Ready for the COVID-19 Baby Boom?

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At a time when the country could really use a reason to be hopeful and optimistic, what could be better than a newborn baby? New studies suggest a boom in births coming in the fall of 2021, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Causes of the Potential Baby Boom

As detailed a recent study, there’s a two-part cause to a possible surge in pregnancies and births. It’s not just that a sudden increase in birth rates may be coming. First, there was a slowdown.

Researchers found a 14% decrease in pregnancies during the earlier portion of the pandemic, between November of 2020 and spring of 2021. Why? Study authors attributed this decrease to several factors, including women postponing sexual and reproductive healthcare, economic uncertainty, the impact of women in the workplace, among other factors.

Now, the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction. Studies suggest a surge in birthrates for this fall. Michigan Medicine is preparing for a 10-15% increase over the usually expected birthrate. Similar estimates can be found in other parts of the country.

Impact on the Healthcare Labor Market

As with all things related to the pandemic, the healthcare labor market will feel the effects of this new baby boom. Labor and delivery units that used to be slow could become a whole lot busier in the fall of 2021, and into the first quarter of 2022. Hospitals and women’s clinics will need more labor and delivery nurses, OB surgical technicians and sonographers to provide care to a burgeoning group of expecting parents.

As pandemic conditions continue in many parts of the country, hospitals remain full or near capacity and nurses are in short supply. Hospitals who don’t want to be caught with understaffed OB/GYN units can consider using a staffing partner to help fill open positions. Medical Solutions has the nationwide reach to find in-demand clinicians like L&D nurses when the new baby boom arrives later this year.

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