If climate disasters, a global pandemic, out-of-control unemployment, and civil unrest haven’t made you want to bring a new little bundle of joy into the world, turns out you are far from alone. Despite predictions that all this quarantining-at-home with our significant others (every single day, for what seems like forever) would lead to a COVID-inspired baby boom, the result is quite the opposite. Actually, it seems pretty out-of-touch for anyone to have presumed otherwise.
A story published today on NBC LX looked at data from several states that keep track of births in near-real-time, as well as some hospital systems, and showed that there were significant drops in December 2020 birth rates compared to the same period from one year earlier. The drops ranged from Arizona, down 5 percent, to Ohio, down 7 percent, to Florida, down 8 percent from December 2019. In short, it’s a baby bust.
Tell parents something they don’t know. And maybe don’t do it with a clueless tweet like this, from NBCLX: “Guess not even locking couples up and obliterating their social calendars could convince more Americans to have babies.”
Twitter is aflutter with people responding to that message. Their comments are everything from LOLZ to the tears-streaming-sad-face (and completely unironic) emoji.
it's pretty hard to pay for babies when you can't pay for food or rent.
— Dr. Michele Ross (@drmicheleross) January 25, 2021
“It’s pretty hard to pay for babies when you can’t pay for food or rent,” Dr. Michele Ross wrote.
Maybe get crackin' on climate change then? Why would I want to bring a life into the world only to have it suffer & die during their early adulthood?
— Sam (@ZombiManos) January 25, 2021
Maybe because they got laid off work, or there is a ton of uncertainty about bringing a life into the world due to climate change, or fear about encroaching fascism, or they would likely end up giving birth in maxed out hospitals during a pandemic, but who really knows right?
— Jon "wearing a mask is cool" Tobin (@jontobinsays) January 25, 2021
Yeah, it's almost like millions of people being suddenly out of work and terrified of a deadly pandemic isn't conducive to intentionally bringing another human into the world that you have to care for.
— 😩☁️ (@WearySky) January 25, 2021
“‘Oh baby, whisper something in my ear that’ll turn me on.’ ‘I got denied unemployment and we’re getting evicted in two weeks,’” Dante tweeted.
“Oh baby, whisper something in my ear that’ll turn me on”
“I got denied unemployment and we’re getting evicted in two weeks”
— Dante (@pacmanface8) January 25, 2021
There are also the very unfortunate fact that having a baby costs money and requires medical care that doesn’t exactly seem safe right now.
People prefer to be pregnant when they can afford to eat.
— Emmerbetic (@Emmerbetic) January 25, 2021
it's almost like mass unemployment, unaffordable healthcare and a deadly pandemic made people not want to breed or give birth in potentially infectious settings …
— Cool Mom Jamie (@JamieLeeLardner) January 25, 2021
While some childless folks cited witnessing others struggle with their children over the past year, many with kids were astonished that anyone with kids would want more after this.
“My husband and I have been with our young kids pretty much non-stop for ten months,” JessLovesWine wrote. “If there’s any baby boom, it will consist of first born children.”
I didnt want to have kids BEFORE the pandemic, and every Zoom meeting I’ve been on since has only strengthened & solidified that position.
— viole(n)tte ♡ blm (@missperfucked) January 25, 2021
Locking couples together 24/7 is a recipe for baby bust. No humans should spend this much time together. pic.twitter.com/6euWov3MOD
— no mas 2020 (@latinarants) January 25, 2021
My husband and I have been with our young kids pretty much non-stop for ten months. If there’s any baby boom, it will consist of first born children.
— PacNWMama (@jessloveswine) January 25, 2021
We have been watching and homeschooling our children 24 hours a day for almost a year. That is fantastic birth control.
— Rachell Sumpter (@thiswolverine) January 25, 2021
“We have been watching and homeschooling our children 24 hours a day for almost a year. That is fantastic birth control,” Rachel Sumpter said.
These tweets leave out one more very real problem faced by some would-be parents who aren’t scared off by homeschooling and climate change. Those facing fertility challenges have had the uncertainty of IVF procedures being canceled during COVID surges. Those folks would welcome their own personal baby boom right now.
These celebrities were happy enough to talk about their surrogacy journeys to parenthood.