Carmageddon may have gestated a baby boom

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baby on board

Parked vehicles may have spawned many recent births in the Los Angeles basin. Image: torbakhopper/Flickr/CC BY

Some doctors in the Los Angeles area are blaming last year’s “Carmageddon” scare for a rise in births nine months later.

Carmageddon strikes

Last year, from July 16-18, Los Angeles motorists were told to stay off of a ten-mile stretch of Interstate 405 to allow for construction work. I-405 is a major thoroughfare running from San Fernando to Irvine, and residents were warned of ensuing traffic jams of Biblical proportions.

The gridlock, however, never materialized to the apocalyptic degree it was predicted. However, in staying off the freeways, it seems many couples may have been making their own kind of traffic.

Babies on board

OB/GYN Dr. Joie Russo typically delivers between eight and 10 babies a month at the Providence Medical Center, which is located near the major junction of the 5 and the 405 freeways in the San Fernando Valley. She told CBS that in the last two weeks she has already delivered eight newborns, double the typical rate.

The unexpected deliveries even curtailed her vacation plans. She said:

“I wasn’t able to go on any type of vacation. In a 30-minute period, including me, there were five deliveries done at once.”

Facts not in, but some believe

While there is not enough information in yet to determine whether Carmageddon drove an actual baby boom, at least one new mother believes it.

Natasha Mills, a patient of Dr. Russo’s, said:

“We stayed home the whole weekend ’cause we worried, like everybody else, that we would get stuck. It was a shock to both of us that this happened.”

Here husband Brian concurred:

“We just holed up at the house, kind of sat by the fire and hung out with each other.”

[Buy a used car here, no legwork, no hassle.]

Down-time breeds fertility

And on top of having more time at home, another LA obstetrician said that an inordinate number of pregnancies may have resulted from “not driving,” precisely because it was down-time:

Dr. Robert Katz told NBC:

“When people relax, whether they are vacationing or whether the freeway is closed down, they do have more of a chance (to conceive) than when everybody’s stressed out.”

‘Highway to happiness’

One of Dr. Katz’ patients, Michelle Souferian, may be the proof. She has had trouble conceiving. For nearly five years she and her husband Bejan have been making a concerted effort, but to no avail. Until Carmageddon, that is.

Michelle Souferian told NBC:

“We stayed home the whole weekend ’cause we worried, like everybody else, that we would get stuck. It was a shock to both of us that this happened.”

In honor of the event, the Souferians painted a freeway in the new nursery that they call the “highway to happiness.”


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