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Nine Months Later, A Government Shutdown Baby Boom In D.C.

babies

The sixteen day government shutdown last year may have had an unintended side effect in the Washington, D.C. area:

WASHINGTON (WNEW) — The 2013 government shutdown, which lasted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16, was the cause of a lot of anxiety in the D.C. area.

With so many government workers living in the District, Maryland and Virginia, thousands were anxious about falling behind on bills while they weren’t receiving paychecks. We now have an idea of what they may have done to soothe their nerves.

July 1 marked exactly 9 months since many government workers in the area were sent home for more than two weeks as Congress argued about the nation’s finances.

WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters reports that Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington has seen an additional 100 babies born in the last three months compared to that time period in 2013.

Sibley Hospital in Northwest D.C. has seen three more babies than normal per day this month.

It was there that Suiters spoke with a couple who had an induction scheduled for Monday but were told about an hour before they were originally supposed to arrive that there was no room in the maternity ward.

Ali Heidarpour, a Labor Department employee says he and his wife, Sarah, didn’t even realize that the shutdown might cause an uptick in births. Nor did they put it together until this week that they conceived their baby girl, who was born Tuesday afternoon, while Ali was sequestered.

Well, when you’re stuck home all day, you’ve got to find something to do, right?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Remember that big blackout that affected the Midwest to the Northeast for a few days back in 2003? Same thing happened, on a much bigger scale.

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  2. Franklin says:

    Hmm, according to the Intertubes, the above might be a myth. Well, I can assure you that my wife got pregnant during it, so there was at least one …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. John Peabody says:

    Beware of cute stories such as this. Normal variance is a powerful thing. But it’s a story about sex, so, by all means, put it in the blog.

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  4. PJ says:

    WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters reports that Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington has seen an additional 100 babies born in the last three months compared to that time period in 2013.

    Sibley Hospital in Northwest D.C. has seen three more babies than normal per day this month.

    So, how many babies are normally born each day in Sibley Hospital? The story doesn’t say, so there’s no way for us to know if three more babies per day is an huge increase or just meh.

    An additional 100 babies born in the last three months? So, that would be April-June? Babies that would have been conceived in July-Sep last year, well before the shutdown. Make it mid-April to mid-July, and only about 1/6th of them was likely to have been conceived during the shutdown. So, clearly the increase has nothing to do with the shutdown.

    Weak reporting.

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  5. J-Dub says:

    God never closes a door without opening a window, or, in this case…

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  6. PJ says:

    WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters reports that Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington has seen an additional 100 babies born in the last three months compared to that time period in 2013.

    In 2006, 3248 babies were delivered at Virginia Hospital Center, in 2008, 3700, and the projection for 2013 was 5000+. So, clearly the maternity ward is and has been expanding, and just comparing the births for two weeks this year to the same period last year is worthless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Tillman says:

    @PJ: @PJ: Darn it PJ, away with you and your facts! Can’t you see this has a great narrative to it?!

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  8. Hal_10000 says:

    Color me extremely skeptical. We always see these stories nine month after a blackout, shutdown, hurricane, plague of locusts, whatever. And they always turn out to be normal statistical variance.

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  9. Mikey says:

    @Franklin:

    Well, I can assure you that my wife got pregnant during it, so there was at least one …

    Mine too…lol

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  10. Tyrell says:

    Evidently the government’s health coverage plan doesn’t cover birth control either.

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  11. al-Ameda says:

    Well, Congress did tell us to go boink ourselves and I suppose that many Americans did just that.

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