Baby boom blamed on cold winter

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The Independent Online

The long, cold winter was being blamed today for a baby boom this autumn.

Health chiefs in Portsmouth, Hampshire, are having to plan for a surge in births expected from this September.



More than 600 12-week scans were carried out in March - 100 above the normal monthly average.



A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said they could not speculate about what had caused the rise in pregnancies.



But independent midwife Joy Horner, of Birth Joy, said bad winters often led to baby booms.



She told the Portsmouth News: "We do see a rise in conception rates when there's been severe weather. The weather does have an impact.



"The snow could definitely be the reason for the baby boom next month.



"If you can not get out of your house, you've got to find some way to keep yourself occupied."



Julie Dawes, director of nursing at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Having a baby is a very special time for anyone and we are excited for all mums-to-be who are expecting this autumn.



"A 'baby boom' is determined by how many women are having pregnancies confirmed by a 12-week scan.



"In a normal month that number would be about 500. In March this year we carried out more than 600 12-week scans and in April more than 550 were done.



"The higher number of mothers due to give birth from September onwards will be an obvious challenge for us due to the extra demand upon our services but we remain committed to continuing to provide the highest possible standard of care to mothers and their babies in the safest environment."

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