Contraceptives plea for frisky couples to avoid lockdown BABY BOOM

Frisky Scottish couples stuck at home together during coronavirus lockdown are urged to use contraception if they have ‘time on their hands’, to avoid a Christmas BABY BOOM that could overwhelm the NHS

  • Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood gave advice today 
  • Said: ‘Think about whether this is the right time to have an unplanned pregnancy’
  • A baby boom would strike hospitals at the end of the year, already a busy time 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Couples at home with ‘time on their hands’ and a glint in their eyes during the coronavirus lockdown were today urged to help avoid a surge in Christmas babies.

Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood stopped short of telling lovers to remain two metres apart at all times.

But she used a press conference in Edinburgh to urge her countrymen and women to take precautions against unwanted pregnancies by using contraception.

A pandemic-related pitter-patter of tiny feet would see mothers heading to hospital around Christmas and the New Year in nine-months time, already a busy time for the NHS.

Appearing alongside Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Dr Calderwood, who is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, said: ‘We do need to be advising people about having time on their hands.  

‘The labour ward is always much busier nine months after Valentine’s Day so we have that to consider.

A pandemic-related pitter-patter of tiny feet would see mothers heading to hospital around Christmas and the New Year in nine-months time, already a busy time for the NHS

Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood used a press conference in Edinburgh to urge her countrymen and women to take precautions against unwanted pregnancies

Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘It falls into the category of the many things I never thought I would be standing here as First Minister advising the public on’

‘The serious point is that almost all maternity services are emergency services – they can’t be time limited, you can’t pause like elective surgery.’

She added: ‘It has been suggested to me that we talk to people about contraception.

‘About 50 per cent of pregnancies are unplanned so perhaps think about whether this is the right time to have an unplanned pregnancy.

‘This (coronavirus outbreak) will last for some time, the emergency services – the maternity services – will continue to run, though, so we have planned for all of the babies that would have been born to have exactly the same care that they would have had outside of this pandemic.

‘But people are making difficult choices and we would always encourage people to think: ‘Is this the right time for me, am I in the best of health, is this a good time for me to start thinking about having a baby?”

Later in the press conference Ms Sturgeon said: ‘It falls into the category of the many things I never thought I would be standing here as First Minister advising the public on.’

It came after doctors yesterday warned planned pregnancies could rise if women struggle to access contraception services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has set out guidance on changes needed to help women avoid unplanned pregnancies and get the care they need.

It recommends consultations for emergency contraception take place via telephone or video, as can repeat contraception prescriptions and counselling for intrauterine contraceptives and contraceptive implants.

Long-acting reversible contraception can be extended with ‘minimal loss of efficacy’, it says.

And it is calling for online contraception services to be extended across the UK.

Dr Anne Lashford, the FSRH vice president, said: ‘Doctors, nurses and other clinicians working in sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services are being redeployed to work in the national response to the outbreak.

‘This comes at a time when SRH services were already operating beyond capacity.

‘It is crucial that we ensure women of all ages can continue to access effective contraception during the crisis, avoiding unplanned pregnancies which will likely lead to added strain on both maternity and abortion services.’  

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