PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — April Lamb and Jason Campion are re-living those newborn days with baby River. His big sister is often by his side.
"I'm 41. I'm old and I don't want to have another child at this age, and this is why with us, it was kind of my age that dictated when we would do it," Lamb said.
Getting pregnant during a pandemic was a big decision for the family.
Our family situation kind of dictated that we either do it now or don't, and we outweighed our desire to have another child with the inherent risk that we had no understanding of," Campion said.
Dr. Alan Patterson, an OB-GYN, said the pandemic is one of many reasons women are waiting to have babies now.
"The declining birth rate is due to a lot of factors," he said. "Obviously, the pandemic caused some people to wait -- wait until after the pandemic was over -- to have a baby. So my numbers were down due to the pandemic. But now that we are coming out of it, more people are starting to get pregnant."
In fact, Patterson was sitting outside West Boca Medical Center talking with WPTV between deliveries.
"It's starting to rebound a little bit now," he said. "For some people, when they can get vaccinated, they get pregnant."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it marks the sixth consecutive year of decline and the lowest number since the year 1979. Birth rates declined for women of all ethnicities and all age groups from 15-44.
"The number of teen births was immense, and we definitely, definitely are seeing less," Dr. Barry Peskin, the director of the new laborist program at West Boca Medical Center, told WPTV. "The age of the mother is definitely going up."
Peskin credits careers and contraception with the shift in the birth rate.
The new laborist program at West Boca Medical Center aims to make moms more comfortable having babies at the hospital. If a patient beats her doctor to the hospital or a medical emergency arises, someone is there.
Peskin said it's new support for nurses and private OB-GYNs and also helps with certain procedures for midwives.
"Having somebody on site 24 hours a day for an obstetrical emergency is a major safety to both the mother and the baby," he said.