Just nine months ago Houston suffered tremendous devastation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but now it seems the tragedy has a silver lining. A sudden boost in births at Houston hospitals seems to be indicating a baby boom after Hurricane Harvey.

The US birth rate might be at a record low, but deliveries have been soaring at local Houston hospitals recently. “We’ve had about a 17 percent increase so far in the month of May for deliveries,” Liberty King, director of Women’s and Neonatal Services at the Corpus Christi Medical Center, told Corpus Christi-based TV station KIII-TV. According to King, that’s about 50 or 60 more births than usual. This sudden boom comes perfectly timed at around nine months since Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on communities across Texas.

This isn’t the first time a mini baby boom has occurred after a natural disaster, like a major storm. The same phenomenon was seen after Hurricane Sandy and 2009’s Hurricane Ike. The trend is usually seen in communities where the destruction was least severe but just enough to lead to power outages so that “Netflix and chill” turns into just “chill”. Some experts argue that there is no scientific evidence that natural disasters lead to baby booms and any increase in babies born after an event like a hurricane or power outage is purely coincidental.

Regardless of the reason, it’s good to see hospitals bustling with new life. A far cry from the tragedy that kept the same hospitals busy in a different way just nine short months ago.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Aditya Romansa via Unsplash


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