- Less than half of women actively trying to get pregnant put off those plans before the Covid pandemic, a new study finds
- More than a third of women who were considering getting pregnant before the pandemic have now given up on their plans
- Some speculated that the pandemic would lead to a baby, though this has yet to materialize
- Instead, births are down nationwide with 142,000 fewer babies born in 2020 compared to 2019
Many women who were planning to have a baby in the spring of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic have put those plans on hold, a new study finds.
Researchers at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center surveyed 1,179 New York City women on their pregnancy intentions from April to August 2020 before and during the pandemic.
They found that more than a third of women who were thinking of becoming pregnant before the pandemic began have given up on those plans.
Half of the women who actively tried to get pregnant before Covid are no longer trying either, and some may give up on their intention to have another child altogether.
While many speculated that the pandemic would cause a ‘baby boom’ due to people spending more time at home, early data found the opposite – and instead birth rates fell across the US.
About half of the women who were trying to get pregnant before the pandemic are no longer trying, and a third of women who think about it have given up on those plans.
An expected pandemic baby boom never happened, and instead, a study finds that many women who were planning to become pregnant before the pandemic have now put those plans on hold. (file photo)
study, published in jama network open On Wednesday, of the respondents, 191 or 16 percent reported that they were thinking of becoming pregnant in the next six to 12 months.
Within that group, 71 said they were no longer considering pregnancy.
At the start of the pandemic, 61 women were actively trying to have a baby, but 30 of them have since stopped trying.
Of those 30 women, four have decided to stop planning to have children altogether and 13 are unsure whether they will continue.
“Our findings suggest that the initial COVID-19 outbreak has made women think twice about expanding their families and, in some cases, intending to reduce the number of children,” Lead author Dr Linda Kahn, an epidemiologist, said. NYU Langone.
‘This is yet another example of the pandemic’s potential long-term consequences beyond the more obvious health and economic impacts.’
There were 927 women who told researchers at the start of the pandemic that they had no plans to become pregnant anytime soon, but 42 of them have since changed plans and now plan to have a baby.
The study found that women who still planned to have children were more likely to have an annual household income of more than $100,000, have obtained a college degree and are more financially secure than others. .
Those who reported higher stress levels or greater financial insecurity were more likely to give up on their plans to have children.
Some speculated that COVID-19 would lead to another baby boom, as Americans would be spending more time at home with their allies.
Instead, it appears that one child has been born with a drop in birth rates across the country.
A June report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that there were 142,000 fewer births in 2020 than in 2019.
Five states, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii and Ohio, recorded 81,000 fewer births during the first 12 months of the pandemic than in previous years.
Many are preparing to have children when the pandemic ends, with NYU Langone reporting a 33 percent increase in women freezing their eggs.
‘These results emphasize the toll, not only on individual parents, but perhaps also on fertility rates,’ said senior author Dr Melania Jacobson, an epidemiologist at NYU.