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Many mothers may have delayed or abandoned plans for additional children because of COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly half of New York City mothers who had been making an attempt to change into pregnant once more earlier than the coronavirus pandemic started stopped within the first few months of the outbreak, a brand new research exhibits.

Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the survey of 1,179 mothers in New York City additionally discovered that one-third of girls who had been eager about changing into pregnant earlier than the pandemic however had not but begun making an attempt, stated they had been not contemplating it.

“Our findings show that the initial COVID-19 outbreak appears to have made women think twice about expanding their families and, in some cases, reduce the number of children they ultimately intend to have,” says research lead creator and epidemiologist Linda Kahn, PhD, MPH. “This is yet another example of the potential long-lasting consequences of the pandemic beyond the more obvious health and economic effects.”

Pregnancy turns into riskier and harder to realize as girls age, so the delays prompted by the pandemic may result in elevated well being dangers for each mom and little one, in addition to the necessity for expensive fertility therapies, she provides.

Kahn, an assistant professor within the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health at NYU Langone Health, notes that every one of the ladies within the research already had no less than one little one age 3 or youthful. As a outcome, it’s doable that the challenges of caring for a younger little one through the peak of New York City’s outbreak and subsequent lockdown may have performed a job of their hesitancy to have one other child.

Early proof has already recognized a birthrate decline within the United States through the coronavirus pandemic. Recent information confirmed that the nation noticed roughly 300,000 fewer births in 2020 than specialists had anticipated primarily based on annual fertility traits, with a specific drop within the final two months of the yr, which corresponds with fewer conceptions initially of the outbreak in March. However, till now, few investigations have explored the basis causes behind particular person dad and mom’ selections to delay being pregnant.

The new research, publishing on-line Sept. 15 within the JAMA Network Open, is the primary to look at being pregnant plans amongst mothers through the first wave of COVID-19 in New York City.

For the investigation, the researchers analyzed information from an ongoing being pregnant and little one well being research. In the survey, which collected information starting in mid-April 2020, the mothers had been requested to recall their being pregnant plans earlier than the pandemic in addition to whether or not they had been nonetheless going ahead with their plans on the time of the survey.

Among the findings, the research revealed that fewer than half of mothers who had stopped making an attempt to change into pregnant had been sure they’d resume making an attempt to change into pregnant as soon as the pandemic ended, suggesting that they may abandon slightly than simply delay their plans to increase their households, Kahn says.

In addition, these with larger stress ranges and better monetary insecurity had been particularly more likely to postpone or finish their plans for an additional little one. According to the research authors, this discovering highlights the significance of monetary well being in dad and mom’ selections round being pregnant and means that additional monetary help for households may be wanted to deal with the nation’s ongoing fertility decline, which started in 2008.

“These results emphasize the toll the coronavirus has taken not only on individual parents, but perhaps on fertility rates overall,” says research senior creator epidemiologist Melanie Jacobson, PhD, MPH.

Jacobson, a analysis scientist within the Division of Environmental Pediatrics at NYU Langone, cautions that the investigation solely included girls who had been planning to have children and didn’t account for unplanned pregnancies.

She says the research authors subsequent plan to repeat the survey with the identical group of mothers and discover the potential affect of vaccination, an choice not obtainable on the time of the survey.

Funding for the research was supplied by National Institutes of Health grants UH3 0D023305 and K99 ES030403.

In addition to Kahn and Jacobson, different NYU Langone researchers included Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP; Mengling Liu, PhD; Shilpi Mehta-Lee, MD; and Sara Brubakerf, MD.

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