Some Denver hospitals are seeing a COVID-19 baby boom. Is it part of a national trend?

National study predicts more of a baby bust
Babies born during pandemic
Posted at 8:56 AM, Feb 23, 2021

DENVER — At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, couples spent a lot more time together. Does that mean things heated up in the bedroom?

That was the case for Jessica and Christopher Loving-Campos.

"It was a complete surprise," Jessica said.

The couple took advantage of quarantine last year to create new life. They had twins.

"It unfolded so beautifully and perfectly," Christopher explained.

Once COVID-19 hit, there was no telling what the halls of labor and delivery would look like inside Rose Medical Center.

"Initially, we saw a little dip," said Physician Dr. Honey Onstad. "Now, we’re definitely seeing an impressive increase, especially over the next three months."

It's been so busy, Rose Medical Center has recently hired more labor and delivery nurses. and expanded to another floor of the hospital.

"This has been months and months where people have been forced to be together... for better or for worse," Dr. Onstad said.

Rose is just one hospital and it's certainly not the end-all-say-all to a so-called COVID-19 baby boom.

In June 2020, the Brookings Institute wrote a report suggesting there would be 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in 2021. The institute stands by its prediction today, citing economic and social anxiety for the predicted decline.

A recent Bloomberg report found several states, not including Colorado, saw large declines nine months after COVID-19 — the exact opposite of what was expected. The states reported a large decline nine months after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency.

HealthONE runs Rose Medical Center. A spokesperson said the hospital network's other locations are more in line with the national trend and have largely been flat with the exception of Sky Ridge in Lone Tree, where there has been a slight uptick.

The largest hospital in the state, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, is still very busy, according to hospital spokesperson Jessica Berry. She said labor and delivery numbers are nothing out of the ordinary though.

At least for the Loving-Campos family, the unique road they're following was just what the doctor ordered.

"Being able to focus on family and happiness and joy... that’s what everything is about," Christopher said with a smile.

Perhaps the Loving-Campos story is a chance for all of us to find a reason to smile.

"For a moment, you forget that we’re all in masks and that there’s been tremendous loss this year," Dr. Onstad said. "We can be happy and hopeful for a little bit."