During The Pandemic, Charlotte Birth Rate On The Rise As Births Nationwide Decline

CHARLOTTE, NC – The pandemic baby boom may be a bust in cities across the country, but in the Charlotte area, hospitals are preparing for an increase. 

Birth rates are out pacing last year and forecasts are expecting the booming baby trend to continue into 2021.

“Pretty much all of it has been during the pandemic,” said Lauren Rubio. 

She is pregnant with her first child, due in February. 

“Since it’s our first baby, the funny thing is that I don’t really know it any different way. I’ve only been pregnant during a pandemic,” said Rubio. 

Rubio is one of many Charlotte mothers having children in unprecedented times of distancing, and mask wearing. 

“The thing is that I’ve had to let go of a lot of my expectations I had for pregnancy,” said Rubio.

Across the country, birth rates have fallen. A recent Guttmacher Institute survey found that 34% of women said they wanted to get pregnant later or wanted fewer children because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In Charlotte, we’re seeing something a little bit different. We’re actually seeing a boom here,” said Dr. Jessica Deane-Wyman with Queen City OBGYN. 

She says the Charlotte market is looking at a 6% increase in births for December 2020 compared to December 2019. 

Deane-Wyman says January 2021 is expected to outpace January 2020 by 7.5%.

“I think Charlotte in general has a lot of people in their childbearing years compared to other cities and I think that has a lot to do with it,” said Deane-Wyman.

Deane-Wyman says it’s been challenging to see more patients in a time when masks and distancing are strictly enforced. 

She says Novant Hospitals are preparing for the surge in deliveries.

“They’re making changes as well and adding four more delivery rooms at presbyterian medical center and also have a plan to add 12 more NICU beds as well,” said Deane-Wyman.

“Didn’t necessarily expect it to happen during the pandemic, but it did and we’re just really really grateful and feel really blessed,” said Rubio.

Rubio says they’re trying to find joy in the unexpected especially during such a difficult time for so many. 

“We’re just so thankful and excited to have this baby and be pregnant that it’s given us a lot of hope,” Rubio explained.