Every bad situation has a silver lining, and this unexpected lockdown is no exception. Hospitals in several countries saw dips in premature births – and in some cases, drastically.
It started with doctors in Ireland and Denmark. Each team, unaware of each others work, crunched the numbers from its own region or country and found that during the lockdowns, premature births had plummeted. When they shared their findings, they heard similar reports from other countries, which leads us to think, should pregnant women take it easier during the third trimester? Probably.
Let’s see the numbers; about one in 10 U.S. babies is born early. We normalize it, but the truth is that pregnancy should last about 40 weeks if you want your little bun to be fully cooked before that bun makes their grand entrance. The costs to children and their families — financially, emotionally and healthwise — can be astronomical. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, babies born prematurely, especially before 32 weeks, are at higher risk of vision and hearing problems, cerebral palsy and even death.
So this is an amazing lead on how to prevent preemie babies because in most countries, unless you have a bed rest order from your doctor, women can request maternity leave at 36 weeks, but premature babies are born before that. 36 weeks is already at term – early term, but still on term.
There needs to be more research done, but if you are pregnant at home thinking that it’s a bad time to have a baby, this should be good news for you! If you are in quarantine, enjoy it and know that it is helping your baby grow. And if you’ve already made it back to work, make sure to take it extra easy.