Despite a pandemic and increased stressors to everyday life, the national birth rate has remained steady with a slight increase.
New 2021 birth figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that there were 309,996 registered births last year, an increase of 15,627 from 2020.
4,012 babies alone were born in Nepean Hospital in 2021, an increase of 4.8 per cent on the previous year.
Behind those figures are real people with real stories, along with the increased need for fertility treatments for some families being highlighted.
Penrith resident Kylie Cargill’s journey to motherhood has not been an easy one after struggling to fall pregnant naturally and turning to IVF at The Fertility Centre.
“I have done 10 IVF round over six years and had multiple miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy but what kept me going was that I was getting one step closer each time,” Ms Cargill said.
“I froze three embryos when I was 43 and had my second embryo transfer during a COVID lockdown which was a stressful time wondering if we would be able to go ahead but with the procedures in place, we were able to.”
Experiencing pregnancy during an uncertain period, it was all worth it when Ms Cargill and her husband Rhett welcomed their little boy Brodie when she was 46-years-old.
In some ways, the pandemic eased the pressures of her pregnancy.
“It’s not that we liked the COVID period, but it was a blessing being able to work from home in the comfort compared to being out on the road and on my feet which I usually am with my job,” she said.
“If I didn’t have such a loving, supportive husband and family as well as absolutely amazing doctors and nurses it would have been difficult but my advice for people is to stay strong because it is possible to have a baby if you are struggling.”
Clinical Director at The Fertility Centre, Doctor Peter Leung said the figures are promising as one in six couples have problems trying to conceive.
“It’s great to see the new figures which show a slight increase in births last year,” Dr Leung said.
“Struggling with infertility is immensely tough for women and couples, and many had to cope with the added anxiety of going through IVF during a pandemic.
“IVF doesn’t improve egg quality, but it can help by selecting the best quality egg to be used in each IVF cycle – helping increase the chance of a pregnancy.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers Local, State and Federal politics for the Weekender, as well as crime and general news.