By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TVBy Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Starting a family is one of the biggest decisions a couple makes. In recent years, research shows the conclusion for many has been to opt out.

Jonathan Poente Jr. is one of Plymouth’s newest arrivals. He came into this world with a lot of love, and a little anxiety. His mother Lisa said, “A lot of our friends have the same concerns we have in terms of being able to afford and provide well for our children… you have to worry about the cost of daycare and all that stuff.”

READ MORE: Boston City Workers Given Additional Week To Show Proof Of COVID Vaccination

All that stuff – strollers, toys, and some day college – gets harder to afford in a lousy economy.

Jonathan Poente Sr. said he and his wife had to do some math to figure out if a second child was financially feasible.

Research found a large number of couples were so scared by the Great Recession, they decided not to have children.

Ken Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire, found “the number of births that occurred in 2013 was about 9% fewer than the number that occurred in 2007, even though there were more women of child bearing age.”

READ MORE: Police Shooting Reported Outside Burlington Apartment Building

As a result, Johnson calculates there were 2.3 million fewer babies born during the recession. “The big question is whether these births are just delayed, which would cause minor problems if those women have the babies at the same time that younger women are having them.”

That would mean another Baby Boom of sorts down the road. But if more older women try to have babies, that will present health risks, according Dr. Brigid McCue, heat of OB-GYN at Beth Israel Deaconess Plymouth. “Infertility is a challenge, so your average woman less than 35 has about a 25% chance of miscarriage with each conception. That increases up to 50-50 once you are up to 40.”

On the flip side, if the recent decline in births isn’t made up soon, it will ripple through society impacting things like the future of Social Security.

Johnson pointed out losing 500,000 births a year, out of an expected four million “will have long term implications, all through the school systems and the labor force as well.”

MORE NEWS: Keller @ Large: Candidate For Governor Danielle Allen Says Mass. Needs 'Exit Ramp' For Use Of Masks

That’s all big picture stuff. Jonathan Poente Sr. is focusing on other pictures, like those of his new son. “We crunched all of our numbers and figured we could have two kids, and I am very happy we made that decision.”

Dr. Mallika Marshall