By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, Jan. 12 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) has reiterated its reminder to expectant pregnant women, especially those on their ninth month of pregnancy, to just stay at home instead of attending the various papal events related to the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines starting Jan. 15.
The Pope, who is scheduled to arrive in the country from Sri Lanka on Thursday, will be holding Holy Masses at the Manila Cathedral on Jan. 16; in Tacloban City, Leyte on Jan. 17; and at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila’s Rizal Park on Jan. 18.
According to DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy, it is preferable for pregnant mothers who are experiencing “premature contractions” (labor pain or condition wherein the baby is being pushed to birth canal) to choose to stay at the comfort of their home instead of joining big crowds of people during the visit of the pontiff.
“It is the best option for them (pregnant mothers) to stay at home and follow the Papal Visit through live coverage on television and radio programs,” Dr. Lee-Suy said.
He explained that if a pregnant woman suffers contractions while amid the millions of people expected to attend the papal events, such a condition can probably lead to untimely giving birth (premature and pre-term) which will not be safe for the baby’s health condition.
He said that a pre-term baby born in a crowded area is susceptible to different infections that may be fatal for the newborn.
Some of the common problems of prematurely-born babies are difficulty in breathing and their organs are not fully developed or mature enough to allow post-natal survival.
Usually, premature infants are at greater risk for short-term and long-term complications, including disabilities and impediments in growth and mental development.
They are also at risk of death in their first year of life.
In general, the more mature a baby is at birth, the better is his chances of being healthy and survival. (PNA)