The financial capital has witnessed a 15% rise in the number of children born this year until November. As per the statistics, 1,13,669 children were born in 2021, which has now increased to 1,20,417. Officials have attributed the rise to an increase in the number of migrants returning to Mumbai post-lockdown. The birth rate was low in 2021 as many took arduous journeys to their natives when Covid raged here. As we have entered the new normal, these people are returning back in search of livelihoods again. As per the BMC data, 1.55 lakh births were recorded in 2017, which dropped to 1.51 lakh in 2018, followed by 1.48 lakh in 2019. But in 2020 and 2021, the figures dipped more due to the pandemic, with 1.20 lakh and 1.13 lakh births being recorded in both the years, respectively. The Covid uncertainty also compelled several to rethink their family planning. A total of 353 home births were recorded in 2019, which declined to 256 in 2020, said data.
Senior BMC officers told Afternoon Voice “Many child birth cases have gone unreported because many women preferred to give birth at home to protect themselves from Covid. So those deliveries went unreported”. Home births recorded in 2019 are 353 and in 2020 are 256.
BMC Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare said, “After relaxation of the lockdown, the working class has started coming back to Mumbai again. The comforting thing is that the birth rate in Mumbai is slowly improving.”
Almost 40% of Mumbai’s population lives in thickly populated slums, as per 2011 census. When the pandemic started, many slums like Worli Koliwada and Dharavi turned into Covid hotspots. “Some of these areas are also home to the migrant population. The first national lockdown saw several lakhs of migrants, including pregnant women, leave the city. After the flattening of the pandemic curve, though many men returned in 2021, they left their wives back home,” said a senior health official.
2018 1.51 lakh
2019 1.48 lakh
2020 1.20 lakh