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Pampa-Good Vibes! Something Really Good Is Happening To Babies This PandemicIt’s the good news we’re thankful for during these trying times.by Rachel Perez .
In many countries today, hospitals are reporting a decrease in premature births. They don’t know the cause, but it could be a positive effect of the pandemic.
In Denmark, premature babies born less than 28 weeks of gestation dropped by 90% during the country’s month-long lockdown. In a region of Ireland, the rate of preemies with very low birth weight (babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds) was down by 73% between January and April compared with averages the last two decades.
Doctors in parts of Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands and one or two states in the U.S. see lower numbers of preemies according to a report on The New York Times. This trend suggests the phenomenon may have been widespread, though not universal.
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Extremely preterm babies need more care
Typically, a pregnancy is considered full-term when the mother gives birth between 38 weeks to 40 weeks gestation. If you give birth earlier than that or three weeks before the baby is due, your little one is considered premature.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
A late preterm baby or babies born between 34 weeks to 36 weeks will have different needs from an extremely preterm infant or an infant born before 25 weeks gestation. (Click here to see the classifications of premature infants.)CONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babies born premature, especially before 32 weeks, are at higher risk of vision and hearing problems, cerebral palsy, and death. Having fewer premature babies is a welcome change.
Why there are fewer preemie babies during the pandemic
Researchers from Demark and Ireland admit that each of their studies is small and has not been peer-reviewed. They’ve joined forces to dig deeper into this good phenomenon. But in their research, they have speculated on the possible reasons for the decrease in premature births. These include:
Less air pollution
During the lockdown, fewer people are allowed to go out. There was no transportation, which meant fewer gas-powered vehicles ran and the air was much cleaner because of it. Studies have shown the air pollution affects the health of the pregnant mother and unborn baby.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Hand hygiene is the best vaccine, and everyone can do it for free. Moms-to-be especially are extra careful not to get sick not only with COVID-19 but also with anything that would warrant them to go to the hospitals to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19 patients. Fewer infections may mean lower chances of inducing birth.
The pandemic can cause many people to stress due to loss of income, job security, and not being able to hug family and friends. But to some, the lockdown has forced them to slow down. Preggos are forced to stay at home and take it easy — sleep and rest. They also get to avoid commuting. Some studies suggest that stress affects the baby in the womb and a factor in the increase in preterm births.
More preggos feel supported
Since dads-to-be are also home or working from home, dads can be more involved in the pregnancy journey. Studies have shown that when fathers are engaged, moms feel better and are not stressed. It’s also why holding your partner’s hand somehow eases labor pain. Having involved dads offers many benefits for the kids as well.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Some doctors are also noting that couples who had difficulty getting pregnant conceived during the lockdown. It’s perhaps not only because they had more time for baby-making sex at home, but also because the pandemic has eliminated some of the stressors we encounter daily.
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