World population reaches 8 billion; North Dakota mothers share about birth, support, and growing families

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 8:22 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The world’s population reached a milestone on Tuesday. Eight billion people now inhabit the Earth. Experts credit longer life expectancies with the global life expectancy hovering around 70 years old. North Dakota is playing its part. Our state ranks third for the highest birth rate, falling behind only Utah and Alaska.

Bismarck-based birth doula Kathy Paul shows off photos of her baby. She’s part of a community that works to support families through pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Her most memorable birth?

“I would say my birth. I had planned a home birth earlier this year and had a water birth and everything all set up and a midwife and a midwife’s assistant. And then I was in labor for a few days and pushing for many hours and then it ended up being a transfer to the hospital,” said Kathy Paul, birth doula and Lamaze certified childbirth educator.

Kathy says her experience is an example that you can expect things to go one way and have them go another.

Families across the state continue to grow — and even more so in recent years.

“People were maybe holding off because of COVID right away in 2020, and then it’s like, ‘Well this is our new normal,’ and people started having babies again,” added Kathy.

Bismarck mother Lily Suda says more of her friends and family have decided to expand their families recently. She is expecting a baby on Christmas Day.

“I grew up in a big family, so I always thought having a big family would be a lot of fun,” said Lily Suda.

Kathy says that she finds mothers often worry about the pain and medical coverage, but it’s an experience no one will forget.

“Hearing the heartbeat, and the ultrasound. It’s just amazing to see just a tiny person growing and all that. And afterwards, just all the snuggles are a win,” said Lily.

“It’s like a feeling like no other. It’s breathtaking, amazing, beautiful, it’s just a culmination of all the hard work the mom and the family put into birthing this baby,” said Kathy.

She says recently, many families have inquired about home births.

All say a little support and education can go a long way for those growing their families.

United Nations leaders say the milestone is cause for celebration, but it also highlights challenges for human development and sustainability. According to the World Population Prospects 2022 report, the world’s population growth is slowing. It’s expected to peak at 10.4 billion in the 2080s and remain steady until the year 2100.