By Javon Dimitri
- Birth rates could decline between 300,000 – 500,000 next year
- Infant & Maternal deaths among African American women drive the United States’ mortality crisis At 43%
As the economy begins to slowly open up after 3 months, the overall number of child births in American families are expected to significantly drop. The decline in births could be in the range of 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year, due to the financial commitment of raising a child during this uncertain time. Having a baby is a huge economic responsibility with the pandemic exposing a fragile health care system that already marginalized and traumatized pregnant Black women who face unparalleled hardships, all while unemployment now stands at 16.8% in this community.
Why This Matters: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610. Not to mention, there has been an over medicalization of childbirth costs in the U.S. on the rise to the tune of more than $3 billion dollars annually by 2023. With childcare, food and transportation being driving factors. Child births alone cost a pretty penny and that’s just for a hospital bed.
Childbirth costs in the U.S. on the rise to the tune of more than $3 billion dollars annually by 2023
The Black community still has not fully recovered from the 2008 recession that has severely limited their basic family growth structure. An average cost for a C-section can range from $15,000 to upwards of $50,000, according to Midwives Collective of Sacramento. When you consider Black women in the U.S. have the highest mortality rate with 40 of every 100,000 births leading to a mother’s death, along with economic struggles, it’s easy to see why some families are holding off on having babies.
Situational Awareness: Black women are more likely to have pre-existing conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma, according to the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those illnesses increase the risk of death from the coronavirus and may go undiagnosed prior to pregnancy.
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