Brigham and Women’s Hospital gave birth to Boston’s first baby of 2022, baby girl Aria Grace Katsaras, just after midnight.
Aria was born to parents Taiana and Alexander. She weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces, according to a BWH spokeswoman. Arie was born at 12:05 p.m.
Each year, the communications offices of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center, and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center stay in touch to determine which one Hospital admitted the first baby of the new year.
According to the hospital spokeswoman, mother and baby are resting comfortably.
Last year, the New Years baby was born at Boston Medical Center. Baby Monroe was delivered just after midnight on January 1, weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 19.5 inches long, the hospital said.
Aria is a promising start to the new year for a nation in the midst of its slowest population growth since the 1930s, recent US census data showed. The decline in the birth rate over the past decade was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, according to researchers at the Brookings Institution.
But the latest figures show that the projected impact of 300,000 fewer births in 2020 has been exaggerated, and there are indications that the pandemic-sparked baby bust may be reversed in 2022.
A December report by the Brookings Institution that analyzed national birth statistics by month through June 2021 – the latest date for which data was available – identified 60,000 missing births in the months of October 2020 through February 2021.
Data on births that would have been conceived during last year’s winter holiday wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet available.
Births returned to pre-pandemic trend levels in March 2021, data reveals.
A recent analysis by the Institute for Family Studies suggests that the dire outlook for the baby bust was thwarted by federal coronavirus stimulus money, which provided financial aid to families as many were unemployed amid the pandemic.
The report writes down child-friendly policies like the temporary hike in child tax breaks, improved unemployment benefits, and economic stimuli – which were put in place to relieve the economic toll on families in the midst of the pandemic – likely to lower families’ finances and confidence, and will lead to more births.