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Sparrow sees post-COVID baby boom

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:36 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The COVID baby boom that many were anticipating at the start of the pandemic seems to finally be here. A year and a half later, Sparrow’s labor and delivery unit is now inundated with expectant mothers.

The past two months have been particularly busy. Doctors say there were 363 born there in June. That’s the most in one month since 2017.

A recent study shows the birth rate didn’t take off right away. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that, at the beginning of the pandemic, birth rates actually declined. They say that was possibly due to economic uncertainty or lack of child care.

“It was just a little fear, I think. People were just uncertain of the future and maybe not the best time to have a baby, but I think that second wave, after we realized that we can handle this pandemic and things are going to be okay, they relaxed a little,” said Tonyie Andrews-Johnson, director of women’s services at Sparrow.

Andrews-Johnson says Sparrow started seeing an increase in May. U of M researchers are anticipating the surge to last throughout the summer and into the fall - meaning nurses will be busy for quite a while.

“We’re doing our very best. Just with everyone coming back to work and the pandemic and just a worker shortage all over, not just in healthcare. So that makes it a little bit more challenging, but we’re dedicated to giving quality, safe care here at Sparrow,” said Andrews-Johnson.

News 10 reached out to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospital in Jackson and McLaren Greater Lansing to see if they’re also seeing a baby boom. Henry Ford says they are not while McLaren has not yet responded.

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