‘Baby boom’: El Paso hospitals are seeing an increase in births during pandemic


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As El Paso hospitals have been working to save COVID-19 patients, they are also working to deliver more babies than in years past amid the coronavirus-caused chaos.

An OBGYN at Las Palmas said the hospital has seen an increase in babies being born in 2020. However, he’s not sure the pandemic contributed to the rise in births.

“200 more births than the year prior, 2019,” Dr. Jorge Villareal said.

Historically, Villareal said, the number of babies being born during pandemics normally decreases as people struggle economically. But at Las Palmas, that hasn’t been the case so far.

“I would call it a baby boom,” said Villareal.

However, after more than nine months of COVID-19 in the Borderland, the number of babies being born could change.

“Maybe the economy was improving nine months ago, and that was a factor that we’re seeing but no one can predict the future,” Villareal said. “But, traditionally, when you have an economic downturn, you get (fewer) births.”

El Pasoan Nayely Galindo is expecting her first child any day now.

“Kind of the pandemic, I mean everyone’s home so I think that there’s a lot of time to spare,” said Galindo. “But I know from my experience and from friends’ experiences it was planned.”

This photo taken by Alejandro Ceniceros shows Nayely Galindo and her husband. She is expecting her first child any day now.

She says what she wasn’t expecting was for the pandemic to still be happening nine months later.

“Definitely not planning on it to be this long but now that we’re in it, it’s, ‘OK we’ll just plan around it,'” Galindo said.

Other hospitals around El Paso are also seeing an increase in births lately.

The Hospitals of Providence told KTSM 9 News that the hospital has seen a 1.2-percent increase in births compared to 2019.

At University Medical Center, 2,036 babies have been born so far in 2020. UMC officials added that the number is down from 2019, but in just the past few months, they too have seen an increase in births.

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