ROCHESTER, Minn. -
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under 3.9 million babies were born in 2017, the lowest since 1987. Many residents in Rochester believe the cost of childcare along with the changing roles of women in society have a lot to due with the downsizing of families.
"If I was working and we had to pay for daycare, I think that would, maybe would have changed how many kids we had because it is expensive," Jody Rowen, a mother of four, said.
Rowen also believes stress has a lot to due with it.
"I think people are a little more stressed, busier these days, when you add in extra things like kids, it just makes it harder," Rowen said.
Peggy Huhe is an acupuncture and fertility specialist and says science is behind the drop.
"Diet, chemistry, I think some of the cell phone usage in the pocket," Huhe said.
But Huhe also believes the lack of fertility is multi-layered since more women are busier than ever.
"Ninety-nine nine nine percent of the women are working, so that can be a social thing too," Huhe said.
Still -- she does not believe we should worry too much.
"We're still reproducing and there's not such a decline, we're still in above the water of being overpopulated," Huhe said.
For anyone struggling with fertility, Huhe suggests tweaking your lifestyle.
"Looking at your lifestyle, some of the things you choose to do and then decreasing your stress response," Huhe said.
And while raising a child is never easy, painless or cheap, Alex and Maria Espada, the parents of two say it does not matter in the grand scheme.
"It implies a lot of sacrifices financially speaking and also when you try to develop your personal life, but that's okay because it's worth it, totally worth it," Espada said.