A nurse at the Centre for Family Planning and Reproduction in Moscow holds up a newborn for excited family members waiting outside. The government is thrilled by births as well. Russia’s population keeps falling and is now 142 million, down from its peak of 148 million in the 1990s.
Dasha Verstelle has her baby at the Moscow Planning Center and Reproduction Maternity Home. Her mother, Olga Rudneva, calls the family waiting outside the hospital on her cell phone and the midwife holds up the child to the window so the family can see it.
At the Maternity Home about 8,000 babies, or about 20 per day, are born every year. This is the most of any maternity hospital in Russia. In 2009, 117,000 babies were delivered in all of Moscow and a total of 1,800,000 were born in Russia, which is only 27,000 more than deaths that year. Russia is basically at the replacement rate, but there are not as many parents so the state has instituted a number of incentive policies including free housing for immigrants and a one-time payment of over $10,000 for a woman to have either a second, third or fourth baby.Buy This Image