THE baby boom expected in 2021 because of the covid19 lockdown has not begun to manifest just yet, said Director of Women’s health Dr Adesh Sirjusingh.
But at the Ministry of Health’s virtual press briefing on Wednesday, Sirjusingh said the spike may come a little later after when the rise in births is traditionally seen, which is between September and January. For now, Sirjusingh said, the births for the year is less than the average which is about 16,000 for the year.
“We will only be able to tell if there is a spike if we keep monitoring,” Sirjusingh said. “We usually get feedback by the 15th of the month,” Sirjusingh said the ministry is also monitoring the antenatal clinics, and there has not been an increase in visits.
In July Sirjusingh said a spike in births should be expected by March 2021, but on Wednesday he said there has not been an increase as expected. But he said the ministry of health and the healthcare system is prepared for any number of births.
“We are now seeing a rise in births but we are prepared for it,” he said. “The rise is within the system’s capacity.”
Sirjusingh said maternal mortality and neonatal mortality is at its lowest in decades, and TT has recorded 34 pregnant women who tested positive for covid19, no maternal deaths connected with covid19 have been recorded.
“All mothers and their babies have been successfully managed. No baby has been affected or has had to be hospitalised as a result of the mother contracting the virus. In Tobago, there have been no pregnant women with covid19.
Sirjusingh advised that pregnant women may be more susceptible to mental health issues, especially during covid19. He pleaded with TT men to be supportive and keep a close eye on their loved ones.
“Anxiety, lack of concentration, general depression as well as heightened coping issues when that baby is born are all normal features. I am pleading with the men be supportive, aware, and recognise if your loved ones need help.”