U.S. News


Did Last Year's Government Shutdown Cause A Baby Boom?

Nine months after the government shutdown, D.C. area hospitals are noticing a baby boom.
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jul 13, 2014

Apparently, government workers might have managed to stay busy during last year's shutdown. Nine months later, there are lots of little bundles of joy popping up in D.C. hospitals — and some outlets say the timing is no coincidence.

"My husband was off for two weeks, the first two weeks of October, and that's definitely when she was conceived." ​(Via  WJLA)

"Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington has seen an additional 100 babies born in the last three months ... and Sibley Hospital in Northwest D.C. says so far three more babies are being born every day this month." (Via WRC-TV)

A D.C. hospital rep even told ABC the baby boom has them "near-capacity."

Now, there is no statistical evidence to back up a connection between the shutdown and the baby boom. D.C. hospitals say it's purely anecdotal. But still, it's quite a coincidence.

The shutdown lasted from Oct. 1 to the 16 last year and put a lot of stress on government workers. Federal employees all over the country were sent home without pay while Congress tried to hammer out a deal. (Via Ruptly)

July 1 came exactly nine months after the shutdown began and that's around when D.C. hospitals started reporting a higher-than-usual birth rate. (Via Evan Amos)

You can see how the shutdown might be the obvious culprit. And Al Jazeera reports many baby booms do come out of stressful situations.

"Natural disasters help nature take its course. We saw Hurricane Sandy babies in New Jersey, Hurricane Ike babies in Texas." (ViaAlJazeera)

D.C. hospitals are already preparing for another likely baby boom. They say they expect another surplus later this year because the unusually cold winter kept people homebound well into March.