Baby boomlet pushes births to 45-year high

January 16, 2008 9:13:45 PM PST
Driven by numerous factors, American women are having more babies. But are there enough maternity wards in the Philadelphia area to handle the boom?

Dr. Renee Anderson, of Pennsylvania Hospital says, "A lof of couples are choosing to have extended families."

One reason for the increase in births is that Americans today view children more favorably than people in many Westernized countries.

Experts say Americans are unique, in responding to prosperity by having more children.

Heather and Dave Belson of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, welcomed twins Eliza and Amanda to their family just yesterday.

Big sister, Juliana is just 13 months old.

Even though mom has been almost continuously pregnant since the spring of 2006, she wants more children.

Heather says, " I think so, I think we're going to try for that boy, at least that's what dad is saying."

Nearly 4.3 million babies were born in 2006, mostly due to a larger population, but also due to: a decline in contraceptive use, a decrease in the access to abortion, and poor education & poverty.

Also, despite the fact many professional women are choosing to have babies later in life, they have them more easily.

Dr. Anderson says, "The reproductive technology, in terms of fertility treatments, has been astronomically better. than it was even 5 years ago."

One problem for women, delivering more babies, in the increase in the numbers if community hospitals forced to close their maternity wards due to the skyrocketing cost of malpractice insurance.

"So they close down their maternity ward because they can't afford it, "said Dr. Anderson.

Leigh Ann & Chris Defusco of Fox Chase did have a baby boy yesterday, & say they too, would like a larger family.

Leigh Ann says, "It would be nice for Luke to have a brother or sister at some point in time."

Action News asked, How many do you think you'll have?

Leigh Ann responded, "I don't know, maybe 2 or 3. We asked - ever think about 4? With a laugh, she responded, "No."