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Stillbirths are up to 50 percent during COVID-19 lockdowns

Stillbirths Rise to 50 Percent As Coronavirus Pandemic Stagnation As Pregnant Women Don’t Seek Care, Global Study Shows

  • Swedish researchers found that the number of stillbirths increased from seven per 1,000 births to 21 per 1,000 births after a pandemic.
  • The number of births in hospitals decreased as women avoided health care
  • A hospital in the UK saw an increase of four cases found in stillbirths
  • New CDC research found that one in four women hospitalized for coronavirus was pregnant – and three of 93 hospitalized had a stillbirth

According to research from multiple countries, the number of stillbirths has risen at an alarming intensity amid the pandemic and blockades designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In Nepal, the number of stillbirths rose by 50 percent between the end of March and the end of May, according to a large study with data on more than 20,000 women.

An earlier study found that the number of stillbirths in a London hospital quadrupled.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one in four women hospitalized for coronavirus was pregnant – and that three of the 93 women included in the study were pregnant. stillborn child.

But researchers say the leading cause of the global increase in stillbirths is not the coronavirus infection itself. Instead, they believe that people, including pregnant women, may have avoided seeking care during lockdowns and for fear of contracting the virus in a hospital.

Stillbirths are up 50% in Nepal amid the coronavirus, reflecting similar peaks in the UK and India. Researchers think they may be the result of women's avoidance of hospitals due to fear of COVID-19 (file)

Stillbirths are up 50% in Nepal amid the coronavirus, reflecting similar peaks in the UK and India. Researchers think they may be the result of women's avoidance of hospitals due to fear of COVID-19 (file)

Stillbirths are up 50% in Nepal amid the coronavirus, reflecting similar peaks in the UK and India. Researchers think they may be the result of women’s avoidance of hospitals due to fear of COVID-19 (file)

What we’ve done is cause an unintended spike in stillbirth while trying to protect [pregnant women] from COVID-19, ”Jane Warland, an obstetrician specialist at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, said Nature.

In Nepal, the average stillbirth rate in nine hospitals was about 14 per 1,000 births in the four weeks before the country closed in to combat the spread of the coronavirus on March 24.

Over the next two months, the stillbirth rate shot up to 21 per 1,000 births.

The rising percentage came when the number of women going to hospital to give birth fell sharply.

Between March and May, there were half as many weekly deliveries in hospitals compared to the number of babies born a week before the pandemic.

St George’s University of London saw a similar trend, with the stillbirth rate increasing from 2.38 per 1,000 deliveries from October through January to an average of 9.31 per 1,000 births between February and June.

India and Scotland also reported an increase in stillbirths.

Of the COVID-19 patients enrolled in the CDC study, published Wednesday, 3.2 percent of pregnancies resulted in stillbirths.

That’s a pretty low percentage, but it doesn’t reflect the number of women who did not have a coronavirus and had a stillbirth that could have been avoided with early medical care.

In May, a poll found that nearly half of pregnant women were afraid of being in public and were at risk of exposing themselves – and their unborn babies – to the coronavirus.

Because non-essential medical appointments were discouraged, many prenatal visits went online.

It was an important stopgap but ran the risk of missed symptoms from symptoms that could compromise pregnancy, such as an irregular fetal heartbeat or pre-eclampsia, a form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure that can increase the risk of stillbirth.

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