Postponed holiday plans, cancelled concerts and no chance of parties: it should come as no surprise that many couples are turning to other pastimes to keep entertained.
Wolfgang Krüger, author and psychotherapist, believes couples are having more sex. But will this lead to more babies being born toward the end of the year?
According to the Professional Association of Gynecologists (BVF), between 770,000 and 800,000 children are born every year in Germany. That equates to roughly eight new pregnant women a month in every doctor’s practice.
A post-pandemic baby boom?
It is conceivable that there will be a small increase in the number of new pregnancies this year.
“It could be that some couples who have been considering children have taken advantage of all this extra free time to give it a try”, said BVF president Christian Albring.
But such an increase, if there is one at all, would most likely be lower than 10 percent. Albring suggests that many people have also run into financial difficulty because of the pandemic, which may have led them to postpone their plans for children.
Doctors say that it is still far too early to make any concrete statements about the impact of the pandemic on pregnancy numbers.
But thus far most experts seem to agree that the pandemic won’t cause a ‘baby boom’ in Germany.
Caring for pregnant mothers has become more challenging due to pandemic restrictions. Photo: DPA
Baby-product manufacturers have come to similar conclusions. “Both we as manufacturers, as well as specialist retailers we supply, are experiencing no swell in demand due to the pandemic”, said Monika Holhut from the pram manufacturer Gesslein.
According to data from the company myToys, online demand has gone up in recent months . However, this is more likely to be due to a general shift toward online retail than to increased birth rates, said spokeswoman Katrin Schäkel.
A difficult time to be pregnant
“This pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty for everyone. It’s not the case that couples are suddenly having more children”, explained Kathrin Herold, chairwoman of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Midwives Association.
Her Bavarian colleague, Mechthild Hofner, sees it the same way. On the one hand, she does believe that there will be no decline in the birth rate.
“But our midwives have not noticed a significant increase in registrations for birth preparation courses either.” The same is the case in Brandenburg and Lower Saxony.
Some medical practices have even recorded a decrease in the number of pregnant women registering for such courses.
“The women have to wear a mask and socially distance whilst doing breathing exercises”, said Christine Zinsler, a midwife from Munich. As a result many course bookings have been cancelled.
Even if the number of pregnancies during the Corona crisis hasn’t increased according to the doctors and midwives, Berlin relationship expert Krüger believes that Germans are definitely having more sex.
“More time in close proximity, combined with a general sense of fear and uncertainty will definitely stimulate more intimacy”, said Krüger. But whether that will lead to more babies being born is harder to say.
“We do know that people are having more sex. Whether they are using contraception is something I’d rather not ask”, laughs Krüger.
Translated by Eve Bennett.