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MCO Means Malaysia Could Expect Baby Boom In January 2021

MCO Means Malaysia Could Expect Baby Boom In January 2021

Kirat Kaur

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With so much news of sickness and death surrounding us during this Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hard to think of new life.

But guess what? All this social distancing and staying at home during the Movement Control Order (MCO) is about to give us new life.

Yes, Malaysia is expecting a baby boom come January 2021.

As couples are locked indoors together with little to do, New Straits Times reported that National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) Health Unit head Dr Hamizah Mohd Hassan said the MCO could raise the country’s birth rate by early next year.

Couples stuck at home together with nothing much to do during the MCO.
(Credit: Pixabay)

The justification for this conclusion is drawn from the sudden spike in births that occurred 9 months after bad snowstorms in 1998 caused the states of Maine and New Hampshire in the US to shutdown.

The two states had to be on lockdown and residents were confined in the house for a long period of time. Nine months later, the baby boom happened in those two states. Similar situation might happen in Malaysia as the people have to stay at home throughout the MCO period.

Dr Hamizah Mohd Hassan, Head of LPPKN Health Unit via New Straits Times.

This news is actually music to Malaysian ears as the national fertility rate has been on a steady decline over the last 30 years.

Last year, the Statistics Department noted that the total fertility rate per woman has dropped from 4.9 in 1970 to 1.8 babies in 2018.

The optimal replacement level is at 2.1 to prevent Malaysia’s population from shrinking.

Fertility rate, total (births per woman) – Malaysia.
(Credit: The World Bank Group)

For those who’re not keen on welcoming a bundle of joy following the pandemic, Dr Hamizah recommends that married couples practice family planning by utilsing emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), pregnancy hormone injection, Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD), implants or using conventional condoms.

However, with Malaysia’s shutdown potentially triggering a global condom shortage (read about it HERE), perhaps it’s best to practice social distancing in the bedroom as well.

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