Coronavirus: Post-pandemic baby boom unlikely as couples put plans to have children on hold

While pessimists have raised concerns divorce rates could soar once restrictions are lifted, romantics are anticipating a baby boom. The scientists carried out online interviews where they asked people who had been in a heterosexual relationship for at least a year whether they hoped to become pregnant during the outbreak. Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice Just under two-thirds (58%) of the once-hopeful parents blamed money worries related to economic uncertainties. “Interestingly, although almost half of the people referred [to] no interruption in their job activity and no variations of salaries, over 40% of participants reported a worrying reduction of monthly profits”, said study author Dr Elisabetta Micelli. “Remarkably, the fear of imminent and future economic instabilities led those who were searching for a pregnancy to stop their intention in 58% of cases.” Results, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, also suggested the pandemic has taken its toll on people’s emotional wellbeing. “Again, fear of consequences on pregnancy in addition to the economic impact on families are probably the reasons why almost the whole group of couples who unexpectedly started to express a desire for parenthood during quarantine did not translate this dream into a concrete attempt,” said study author Dr Gianmartin Cito. Erring on the side of caution, expectant women have been urged to be particularly careful during the outbreak, with infections and pregnancy “not a good combination in general”. While limited studies mean they cannot rule out newborns being infected in the womb, trials have repeatedly produced “no conclusive evidence” to back this up. Speaking of coronaviruses as a class, Professor Andrew Shennan from King’s College London said: “Transmission from mother to baby has not previously been observed. “Studies have shown coronavirus has not passed to amniotic fluid, foetal cord blood, placentas or the genital tract of infected mothers”. “It seems more likely the three infants were infected very soon after delivery, possibly from the mother’s fingers”, Professor Andrew Whitelaw from the University of Bristol previously said. Others cause everything from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which killed 774 people during its 2002/3 outbreak.