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Avera Medical Minute: South Dakota Baby boom bucks national trend

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 11:11 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

Life is about to get even busier for the Purdy family in March. Darcy is expecting.

“We have two little boys at home. So we are very excited for baby number three to come,” said Purdy.

The first priority is to keep everyone healthy. Having a baby during the pandemic means this birth will be different.

“A lot of my family did come to see when my boys were born before and after and during. And so I think, emotionally, mentally, that’s the hardest part,” said Purdy.

Darcy is among a growing number of South Dakota pregnancies, bucking the nationwide trend, of a dropping birth rate.

“I think it’s a Midwest thing maybe? I’m not surprised, in all honesty, I think, if people want to have that family they’re going to, they’re going to do it,” said Purdy.

Avera Obstetrician Dr. Molly Uhing has been watching the South Dakota birth trend and preparing.

“We have been able to say hey you’re going to get your COVID screening when you come into the hospital and if your COVID positive you still good to have the baby with you. We’re just going to do these other things to help keep hygiene appropriate,” said Dr. Uhing.

So why are more babies about to be born?

“Our suspicion is that no one purposely or accidentally got pregnant during March April and May of last year and that once things started lightening up a little bit in June July and August, here in South Dakota... that people went forward with those planned pregnancies...and so we’re seeing a huge increase all of a sudden one month,” said Dr. Uhing.

Whether a baby’s arrival was planned or a surprise, the goal is the same.

“Everything we’ve done, we’ve tried to make women still feel safe and still feel cared for. We’ve just largely gone back to normal now, but we still try to offer some of those things to decrease traffic and I think women have enjoyed that,” said Dr. Uhing.

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