Without COVID, 1 in 10 births in the United States results in a child born before 37 weeks gestation. With a COVID-positive diagnosis at some point during pregnancy, that risk increases considerably.
Prematurity and its complications, according to the World Health Organization, are the leading cause of death in children under five. Pregnancy itself brings risks, and COVID can compound them.
According to researchers at the University of California San Francisco, in a study published this summer, the risk of having a child born before 37 weeks increases by 40 percent for women who had COVID during their pregnancies. The risk of having a child born at or before 32 weeks goes to 60 percent. Add hypertension, diabetes, obesity and the like to COVID, and the risk skyrockets to 160 percent.
To avoid this additional risk, pregnant women must avoid COVID—but that may be easier said than done. As of July 30, 2021, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has strongly urged pregnant women to get vaccinated for COVID. Nevertheless, fears of miscarriage and harm to their babies as well as general misinformation have kept vaccination rates low amongst the pregnant population.
No one wants a premature birth. For every story of that miracle preemie who left the hospital and never looked back, there are many more of children requiring additional care for years—if not their lifetimes. And then there are the heartbreaking stories of children who never made it home at all.
Table For Five, A Father’s Story of Life, Love and Loss by Ted Yang is one story that addresses all those points and certainly makes clear how premature birth can change all your dreams and plans—and how little you can prepare for it.
The memoir about the birth of triplets born at 24 weeks has been described as a must-read by Amazon reviewers. One wrote, “A great read for parents on a similar journey and anyone wanting a personal look into what it’s like to have premature babies, a long NICU stay, navigate the healthcare system and raise kids with special needs.”
To learn more about why its a #1 New Release in Fatherhood and Childhood and Pregnancy on Amazon, or to purchase Table For Five, click here.