Chippewa Valley nurse comments on state’s declining birth rate


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) — New data shows Wisconsin’s birth rate has fallen 22 percent since 1989, and is continuing to decline.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum found the number of births per 1,000 people in the state, fell from 12.9 in 2007 to 11.5 in 2016. Experts at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls told News 18 potential parents think about a lot of factors before starting a family. Often times the economy and how much raising a child will cost play into that decision.

“Some things that we’re lacking in comparison to other countries; paid maternity leave, access to good quality daycare that’s not expensive, equality for women in the work force,” said registered nurse Katie Jelinek. “A lot of moms go back to work and they can be primary bread winners for their families, and how do we support them to do that?”

Jelinek also said something often seen as a positive is Wisconsin’s significant drop in teen births. She said this could be due to better public health and education in the state.

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