SCOTS couples are being urged to spark a post-lockdown baby boom — as births hit a 165-year low.
They hope lovers ready for a family could halt a population crisis after just 46,809 tots were delivered here in 2020.
Sex and relationship expert Lucy Rowett said tnight: “Now is the time to get back in the sack.”
And a mum who gave birth in lockdown said Scotland is relying on lovers to stall its tumbling population — as she urged them to “crack on with making babies”.
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Kirsti Foster, 30, made the rallying cry — which echoed Lord Kitchener’s famous World War I “Your Country Needs You” poster.
It’s our 12th annual drop — with 3,054 fewer deliveries than in 2019 — and the lowest figure since records began in 1855.
National Records of Scotland stats also revealed that deaths had outnumbered births for the sixth year running — with 64,093 people passing away in 2020.
But Kirsti, who had son Hayden at the height of the pandemic last July, said there’s no reason for lovebirds to hold off starting a family now Covid hospital admissions are down.
SCOTLAND’S plans to battle the population crisis were spelled out in a report earlier this year.
Measures to address the falling birth rate, change working practices and encourage more families to settle in Scotland are among the proposals. A Scotland for the Future outlines ways organisations can work together “locally, nationally and internationally” to deliver the changes.
Holyrood plans subs for families settling here, including help with housing and jobs. Wider access to fertility treatment is flagged.
The auxiliary nurse, of Inverness — who’s already mum to Georgie, three — said: “It’s time to get our population thriving again. We can’t put our lives on hold forever.”
Recalling the challenges of being pregnant at the height of the coronavirus crisis, she added: “A lot of my appointments were done over Zoom and my partner wasn’t allowed to attend my 20 week scan.
“We had to spend the whole of our maternity leave at home, with toddler groups and everything closed – but it’s different now. Even baby groups are back meeting together.
“Women shouldn't be letting this pandemic halt their dreams of having a family any longer. Things seem a lot better now and life needs to carry on.”
Sexpert Lucy Rowett said: “If you put your baby plans on hold perhaps now is the time to get back in the sack.”
Counsellor Mhairi Canning, of Relationships Scotland, said lockdown had affected birth rates.
She added: “Some feel reconnected with their partner and that has allowed their sex life to flourish,. Others found it difficult. Struggling couples should seek counselling.”
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