Maternity wards under siege

Too many newborn babies, not enough doctors and nurses. That’s how employees of hospitals in Krakow describe the situation in their maternity wards where births have risen substantially compared with 2006.

Thanks in part to the baby boom, Krakow will become the second-largest Polish city by the end of September. In June, Krakow had 756,336 inhabitants while Lodz had 756,666.

The Krakow City Council plans a special press conference devoted to Krakow’s rise to No. 2 behind No. 1 Warsaw. According to the newspaper Gazeta Krakowska, some Krakow hospitals are reporting a 40 per cent increase in births compared with a year ago. Nurses and doctors are working beyond their limits, and sometimes extra help has to be summoned.

Even more births are expected. Usually March and April are the peak of the baby arrivals – nine months after the holiday season begins. The upsurge is connected with a Polish baby boom beginning in the 80s. People who were born then have now decided to have children. The baby boom will probably last for a couple of years and then be followed by a slump.

The last baby boom ended around 1990 when the number of births dramatically dropped. At the end of the last decade, the birth rate had even dropped below the level of deaths, but during the last few years births have narrowly surpassed deaths.

According to Poland’s Central Statistical Office, the country’s population will go down slowly to reach 35,690,000 in 2030. In 2005, Poland had 38,123,00 inhabitants.

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