The living situation and the rise in prices have risen to an unprecedented level. Many families have committed to having one or two children at most, especially with parents’ inability to provide for their children’s minimum needs. Families who used to view the increase in the number of children as a livelihood have become afraid of deprivation due to the thought of having more children.
After Alia gave birth to her first child, she expected two years later to plan to have her second child. However, these plans changed. Today, her son is six years old and still alone, and the reason she stopped having children is “the bad economic situation,” as she put it.
Alia told Athr Press: “The cost of having a child before giving birth is half a million SYP, so by simple calculation, we find ourselves having paid the costs of giving birth and the wages of a hospital and a doctor of approximately 700,000 SYP, and if it is a private hospital the amount is in the millions.”
She adds: “Then comes the child’s endless expenses, from diapers to milk, clothing, medicines, etc., and the child’s expense is also about half a million pounds, without the family’s food and water expenses.”
Alia affirms her wish to have another child, but these hopes are not supported by reality. After contemplation, she and her husband decided to be satisfied with one child and a decent life and not have more children.
In this context, the head of the Women’s Birth Association and a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at Damascus University, Dr. Marwan al-Halabi, said in an interview with Athr Press that before 2010, the percentage of births reached 550 thousand births annually. He pointed out that this number is the last statistic; after this date, since the beginning of the war, the association has not conducted any statistics, and there is no accurate number.
He pointed out that people are currently postponing pregnancy and childbirth due to poor economic conditions; therefore, the travel and migration of young people have played a major role in reducing the number of births; in addition to the fact that the costs of pregnancy, childbirth and children’s expenses are too expensive for the average employee to afford.
Dr. Halabi confirmed to Athr Press that the number of births is decreasing by half due to the current circumstances.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.