By Dan MacIntosh
Baby booms are caused by special circumstances. Something as simple as a power failure in which there’s not much else to do can lead to lovemaking and – ultimately – baby making. Whatever increases the birthrate significantly, accounts for a baby boom. History is full of interesting examples of this trend. In most cases, baby booms are the result of an event, or a series of events, that stops us in our tracks.
World War II
The term ‘Baby Boom’ is derived from the event that created the Baby Boom Generation. One would hardly call World War II any sort of ‘good’ special circumstances, but on the bright side, the end of the war created the winning combination of peace and prosperity, coupled with many men coming home from war after being apart from their women for far too long. Not surprisingly, this led to a sudden and huge jump in the birthrate. But it was more than just a case of absence making the heart grow fonder. The GI Bill allowed soldiers returning to the US from the battle to afford homes. This newfound security prompted multiple families to settle down and grow.
World War I
The baby boom seem following World War I was not nearly as dramatic as the one seen after World War II, but many babies were born – particularly in the UK – shortly after that war ended in 1918. This was, you may recall, the war to end all wars. Well, as we all know now, there was a sequel. More war meant more babies. This was a precursor to the big boom of World War II, in more ways than just increased births.
The Romanian Abortion Ban
Nicolae Ceausescu chose to address Romania’s low birth rate in 1967 by banning both abortion and the sale of contraception. Unlike the world wars, which obviously affected the whole world, twice, this Romanian policy change only affected those in that nation. Imagine what would happen, though, if such a policy would be implemented internationally. There’d be a baby boom like never before.
FC Barcelona’s 2009 Championship Season
It’s fair to say that most Americans don’t appreciate the joys of winning a soccer match quite like their European counterparts. But when FC Barcelona advanced to the semi-finals in 2009 by beating Chelsea in the waning moments of the match, Spaniards naturally celebrated. And wouldn’t you know it, nine months later the Barcelona birth rate was up 16 percent.
Much like power failures, natural disasters, such as hurricanes, can bring couples closer together. In 2013, the hospitals in New Jersey noted a 34 percent increase in baby deliveries 9 months after Sandy hit in late October of 2012. When there’s a storm outside, the safest thing to do is remain indoors. But what will you do there? If the electricity is out, as happens with such storms, there are no lights, no radio or TV. Oh, and the bedroom is dark and warm. You can guess the rest.