes for months on end and don’t have a lot of that social interaction and support from other family members that they had before. And in that way, COVID has affected our postpartum patients and our pregnant patients, of course,” Dr. Carroll said.
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