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Hurricane Sandy's 'Blackout Baby Boom,' Pregnancies Increase by a Third in Some Areas
While the lights went out in the tri-state area for days when Hurricane Sandy hit, many people took advantage of the mood-lighting and made some babies.
According to one maternity clinic, the New York area can expect a 30 percent rise in births this summer due to the hurricane.
Last October, when power outages swept across the East Coast, thousands of couples were left to entertain themselves at home.
A nurse manage at an OB-GYN office in Westchester, Linda Roberts, said she and her colleagues are preparing for a blackout baby boom.
“We started noticing a couple of weeks ago that we were getting really busy with phone calls and lab results and charts. We were like, what is going on here?” she said. “And then all of the sudden it dawned on me! This is right about the time when people would be coming in because they got pregnant during Hurricane Sandy.”
It’s not the first time pregnancy rates soared after a blackout.
After 9/11, they went up, and the same happened during New York’s November 9, 1965 blackout. But what makes this time different is that the blackout occurred for a longer period of time, leaving many homes without power for weeks.
Dr. Jacques Mortiz said, “In the past, there was a bump during 9/11, there have been bumps after blackouts and hurricanes. But Sandy went on for quite a while, and events that cause power outages really bring - how should I say this? - people closer together.”
“In the tri-state area, you will probably see a little rise in people who were unable to get their birth control, and other issues like that.”
Jennifer Adamo, 28, said she and her boyfriend were stuck for two days in her Staten Island apartment while the storm happened. As they didn’t have power, they didn’t have much to occupy their time.
She found out in November during her annual gynecological visit that she was six weeks pregnant.
“Even though this baby is a surprise, it was such a great thing for our families after the devastation of the storm,” Adamo said.
Some couples who didn’t lose power still took advantage of the baby-making time since they had time off work.
Brittany Jones, 31, and her husband Dave, passed the time at her Midtown apartment.
“Everything was closed, and we didn’t really know people here because we just moved, so we just hung out together. And we’d been trying off and on to have a baby anyway,” she said.
Though the spike in pregnancies is significant, it won’t likely beat the most famous baby boom history in the world which followed World War II and affected births on a global scale. During that time, approximately 78.3 million Americans were born.