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Stillbirth rates not increasing in the region according to hospital officials

Patients are encouraged to ask questions to their healthcare providers should they have concerns
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There have been rumours circulating the web about the rise of still-births in Waterloo Region. Now, officials from two local hospitals say this is incorrect.

The Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cambridge Memorial Hospital said the misinformation is very concerning. Grand River Hospital also took to social media stating the spread of misinformation is "dangerous and creates unnecessary anxiety and fear among expectant families."

Taking to Twitter with a statement saying, "there is no truth to these claims. Occurrences of still-births in Waterloo Region are tragic. Still, they remain steady at between two and four per cent, lower than the national average."

"This year, we have had 982 deliveries in Cambridge and four still-births. That is a still-birth rate of 0.41 per cent, which is our average," said Kristin Wadsworth, Chief of Obstetrician and Gynecology at Cambridge Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Peter Potts, Joint Chief of Staff at Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital  said the misleading information on twitter suggested 86 still-births occurred in the region. In reality 12 had occurred in the last fiscal year between both GRH and CMH. 

Dr. Wadsworth stresses for expectant families to ask their medical provider questions if they have concerns. Still, it is the actual COVID-19 virus that is of concern and not the vaccines. 

According to Dr. Wadsworth, the hospital's still-birth rates have been the same year over year, but they have noticed some pregnant patients who come in with COVID have had to be shifted to the ICU and did have early deliveries.

"If you are pregnant and get COVID, you are more likely to end up in the hospital, end up in the ICU, and end up having a pre-term baby, which can lead to more problems."

Dr. Potts said, "we feel COVID vaccinations during pregnancy are a normal part  to prenatal care and the obstetricians and midwives in the community strongly support the vaccination during pregnancy.

"There is a growing body of evidence that the vaccination is safe."

Dr. Wadsworth added vaccinations are essential for everyone. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology,  the Centre for Disease Control and The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada has made a statement regarding the vaccine and its safety amongst pregnant individuals. 

"Vaccinations are important for everybody, and we know they are safe in pregnancy. We want to protect our patients as much as possible, and it is okay to ask questions. It is important to ask the medical provider, what the evidence is, what the recommendation is and not to look at social media. We are always happy to answer patient questions," she said.

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