NEW YORK — U.S. births bumped up last year, but the number of babies born was still lower than before the coronavirus pandemic.The small 1 percent increase was a bit of a rebound from 2020, the first year of the pandemic, which witnessed the largest one-year drop in the U.S. births in nearly 50 years.But there were still about 86,000 fewer births last year than in 2019, according to a government report released Tuesday.“We’re still not returning to pre-pandemic levels,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine.U.S. births had been declining for more than a decade before COVID-19 hit, and “I would expect that we would continue to see small, modest decreases,” she said.Officials think last year’s uptick reflects births from pregnancies that had been put off during the uncertain early days of the pandemic. Deliveries were way down in January 2021, but improved as the year went on, said Brady Hamilton of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much of the increase was seen in older moms.“These are births that were postponed,” said Hamilton, lead author of the new report.The report is based on a review of nearly all


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