Countries that are depopulated and birthplaces in crisis, Italy challenges the birth rate

Milan, March 5 ( Health)

Cortina d’Ampezzo, almost 9 thousand souls in 1971, about 5,700 residents today. It is the mountain villages with their numbers that effectively tell the concrete effect of the birth rate, of the birth crisis that Italy is going through and which led the nation to register more deaths than births in 2020, with a negative demographic balance that worries experts. “Last year 23 children were born here and 85 people died – explains Paola Coletti, Councilor for Education and Educational and Youth Policies of the Municipality of Cortina – We have 5 high schools that will die in 10 years. In the period of Covid “with the closure of kindergartens” women have experienced a very difficult period “.

“The problem – he explains today during the online event ‘Denatality and midwifery crisis: the right to come into the world’, the first of a series of initiatives promoted by the Holy Family Nursing Home in Rome on the subject – is the lack of We have an emergency room 30 minutes from home, birth centers an hour away. a small unit that copes with problems related to the birth rate. We are positive and proud to experience the mountains. This is why I look to the future and to what can be created to make up for the shortcomings “. In the future of Cortina there is the occasion of the Olympics that will be hosted in 2026, there is a boarding school that is being built and which could then become” attractive for young people who want to play sports “, to the idea of ​​creating a village equipped for the elderly.

Cortina is the symbol of the challenges that an aging Italy is facing. The birth rate is also a crisis the assistance system that revolves around pregnancy and childbirth. Today we measure ourselves with “the disappearance of many birth points, with the decrease in medical personnel specialized in neonatal pathologies – he points out Donatella Possemato, Chief Executive Officer of the Holy Family Nursing Home – Carrying out an obstetrics is a demanding undertaking with a high clinical risk. A hospital that does obstetrics never stops, all year round. Every day 24 hours a day we are ready to welcome women who bring a child into the world and just think that for a natural birth the state pays 1,200 euros, less than what you pay for an i-Phone “.

The expert hopes that the phenomenon of denatality will be addressed. “We hope that the family will be considered as a business and that active policies will be implemented that allow you to plan a birth with serenity“, presses Possemato who also invites us to reflect on what the period of the Covid emergency represented for women expecting a child, between fears and anxieties, difficulties in having their fathers and grandparents by their side. In general compared to the past “a lot has changed, especially with regard to the decision to have a child – he reflects Domenico Arduini, Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Tor Vergata University, Casa di Cura Santa Famiglia, which shows some data according to which “over 50% of the causes for which a couple does not want to have a child are related to social, economic and personal problems. willingness to postpone the moment of pregnancy “.

We must “ask ourselves why – underlines the expert – We doctors are faced with the problem of how to encourage a healthy population to have children. The first point is to give correct information, on the fact that Italy has an assistance envied “by the rest of the world” that birth is a natural event followed throughout the pregnancy, which the country has among the data lower “in terms of mortality,” that childbirth is a stressful event yes, but it is the most proven system. And we must say to the would-be parents: have faith in the future, in the medical profession and in biology “.

Italy is also measured by the decline in specialists. “Pediatricians and neonatologists will be the ones destined to miss the most – highlights Luigi Orfeo, director of Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care Fatebenefratelli Isola Tiberina in Rome – According to an estimate by our associations, in 2025 we will have up to about 3,500 fewer specialists, pediatricians and even neonatologists who will be able to go to the birth points. This is partly due to the fact that Italian doctors are among the oldest in Europe, about 60% are now over 55, these white coats will retire and will not be adequately replaced “.

Is the crisis enough to explain the choice not to have children? “I believe that the theme of the future is central – analyzes Tonino Cantelmi, professor of Cyberpsychology at the European University of Rome – We must be able to combine future and happiness. It is a challenge that concerns everything, even having children. The pandemic is a great threat. and in the face of threats a part of our brain, the amygdala, which is an ancient brain linked to emotion, leads us to an immediate and sometimes irrational response. This time we live leads us to suspend rationality a lot. future conditions our present. And we must take back just that: the possibility of thinking about the future “.


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