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Babies, Babies Everywhere!

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January 16, 2008

Albany - Does it seem that everywhere you look these days, you see a pregnant woman or a new born child? The United States is apparently experiencing a baby boomlet, reporting the largest number of children born in 45 years.

Is there something in the water? Americans seem to be quite fertile. Nearly 4.3 Million babies were born in the US in 2006.

"Seems like it's increased," said expectant mom Candy Powell.

And it has. Mostly due to a bigger population. Another reason is a higher pregnancy rate among unwed teens. "There's been a little bit of an increase lately in the teen pregnancy rates," said Dr. Thomas Talley. "That one we're not real proud of and I think we're seeing that trend here in Albany as well."

There are a number of other reasons for the boomlet, including older first time mothers. "We definitely have seen a trend towards later childbearing," said Dr. Talley.  "People in their late 30s, early 40s being first time moms."

And there's also been a decline in the use of birth control. You can ask Jennifer Etheredge about that one. She and her husband have only been married for a year, and surprise, will very soon have a new addition to their family. "Today's Wednesday the 16th. When's your due date?" "It was Monday the 14th," she said.

Two days overdue, Jennifer is making special plans to welcome her little boy into the world this weekend, if not sooner. "We got the nursery ready and just trying to get everything we think we need." She said, "Very excited."

While there are many factors that may contribute to the boom, the heart of the matter may be that we just really like babies.

Dr. Talley said, "There's a subset of folks that will continue having babies as long as they can." Continuing the baby boom.

Another reason Doctors here in Albany are seeing a boom in pregnancy rates is because many hospitals in surrounding areas have stopped obstetrical services and women have to travel to Albany for their care.

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