Did last year's government shutdown cause a baby boom?

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Did Last Year's Government Shutdown Cause A Baby Boom?

Apparently, government workers might have managed to stay busy during last year's shutdown. Nine months later, there are lots of little bundles of joy popping up in D.C. hospitals - and some outlets say the timing is no coincidence.

Did last year's government shutdown cause a baby boom?
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FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2013 file photo people visit the closed World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, despite signs stating that the national parks are closed due to the federal shutdown. The Lincoln Memorial is in the background. The shutdown is transforming a musty debate over the role of government in America into a coast-to-coast, prime-time reality show. With landmarks closed, paychecks delayed and workers furloughed, Americans are drawing dueling lessons from the rippling effects of the partial shutdown: either the disruptions show that the feds are way too involved in people's lives, or that the government does a lot of vital things that people take for granted. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
FILE - Vicki Maturo, of Culver City, Calif., protests against the government shutdown which started a day earlier, outside the federal building in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. An Associated Press-GfK poll conducted Oct. 3-7, 2013 held Republicans more responsible for the gridlock, with 62 percent mainly blaming the GOP for the shutdown. In contrast, 52 percent believed the president isn’t doing enough to cooperate with the Republicans, according to the survey. The poll also said 82 percent of Democrats see the shutdown as a major problem for the country, compared with 58 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
In this Oct. 3, 2013 photo, Dylan Maz pours beer during a tour on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. The federal government shutdown could leave America’s craft brewers with a serious hangover. Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers. Brewery officials are frustrated that some of their new labels and a new recipe might be held up with the federal government shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves new breweries, recipes and labels.(AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
In this Oct. 3, 2013 photo, Mark Paprocki, left, and Dylan Maz pour beer during a tour at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. The federal government shutdown could leave America’s craft brewers with a serious hangover. Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers. Brewery officials are frustrated that some of their new labels and a new recipe might be held up with the federal government shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves new breweries, recipes and labels. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
In this Oct. 3, 2013 photo, Dylan Maz talks to tour goers at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. The federal government shutdown could leave America’s craft brewers with a serious hangover. Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers. Brewery officials are frustrated that some of their new labels and a new recipe might be held up with the federal government shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves new breweries, recipes and labels. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
In this Oct. 3, 2013 photo, Matt Krajnak, spokesman for Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, stands behind the bar in the brewery. The federal government shutdown could leave America’s craft brewers with a serious hangover. Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers. Krajnak says that some of their new labels and a new recipe might be held up with the federal government shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves new breweries, recipes and labels. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
In this Oct. 3, 2013 photo, Mike Brenner, owner of Brenner Brewing in Milwaukee, stands in front of an empty beer barrel. The federal government shutdown could leave America’s craft brewers with a serious hangover. Stores will still offer plenty of suds. But the shutdown has closed an obscure agency that quietly approves new breweries, recipes and labels, which could create huge delays throughout the rapidly growing craft industry, whose customers expect a constant supply of inventive and seasonal beers. Brenner is trying to open a craft brewery in Milwaukee by December. His application to include a tasting room is now on hold, as are his plans to file paperwork for four labels over the next few weeks. He expects to lose about $8,000 for every month his opening is delayed. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
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WJLA: "My husband was off for two weeks, the first two weeks of October, and that's definitely when she was conceived."

WRC-TV reports "Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington has seen an additional 100 babies born in the last three months ... and Sibley Hospital in Northwest D.C. says so far three more babies are being born every day this month."

A D.C. hospital rep even told ABC the baby boom has them "near-capacity."

Now, there is no statistical evidence to back up a connection between the shutdown and the baby boom. D.C. hospitals say it's purely anecdotal. But still, it's quite a coincidence.

The shutdown lasted from Oct. 1 to the 16 last year and put a lot of stress on government workers. Federal employees all over the country were sent home without pay while Congress tried to hammer out a deal.

July 1 came exactly nine months after the shutdown began and that's around when D.C. hospitals started reporting a higher-than-usual birth rate.

You can see how the shutdown might be the obvious culprit. And Al Jazeera reports many baby booms do come out of stressful situations.

"Natural disasters help nature take its course. We saw Hurricane Sandy babies in New Jersey, Hurricane Ike babies in Texas."

D.C. hospitals are already preparing for another likely baby boom. They say they expect another surplus later this year because the unusually cold winter kept people home-bound well into March.

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