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Today’s Trends
Birth of Hope


New life has risen from the ashes of death.

In a time of economic uncertainty and personal insecurity, couples around the country have defied the pessimism and decided to have a child. Many of these couples say they were influenced to do so because of the events of September 11. “If we had begun to take each other and our child for granted, this ended on that day,” says Beck Bromberg, whose wife was due in July.

Not everyone is convinced that we’ve seen a “September 11 baby boom,” but while it will take time to compile official numbers, obstetricians say they’ve definitely noticed an increase in business since September. Hospitals around the country expected increases in births this summer, beginning in mid-June—anecdotally they expected a 15-50% increase—and the numbers are highest in the New York/Washington vicinity.

“There is a definite indication that many women conceived around that time,” says OB/GYN Brian Geary. “I think that people didn’t go to work and that they were clinging to their loved ones. It certainly makes sense.”

Paul Kastell, anobstetrician and professor at Long Island College Hospital in New York City, says, “This was kind of a wake-up call for people. They saw the towers burning and when they got home they said, ‘You know, it’s never going to be the right time. We should start now.’ ” He says his Brooklyn practice expected an increase in deliveries of 20-25% starting in mid-June.

Even comedian Chris Rock said that the events of last September convinced him and his wife to conceive a child.

More anecdotal evidence of a mini baby boom is seen in the consumer side of births. The Stork Avenue birth announcement company added staff because their catalog requests indicated that business could quadruple over the summer, and Forty Weeks, which wholesales products for babies and new moms, has seen an increase of more than 75% in sales.

While having a baby in such an unstable time may seem to go against the grain, parent who’ve chosen to say they did it out of a need for togetherness, healing, and patriotism.

“I think that when our eventuality is put in front of us like this, that having children is important,” says midwife Alice Brayer. The renewed sense of family is reflected in a shift to more traditional, biblical names such as Jacob and Mary, say analysts.

Missy Acosta, who was due in July, shares the hope of many post-September 11 parents when she says, “Maybe our child can help in some small way to make the world a better place.”

Sources: www.msnbc.com, www.firehouse.com, www.khou.com

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