September 15 (WNN)—— A study published on Wednesday by JAMA Network Open found that nearly half of New York City women who planned to have children before the COVID-19 pandemic decided to wait a few months before the outbreak.
Data shows that a survey of nearly 1,200 mothers in the city also found that one-third of women who had been considering pregnancy before the pandemic stopped considering it.
New York City was the epicenter of the American pandemic in March and April last year.
“Our research results indicate that the initial COVID-19 outbreak seemed to make women think twice about expanding their families, and in some cases, reduced the number of children they eventually planned to have,” the study’s co-author Linda A. Kahn (Linda Kahn) said release in a press release.
Kahn, assistant professor of pediatrics and population health at the New York University Lange Health Center in New York City, said: “This is another example of the potential long-term consequences of a pandemic, beyond the more obvious health and economic impact.”
Recent studies estimate that the birth rate in the United States has fallen by about 7% in 2020, partly due to pandemic-related concerns.
At the same time, official statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the national birth rate has been declining in the years before the pandemic.
In this study, Kahn and her colleagues surveyed 1,179 mothers who had at least one child 3 years of age or younger and planned to have more children.
These women live in New York City, and they were interviewed from mid-April to the end of August last year, at the peak of COVID-19 there.
The mothers under investigation were asked to recall their pregnancy plans before the pandemic and whether they are still continuing these plans.
Data shows that after the outbreak, more than 49% of participating women who had actively tried to conceive have stopped trying.
In addition, 37% of respondents who had planned to become pregnant no longer plan to become pregnant, while 4.5% of respondents who neither planned nor tried to become pregnant are considering pregnancy.
Among the respondents who stopped trying to get pregnant, 43% said they would resume trying after the pandemic.
Researchers say that those with high levels of stress and financial insecurity are particularly likely to postpone or terminate their other child’s plan.
They said this highlights the importance of financial health in parents’ decisions about pregnancy and suggests that additional financial support may be needed for families to address the country’s continuing declining fertility rate.
The researchers plan to repeat the survey on the same group of mothers and explore the potential impact of vaccination, an option that was not available at the time of the study.
Melanie Jacobson, a research scientist at New York University Langone and co-author of the study, said in a press release: The fertility rate has caused a loss.”