Baby, Maybe?

CB107562Usually, CNN provides the backdrop to my day, droning on with the top headlines while I write in my PJs on my couch. But after a few hours of hearing the same stories over and over and over again, I’m frequently forced to change the station to preserve my sanity. Often, I find myself flipping over to TLC. Now anyone who’s ever been home in the middle of the day knows that means just one thing: Babies! Yes, whether it’s A Baby Story or Bringing Home Baby or Jon and Kate Plus Eight repeats, if you’re fond of the drooling, poo-smelling set, it’s TV heaven.
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It was during a marathon session of half-watching babies yesterday—yes, half, I do have to work—that I started to wonder if these shows are the closest many folks will get to babies over the next couple of years. I mean, I already have two lovely stepdaughters, so I’m good for a while, but the hubby and I would like to have another couple of (male) crumb snatchers. But there’s no way it will happen before the recession stops kicking our butts.
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Turns out we’re not the only ones waiting to bring more hungry mouths into the world. Historically, birth rates in the U.S. decline during hard times. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the last four recessions have all been followed by a drop in overall births. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports a huge plunge during the Great Depression; the birth rate fell from 25.1 children born per 1000 people in 1925 to just 18.7 babies per 1000 people in 1935.

And there are other indicators that we’re being more careful with the birth control. Hitwise.com, which monitors and ranks websites and searches, reports that searches for the word “pregnancy” are down 37% over this time last year. Searches for “baby names” have dropped 40%, and those looking for “maternity clothes” are down a whopping 74%.

What have you put off for post-bailout sunny skies? Chillun? Vacays? Bags? Tell me!

—Kenrya

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