Snow Babies

Will Snowmageddon mean a mini-baby boom?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    P.J. Orvetti

    Is “Snowmageddon” a boys’ name or a girls’ name?

    When the Washington area was brought to a standstill this winter by a series of massive blizzards, I recall saying to my wife that the city could expect a baby boom come fall. With folks unable to leave their homes, I expected they would resort to the oldest form of home entertainment. Baby, it was cold outside.

    Well, I must have been right, because today, the blizzard babies are in the Washington Post. The paper says that nearly nine months after the storms, the things some Washingtonians did to “relieve the boredom ... seem to be breeding results.”

    Silver Spring’s Holy Cross Hospital expects “up to 75 more deliveries per month than in the same period over the past two years,” and is adding staff to handle it. Inova hospitals are also getting ready, and report a higher-than-usual number of childbirth class registrants. However, other area hospitals told the Post that they do not expect a rise in deliveries, in part because the economy is leading couples to put off starting families.

    But though Snowmageddon was a drastic change to routine -- I lost a car in the mess and ended up working from home for three straight weeks -- it was ultimately temporary. Was it really big enough to alter the birth rate?

    The Post says a splashy story about how the blackout of 1965 resulted in the creation of new New Yorkers was debunked five years later, when a demographer showed “no statistically significant upswing in births associated with the blackout.”

    We’ll just have to wait a few more months to see if the winter of 2010 really did give rise to the Class of 2028.