Mid-South hospitals anticipating possible baby boom as pandemic continues

Hospital sees an increase in baby deliveries

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Early on during lockdown last year there was talk of a possible baby boom.

Well now, one Mid-South hospital is expecting to see an increase of babies being born this month.

Methodist South Hospital is anticipating a 30% increase in baby deliveries.

“Based on the information we got coming from our doctors, they’re reporting an uptake in patients coming in for prenatal visits,” said Shannon Clark Harris, clinical director for Maternity Services at Methodist South.

They expect the increase to last through March. An entire year after lockdown first began.

“I don’t know the data or the research behind that but, obviously patients being in quarantine last year...maybe that’s it,” said Harris.

Harris says right now, moms are allowed to have one visitor per day staff has come up with other ways to make families feel included.

“We’ve kind of navigated this process with more technology with iPhones and families on facetime,” said Harris.

A spokesperson for Baptist Memorial Health Care tells WMC they have not seen a significant jump in births compared to last year but that Baptist Women’s did see about a 20% increase in OB patients from November to January.

For the expecting mothers that will be welcoming bundles of joy in the coming months, Harris encourages them not to let the pandemic discourage them from seeking the medical care they need.

“We definitely just want our moms to still feel comfortable going to all their prenatal visits and checking with their doctors, staying on course throughout their prenatal care,” said Harris. “Just try to relax as much as you possibly can.”

The increase in births that local hospitals have seen differs from nationwide projections.

In June of 2020, the Brookings Institute actually predicted that we’d see 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births because of the public health crisis and recession.

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