Superstorm Sandy sparks baby boom

Sandy sparks baby boom

You may have noticed Hurricane Sandy's baby bump. Some medical experts say nine months after natural disasters like storms or blizzards there's an up-tick in pregnancies.

"Events like Hurricane Sandy are definitely things that stick out in our mind that we can anticipate an increased volume," explained Labor and Delivery Unit Director at Lehigh Valley Health Network Erika Linden.

Hospitals and clinics in the tri-state area are seeing a jump in women with due dates in late July through early August. At Lehigh Valley Health Network, having that estimated due date allows them to be ready if there's a boom.

"We have the opportunity to look to see if projected volume is higher than what we normally manage," said Linden.

Though the evidence for "catastrophe babies" are mixed, natural disasters and power outages have been tied to baby booms since New York's 1965 blackout led to a spike in births nine months later.

The theory suggests with no heat, water or power, what else are people going to do? Another less romantic explanation is lack of birth control after being stranded in the storm.

"This is something we manage very well on a regular basis and have a built-in support system," shared Linden. "We are always able to have plenty of hands on deck when the need arises."

According to the CDC the American birth rate hit historic lows in 2011. Across the states the numbers are still down. But not in the Lehigh Valley.

"We're up about 200 births from where we were last year," added Linden.

Whatever the reason, the so-called Sandy babies are on their way.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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