Doctors expecting to see a pandemic baby boom

Posted at 7:36 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 07:36:45-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Doctors say they're seeing a lot more pregnant patients lately and they're predicting local hospitals will be very busy in the coming months.

“Oh boy yes! Starting the first of the year, all the way through June, I think we’re going to have a really big increase in deliveries,” said Dr. Maria Corigliano, MD, of Audubon Women's Medical Associates in Buffalo.

After months of being locked down, we can all do the math to figure out why this baby boom is happening.

“Because what do you have to do but eat and procreate!" said Dr. Corigliano.

In a typical month, her practice delivers about 50 babies monthly. In 2021, they're expecting to welcome 80 babies each month.

More deliveries means she'll need more hospital beds. But with hospitals already filling up with COVID-19 patients, she’s worried about providing care to new mothers.

"They closed our whole maternity wing on the first floor. We have a very big increase in [obstetrics] with one less floor to put our patients in," said Dr. Corigliano.

On top of that, she’s seeing a lot of pregnant patients dealing with COVID-19. So 7 Eyewitness News asked her some questions.

How does the virus affect pregnant women and their babies?

The good news is, she says the virus doesn’t affect fetuses and doctors have learned to manage the effects.

"But it can cause pre-term labor. That’s the only thing we have to worry about,” said Dr. Corigliano.

And if a patient delivers early, they have to stay in the hospital longer.

"That causes a lot of anxiety for the parents and increased cost for the healthcare system," said Dr. Corigliano.

Many are wondering: Should pregnant women get the vaccine?

"In pregnancy, believe it or not, the vaccine hasn’t been studied. We get calls every day and it’s hard to advise them," said Dr. Corigliano.

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, she recommends waiting at least three months after you receive the vaccine before you start trying.

She says she's waiting on scientific studies and guidance on this.

Should I be scared to start a family during the pandemic?

Don’t let COVID-19 deter your family plans is Dr. Corigliano's advice.

“Go right ahead, just take all the precautions because this is really a serious thing," said Dr. Corigliano.