Birth rates hold steady at UVA Medical Center, despite national decline

In 2018, the total C-section rate at Sentara Martha Jefferson was 26%.
In 2018, the total C-section rate at Sentara Martha Jefferson was 26%.(Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday)
Updated: Dec. 11, 2020 at 1:53 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - While a predicted pandemic baby boom did not come to pass, central Virginia’s birth rates are not as low as some of the nation.

With many parts of the country are experiencing a bust instead of a boom in birth rates, the greater-Charlottesville area is holding steady compared to 2019 according to University of Virginia Medical Center OBGYN Dr. Christian Chisholm.

Dr. Chisholm says it won’t be clear until next summer or fall if the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the commonwealth ends up affecting birthrates.

However, vaccinations could change things.

“As we see the rollout of the vaccine and wider availability of the vaccine, the health concerns that people have in making a decision to have a pregnancy or not may start to go down,” the doctor said. “Then, if economic certainty grows as well, we’ll see a restoration of kind of normal confidence levels, at least back to to a previous baseline.”

Overall, the U.S. birth rate is trending down. It is approximately half-a-million lower than last decade.

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