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It’s Raining Babies: UNICEF Predicts 20.1 Million Babies To Be Born As Result Of Pandemic

It’s Raining Babies: UNICEF Predicts 20.1 Million Babies To Be Born As Result Of Pandemic

After the coronavirus outbreak was labelled a pandemic, the birth rate in India has shot up exponentially, reports UNICEF. India is among the countries to have the highest expectancy as a result of the lockdown. A whopping 20.1 million births are expected between March 11 and December 16. Other countries with the highest expected birth rate are China (13.5 million), Nigeria (6.4 million), Pakistan (5 million) and Indonesia (4 million).

Most of these countries had high neonatal mortality rates even before the pandemic. Now these countries may see these levels increase with COVID-19 conditions, UNICEF warns.

Well, it looks like, in between all the ludo games, household chores & cooking experiments, the lockdown obviously left couples with lots of time for recreation (& procreation). While many couples welcomed this opportunity to strengthen their bond and spend more time pursuing hobbies, a lot of us seemed busy pursuing other passions.


While these numbers might come as a shock to most people, the harsh reality is that a lot of these babies aren’t necessarily planned. Ever since coronavirus was declared a pandemic and a lockdown was preempted in India, most essential services were disrupted for weeks. Although the government would have you believe otherwise, essential commodities were out of stock–condoms included.

“Millions of mothers all over the world embarked on a journey of parenthood in the world as it was. They now must prepare to bring a life into the world as it has become – a world where expecting mothers are afraid to go to health centres for fear of getting infected, or missing out on emergency care due to strained health services and lockdowns,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.

“It is hard to imagine how much the coronavirus pandemic has recast motherhood,” adds Henrietta. 

In the initial few weeks leading up to the lockdown in India, there were no face masks, gloves or even hand sanitizers available unless you were willing to spend three to four times the amount and buy them in black! 

As a result of these shortages, a lot of couples might have been forced into the parent-trap. 


Since it isn’t clear yet whether the virus can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby, UNICEF recommends that all expecting moms follow these guidelines:

  • Take the same precautions to avoid COVID -19 infection as other people: practice physical distancing, avoid physical gatherings and use online health services.
  • Seek medical care early in if they live in affected or at-risk areas and have fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Continue breastfeeding their baby even if they are infected or suspect being infected as the virus has not been found in samples of breastmilk. Mothers with COVID-19 should wear a mask when feeding their baby; wash hands before and after touching the baby, and routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Continue to hold the newborn and perform skin-to-skin care.
  • Continue medical support including routine immunizations after the baby is born.

UNICEF report suggests that an estimated 116 million babies will be born under the looming shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. And it isn’t just countries like India and China with a population problem, even wealthier countries are affected by this. The US, the sixth country in the expected number of births is looking at 3.3 million babies projected to be born between March 11 and December 16. 

New mothers and newborns will be greeted by harsh realities, warns UNICEF as containment measures and lockdowns continue to overwhelm the global healthcare system. 

Unless you want to bring a child into this pandemic, stay safe, stay inside and please use protection, people! 

Featured Image: Pexels

07 May 2020

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