TODAY

TODAY   |  July 25, 2013

Jersey Shore baby boom linked to Sandy?

Nine months after Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast, some New Jersey hospitals are reporting a 25 percent increase in births, a baby boom so big that at least one hospital added another nursery. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>>> we're back now at 7:49. with a baby boom in parts of the northeast that some people are linking to superstorm sandy. is the storm really the reason? nbc's katie turris in long branch, new jersey.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. you look around here and realize that nine months ago sandy ravaged the jersey shore , and certainly a lot of people are fighting an uphill battle to get back to normal, but you look around the room and see these tiny little faces with these tiny little smiles, and you realize the best of things can even come out of the worst of times. call it a happy accident.

>> we were stuck at home with not much to do.

>> reporter: not much to do, but you know.

>> people were home bound because of the storm, and we're seeing the effects of -- the positive effects of the storm is a surge in babies.

>> reporter: turns out they weren't alone. atlanta care regional medical center in south jersey , a 25% increase in births in july compared to last month. baby oliver is one of them.

>> he's a result of no power and no entertainment.

>> reporter: same thing at monmouth medical center . in 2011 and 2012 , there were 371 july births. for 2013 , a projected 500, a baby boom so big, they added another nursery and more postpartum rooms. all of a sudden, the husbands look better, and the wives look prettier, and they appreciate each other more.

>> i know what you're trying to get me to say, sandy goggles or something like that.

>> reporter: sandy goggles, that's a good one. i didn't even think of that. but did sandy really cause a baby boom ? well, yes and no. research shows when a hurricane hits, the fertility rate goes up, at least for those without power, but those in imminent danger, not surprisingly, were not likely to get between the sheets . the lukes were lucky. they only lost power for a few hours, but nine months later, gained a little bundle of joy.

>> she's a keeper.

>> reporter: a keeper indeed. gabrielle's mom said she fittingly had a stormy pregnancy, but she's been asleep all morning. so she may wind up giving mom a break.

>> maybe katie has the magic touch .

>> a lot of big crowded schools coming up in four