RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–October brought a baby boom to VCU Health with 247 births, which the health system said is the highest number of babies born in a month in eight years.
VCU doctors said the overall birth rate for this year isn’t known yet, but they believe the pandemic could be the reason for more babies being delivered in October.
Dr. Emily Barrows, an OB/GYN and assistant professor in the VCU Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said this is the highest birth delivery rate since VCU Health began tracking this data in 2013.
Although the birth rate across the country has been decreasing year by year, VCU Health has been seeing the opposite.
“We’ve been close to this before. It has been a pretty steady increase month by month over the past couple of years,” she said.
Dr. Barrows believes the pandemic could be the reason for the spike in baby deliveries.
“We all speculate that the COVID-19 pandemic has something to do with it,” she said.
To handle the increase in deliveries, Barrows said the hospital system is expanding their offices to the Short Pump area.
They are also hiring more general OB/GYNs, maternal/fetal and reproductive specialists to give patients quality care.
Paris Cort, who delivered her baby girl in July, said giving birth in a pandemic had some challenges.
“I was only allowed to have two people with me during the delivery,” she said. “The fear is always in the back of my mind like do I want to take my baby out today? It’s so many people. Like you never know, COVID is a silent disease.”
Cort said she hasn’t received the vaccine yet, because she wants to do more research.
Dr. Barrows said VCU Health recommends all pregnant women to get vaccinated because research shows the benefits outweigh the risk.