I hope the Dutch study can be replicated here - how wonderful if the lockdowns reduced the problem of premature births! - but our national vital statistics are so delayed as to be almost useless for COVID policy makers.
Absurdly, our best source of COVID mortality statistics is a private website (RIP.IE) because the CSO doesn’t get final death reports for six months. The most recent CSO birth statistics are from Q2 2020. So it will be another six months before we even know if there has been a lockdown baby boom although the first full-term lockdown babies would have been born at Christmas.
Years from now, when we hope lockdowns are a thing of the past, some Irish researchers will finally be able to tell if we were doing something to avoid premature births. Probably too late to make a difference.
Of course, we are living through a massive social experiment but who is collecting data e.g. on the impact of closed schools?
From a laymans perspective, I suppose any suggestion that less premature children were being born since the advent of lockdown would appear to be connected to a less stressful lifestyle, more time with family, less commuting etc etc. Maybe its something else but those factors would probably seem most likely.
Good point. This is perhaps one of the greatest research opportunities that has ever presented in terms of social sciences, education, health etc. Hopefully its not being wasted.
Hmmm. This would seem to indicate stay at home mums is better than encouraging mums out to work. How’s that going to sit with thirty years of government policy?