Pregnancy and COVID-19: Women Are Postponing Their Fertility Plans Due to the Pandemic – Yahoo Lifestyle

For months people have been joking about a post-quarantine baby boom. As if pregnancy and COVID-19 were the only two certainties of 2020cooped up with our partners for months, wed have nothing else to do than create generation C. But according to new survey data, thats not the case at allone third of women in the U.S. are postponing pregnancy or plan to have fewer children due to COVID-19.

The findings come from the first comprehensive study of womens pregnancy preferences in the pandemic. The Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 2,000 cisgender women between April 30 and May 6 and found that the coronavirus has caused over 40% of women to make some major shifts in their fertility plans34% reported delaying pregnancy (or planning to have fewer children) while 17% reported wanting to have a child sooner (or have more children) because of the pandemic.

The results are even more extreme for minority women. Its critical to underscore that COVID-19s ripple effects are particularly felt by women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and lower-income women, Laura Lindberg, Guttmachers principle research scientist, said in a statement. Forty-four percent of Black women and 48% of Hispanic women said that in the face of a global pandemic they wanted to wait to get pregnant or have fewer children. Queer women (almost half) also were more likely to be putting off pregnancy. These groups already bear the brunt of existing inequities. The pandemic has only made these disparities worse, Lindberg said.

The pregnancy pause shouldnt come as a surprise. Besides the horrible headlines about women giving birth (or having miscarriages) in a pandemic-rattled world, new data shows pregnant women are more likely to experience a severe case of COVID-19 than non-pregnant women. After months of not knowing the impacts of the virus on pregnant women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report today which found that pregnant women with COVID-19 are 5.4 times more likely to be hospitalized, 1.5 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 1.7 times more likely to be put on a ventilator. The stats are even worse for women of colorwho are already five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 whether theyre pregnant or not.

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Its not just the health risks that are nudging women to put a hold on their fertility planslower-income women were more likely than higher-income women to say theyre holding off. Again, not shocking considering that babiesand health insuranceare expensive and were in the middle of an unprecedented unemployment crisis.

This is likely just the beginning of the pandemics impact on pregnancy. These wide-ranging impacts on womens reproductive health and lives happened in the just the first few months, Lindberg said. We are still in the early stages of this crisis. Pregnancy and COVID-19 trends are definitely linkedjust not in a way thats going to end in a baby boom.

Originally Appeared on Glamour

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