Bali Baby Boom: Officials recommend postponing pregnancy amid COVID-19 pandemic
The potential of pregnant women being put at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and the high number of pregnancies recorded a few months before the pandemic are causes of concern for local officials in Bali, who are now recommending people to postpone their pregnancy to avoid a risky baby boom.
“We are not prohibiting, but recommending young couples to postpone pregnancy during the pandemic [and to consider] all of the risks,” Agus Proklamasi, Head of the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) office in Bali, said yesterday.
BKKBN recorded around 18,400 pregnancies a few months prior to the pandemic, and said that the numbers may have increased during the ongoing health crisis.
“I’m worried that with these numbers there will be a baby boom between September and December,” he said.
Agus explained that existing health protocols to curb the spread of the coronavirus will pose new challenges for expecting mothers, such as during check-ups. The requirement for rapid test results, for example, will also incur extra expenses. He added that pregnant women are more susceptible to coronavirus infections due to their weaker immune systems.
“During this pandemic it will be better that we are collectively aware, whether from the couples themselves or their family members, [of why we should] postpone pregnancy, so that both the mother and the child will avoid negative effects from the pandemic,” Putri Suastini Koster, who heads Bali’s Family’s Welfare Empowerment (PKK) agency, said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that pregnant people should be mindful about reducing their risks of getting sick, noting that the group may be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people.
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