The Pandemic Is Making Women Less Interested in Having Kids

People are delaying pregnancy and rethinking how many children they want to bring into the world in its current state

newborn baby in the hospital
Right now might not be the best time to bring a new baby into the world.
Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

Shockingly, it seems no one is particularly interested in bringing new life into the world amid a viral pandemic and economic crisis. Despite optimistic predictions of a coronavirus baby boom early on, it seems a reverse baby boom is actually upon us, with new research suggesting the ongoing crisis has many women rethinking their family plans.

A recent survey by the reproductive health research organization the Guttmacher Institute found that a third of women report wanting fewer children and delaying pregnancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 40 percent of women surveyed saying they’d changed their family plans in some way as a direct result of the crisis.

In addition to obvious fears about pregnancy, childbirth and being responsible for a young life during a deadly pandemic, other COVID-related factors such as financial woes, job instability and a general sense of impending doom might also have women reconsidering bringing new life into the world in its current state.

“Pandemic-related worries about finances and job stability, as well as general unease about the future, may be shifting how women feel about having children,” the study authors wrote.

However, while the pandemic has prompted many women to put their family plans on ice for the time being, it’s had the exact opposite effect on others. According to the survey, 17 percent of women actually reported wanting to have a child sooner due to the pandemic, presumably because they want to experience the joys of parenthood before the world ends.

Does this seem like a risky time to be bringing new life into the world? Yes. Is pandemic parenthood even particularly joyful? Doesn’t seem like it. But, to be fair, willfully creating another human and forcing it into the world without its consent was arguably kind of weird and inappropriate even when there wasn’t a pandemic. So for people who consider making another person a life goal, I guess they figure it’s now or never. Good luck to the pandemic babies, who shall inherit this post-apocalyptic hellscape.

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